20 years ago the French held almost a monopoly on the wine we drank - but now all that has changed as wine producers from the New World have introduced a stunning range of good value, delicious wines. Simon Hoggart has been wine correspondent of the UK's Spectator magazine since 2001 and runs the Spectator Wine Club - in the past seven years the magazine's readers have spent several million pounds buying his selections. He never writes for the wine expert, always for the enthusiastic layman, and his infectious pleasure in finding a delicious, reasonably priced bottle is one reason for the club's success. Life's Too Short to Drink Bad Wine is a highly eclectic and personal selection aimed at the regular wine drinker who is occasionally prepared to spend a little bit more than supermarket prices to get something really good - perhaps for a special occasion. But in these belt-tightening times his main concern is to cheer us all up and recommend some wines that will give the drinker pleasure. His choice is exciting, sometimes surprising, but invariably good value.
The wines are divided into sections on red, white, rose and champagne; wine entries are interspersed with fascinating features varying from how to read a wine label to inside stories of particular grapes or regions, to an account of the Judgement of Paris, when California wines beat the French in a blind tasting. From the 100 Simon has selected he has awarded ten of them Top 10 status. At the back of the book is a source list of wine makers, distributors and merchants, with complete details, including websites, for ease of ordering, and a checklist that the reader can tick off and add their own comments on each wine. Simon Hoggart is known as one of the wittiest journalists in Britain. This book will bring to a wider audience his entertaining (as well as knowledgeable) approach to wine writing. Whether or not you manage to drink your way through the 100 wines he recommends, you will certainly enjoy reading every page of this delightful book.