At first, this may seem like an Oz Clarke wine education book – it opens up with the history of wine and the way you make it and then moves through the many wine regions and appellations, introducing the reader to all the main styles and production rules. This tome is, however, a little more personal than that – it is Oz Clarke’s World of Wine. And that apostrophe takes on more importance as the book goes on and he introduces each region with his own private connection: what he first thought of, currently thinks of, and hopes to see from the wines and producers there.
Clear and attractive maps and glossy photography help break up the chapters, although most of the colour in the book comes from the writing. Typically humorous and candid observations (including telling us that, quite seriously, the ‘best place to get a good look at the Mèdoc is from the middle of a traffic jam’) sit alongside detailed explanations that show off Clarke’s unquestionable prowess in wine education. There’s a great level of detail in this guide, but it is all very easy to swallow – thanks to Clarke’s friendly and unpretentious tone.
This is an attractive guide, laid out in an appealing manner and it is easy to read and enjoy. Each chapter is Oz Clarke’s own mini masterclass on the region, and this is undoubtedly a most useful resource for anyone who wants to learn about different wines of the world and feel like they’ve been there with Oz.
Review by Amanda Barnes
Oz Clarke’s World of Wine is available from Pavilion Books.
Principal photo source Cephas Picture Library.