Awards and reviews

4th edition


'a magnificent compilation of information about every aspect of wine production and trade worldwide'
'first published in 1994, [it] has gone from strength to strength with each new edition'
'No one interested in wine, whether in the trade of growing, making or selling wine, should be without it. The book is also just as interesting to the layman who drinks the odd glass or two ... And for anyone building up their own cellar - it is indispensable.' Joan Williamson, Reference Reviews, 30 (4), 2016.

'This hefty volume is certain not just to answer both broad and obscure questions on viniculture, but also to pique the interest of the reader who dips into its pages.'
'A solid update of a vital reference from a towering authority in the field'. Peter Hepburn, Library Journal, 1 March 2016.

'If there’s one book I recommend all wine enthusiasts possess – no matter their level of knowledge or interest in wine – it’s the Oxford Companion to Wine'.
'Yes, it’s an encyclopedia: bloody heavy and astonishingly comprehensive. It’s also fun to read, despite what you might expect from such a weighty tome. The entries are frequently entertaining reads in their own right, their academic rigour matched by a flair for incisive wit and even humour.'
'If you have any more than a passing interest in wine, buy this book. Even (especially!) if you’ve got the last edition'.
Mel Priestley, Vue Weekly, 4 February 2016. Read the review 

'The revisions for this new edition have been admirably and impeccably thorough.'
'There also is plenty of humor, a quality often lacking in reference works.'
Anne Krebiehl MW, World of Fine Wine, 30 December 2015. Read the review

'Now in its fourth incarnation, Jancis Robinson's book is the one to own if you have any sort of interest in wine. Read everything in here, and you’ll be well on your way to becoming an expert. Plus, reading an encyclopedia is a nice way to go retro in today's online wiki world.' Louis Villard, Santa Barbara Independent, 21 December 2015.

'bonus points for new and massively improved maps'. Bill Ward, Minneapolis StarTribune, 16 December 2015. Read the review

'I can’t live without this book, and have purchased every version since it first came out. It's my go-to reference for research into current and historical grapes and wines.' Becky Sue Epstein, Palate Press, 15 December 2015. Read the review

'If you're a wine novice, this one volume could teach you more about wine than any other; and if you're a full-time wine professional, you will still find much in here that you didn't know.' Andrew Jefford, Decanter, 14 December 2014. Read the review

'the (weighty) gold standard when it comes to every region, grape, style and technical term to do with wine'. Ben MacPhee-Sigurdson, Winnipeg Free Press, 12 December 2015.

'No detail goes un-scrutinized, clichés are exploded, and the list of over 180 contributors is a Who's Who of wine industry greats. 

'Besides hard copy, it is available as an e-book, and also may be found on Jancis' "Purple Pages" member-only section of her website. Membership is only a little more than the book's cost, so it's a no-brainer not to go that route. When you need something quickly, this enormous book is completely searchable on line.' Harriet Lembeck, Beverage Dynamics, Nov/Dec 2015.

'This valuable resource is recommended for public as well as academic and special libraries.' Becca Smith, Booklist, 15 December 2015.

'Written with authority, and sometimes a humour so sly you have to do a double take, this is still the best place to turn for answers to all your wine queries.' Henry Jeffreys, The Guardian, 2 December 2015. Read the review

'Any wine lover would surely love to receive this book as a gift - even if they have one of the previous editions.' Susan Jung, South China Morning Post, 29 November 2015. Read the review

'An essential piece for a wine lover's shelves.' Read the review

'If someone is to own just one wine book, Ms. Robinson’s mighty effort is the fail-safe proposition.' Peter Hellman, Wall Street Journal, 20 November 2015. Read the review

'... if you’re interested in wine, you simply can’t do without the Oxford Companion to the subject'. Tim James, Grape, 17 November 2015. Read the review

'weighty, authoritative, indispensable' ... 'new, must-have edition'. Elin McCoy, Bloomberg, 6 November 2015. Read the review

'... even more astonishing than the depth and breadth of revision is the degree of change that’s happened in the wide world of wine in the last 10 years to which this edition is testimonial. It’s a handy barometer on how the wine world is doing.' Georges Meekers, Times of, 30 October 2015.

'... this 4th edition of The Oxford Companion to Wine is available for the first time as an e-book (and Kindle edition). It's now on my MacBook, iPhone, iPad mini, and with many dozens of new entries – (e.g. apical dominance, British Colombia, cellar rat, en rama, eucalyptus character, Glera, IGP, Judgement of Paris, lignification, minerality, orange wine, rotundone, Sideways, Tulbagh, viniculture) – as well as many revised ones, The Oxford Companion to Wine is more than ever the indispensable reference about the most complex alcoholic beverage on the planet. The new e-book and Kindle formats, as well as the traditional hardcover edition, now render this fount of vinous erudition even more accessible and eminently more portable.' Tim White, Financial Review, 29 October 2015. Read the review

'The Oxford Companion to Wine is perhaps the greatest book on the topic in English.' David Marcus, The Street, 24 October 2015. Read the review 

'It’s not always worth buying follow-on editions of classic books, but the fourth outing of the Oxford Companion to Wine … contains lots of new material. If you’re looking for a Christmas present for the wine lover in your life or just want to own a copy yourself, this is the most comprehensive wine tome on the market.' Woman and Home, December 2015.

'The logistics alone are daunting. But what’s more impressive is the book’s reception and esteem for its unsurpassed reliability.' Cathy Huyghe, Forbes, 21 October 2015. Read the review

'It also has semi-hidden pleasures amid the dry discourse. Look right past “fanleaf degeneration” to Robinson’s discussion of “fashion” – a pointed one-page condensation of millennia of aesthetic choices and tensions. These Easter eggs elevate Oxford from becoming an encyclopedic brain dump. They sum up wine, in its current state, with finesse.' Jon Bonné, Punch, 21 October 2015. Read the review

'Long considered the standard text of wine scholarship, I feel comfortable (as an admirer of both wine writing and Oxford companions) in observing that it also sets a standard for the Oxford series.' Aaron Maclean, The Washington Free Beacon, 9 October 2015. Read the review

'I asked the students to give me feedback about the various readings. When it came to the Oxford Companion there was nearly unanimous praise. Concise, detailed, informed, well-written — they liked everything about it.' Mike Veseth, The Wine Economist, 6 October 2015. Read the review

'It has authority running through it like the stripes in a tube of toothpaste.' Adam Lechmere, Food & Travel, October 2015

'There are few volumes of wine literature as venerable as The Oxford Companion to Wine.' Alder Yarrow,, 3 October 2015. Read the review

'The mother of all reference books on wine.' Reva Singh, Sommelier India, 3 October 2015. Read the review

'The Oxford Companion is exhaustively researched and the inclusion of a grape or region in its pages lends a level of credibility that Wikipedia does not [have]. Every wine-lover’s house should have a well-thumbed copy.' Adam Lechmere, Le Pan, 28 September 2015. Read the review

'certainly the most definitive wine encyclopaedia ever written and by some distance the greatest wine reference book ever created' … 'the most complete and intuitive compilation of relevant wine facts and figures ever recorded' … 'the manner in which it is written is both educational and thoroughly enjoyable'. Ali Nicol, Wine Times Hong Kong, 22 September 2015. Read the review

'It may be the most essential wine book any enthusiast should possess - a fastidiously researched and well-crafted book on just about everything in wine from a-z.' Robert Parker,, September 2015.

'The world's most useful wine book.' Huon Hooke,, 23 September 2015. Read the review

'By some distance the greatest wine reference book ever created.' Ali Nicol, Wine Times Hong Kong, 22 September 2015. Read the review

'A handy barometer on how the wine world is doing.' Claire Adamson,, 21 September 2015. Read the review

'Why The Oxford Companion to Wine is so "awesomesauce".' David Williams, The Observer, 20 September 2015. Read the review

'If you find yourself embroiled in dinner-table debates about wine, the Oxford Companion is your final arbiter.' Dave McIntyre, The Washington Post, 19 September 2015. Read the review

'A comprehensive compendium that deserves a spot on every aficionado's shelf.' Victoria Moore, The Telegraph, 16 September 2015. Read the review

'A must-have in any serious wine library. Even wine writers refer, and defer, to it.' Singapore's wine authority Ch'ng Poh Tiong, 16 September 2015. Read the review

'One of the most remarkable things about the Companion is how it stays relevant in the internet age.' Graham Holter, The Wine Merchant, 1 September 2015. Read the review

'As well as a huge weight of information, this wonderful book also manages to entertain and delight.' Stephen Brook, Decanter, September 2015. 




A selection from reviews of and awards for previous editions

  • ‘the one essential book for any wine lover’
    — Eric Asimov, New York Times
  • ‘has something most other wine books lack: a bit of attitude….you’ll sprain your wrists lifting it but this is a stunning book’
    — Warren Blass, Washington Post, Book World
  • ‘demystifies the grape in witty, straightforward language’
  • ‘unquestionably the world’s most comprehensive wine resource’
    Town & Country
  • ‘the third edition is as cheeky and irreverent as ever, and even more informative. It’s valuable reference book and great fun just to pick up and read’
    Washington Post
  • ‘easy to use, to-the-point and authoritative’
    — Dorothy J Gaiter and John Brecher, Wall Street Journal
  • ‘The wine world’s most scholarly A to Z’
    The Sunday Times
  • ‘No wine-lover’s bookshelves should be without it’
    Daily Telegraph
  • The Oxford Companion to Wine is still the pre-eminent basic resource for wine lovers’
    Wine Enthusiast Magazine
  • ‘the most useful book on wine ever written; it is also one of the most enjoyable’
    The Week
  • ‘a required reference for anyone who is serious about wine’
    The New York Times
  • ‘It is simply the most complete wine encyclopedia you can ever wish to buy’
    — Clive Platman, Birmingham Post
  • ‘beefed up with impressive scholarship by its assistant editor Julia Harding’
    The Times
  • ‘an overflowing goblet that would be central to any wine lovers’ library’
    — Bryan Miller, The Inquirer
  • ‘its level of detail and wit elevate it beyond a mere reference’
    — Jon Bonné, San Francisco Chronicle
  • ‘without question the most useful wine book ever published’
    — Mike Steinberger, Slate