Harvey Steiman

The Wonderful Wisdom of Oz

The Wonderful Wisdom of Oz

Post by Chuck Hayward | December 2nd, 2010

Oz Clarke

I recently attended a dinner where Oz Clarke was the guest of honor. When it comes to wine writers, Oz has risen to the top of the heap, which is marked by an abundance of other British authors. For years, they easily filled a large chunk of the wine sections in book stores…maybe due to the fact that England had such a long head start on wine consumption or perhaps because in America, it was quite some time before we had any writers who could tell us about the world of wine.

Early on, writers such as Hugh Johnson and Michael Broadbent lent their authoritative voices to the British tradition of writing books about wine with a broad scope. However, many books printed today reflect the current inclinations of the American audience, who increasingly prefer more specific and focused topics in their wine publications. For instance, Robert Parker has gained much of his popularity by being one of the world’s experts on Bordeaux, while pursuing his passion for California cabernets and Rhone varietals. At the same time, Alan Meadows of Burghound created his reputation through his single-minded pursuit of thoroughly understanding Burgundy. (more…)