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It is mid-October and far, far too early to be thinking of Christmas. But the publishing world is already releasing the annual wine guides. One of the first – and of a size to make a perfect Christmas tree present (assuming wine lovers have slightly outgrown ‘stockings’) is Oz Clarke and “My Top Wines for 2013”.

It is, as you would expect, full of personal recommendations written in OC’s normal, infectious, enthusiastic, effervescent style. A malbec, for example is described as having “a touch of traditional Malbec fish-oil leatheriness “, an American sparkler as “a foaming, but well-behaved riot of brioche and Chelsea buns dusted with icing sugar, dashed with cream and cut with just enough acidity , like lemon juice in a fruit salad, and tinged by the soothing aroma of a cup of Horlicks cooling in the next room” and a Priorat as having the “glyceriney, almost syrupy texture of Priorat, the deep, stewed cherry , date and prune flavours of typical Priorat, but it also has a lick of smooth, rocky minerality, some sweet, bitter liquorice, and smoky Harrogate toffee and fruit cake soused in brown Oloroso Sherry and anise. An intriguing marriage of the wild and the well brought-up”. Who isn’t tempted to buy?

Oz Clarke My Top Wines for 2013 – Oz Clarke, Britain’s favourite wine writer and broadcaster, is absolutely in tune with what wine drinkers want today – flavour, individuality, excellent value for money and wines that are readily available. Oz has tasted thousands of wines and selected his 250 Best Wines for 2012. Oz shows you how to find the flavours you want, from refreshing whites and fashionable roses, through juicy, fruity gluggers to serious, spicy reds that are perfect partners for food. The guide includes sparkling wines, from Champagne to Prosecco and Cava and fizz from Australia, New Zealand and England, luscious pudding wines and ports and appetizing sherries. This new edition of Oz Clarke’s phenomenally successful annual Wine Buying Guide also contains: a guide to wine flavours; wine finder by country and by producer; storing, serving and tasting; buying for the long term; and a directory of the UK’s top retailers, from fine wine merchants to supermarkets and high street chains. 250 Best Wines is the must-have shopping guide to make wine buying hassle-free. Oz’s independent, enthusiastic and reliable recommendations will help you find the wines you want at the prices you want to pay, from GBP3.4 9 to GBP31.

oz clarke my top wines for 2013

Also useful is the retailer directory at the back. The usual big suspects are there with wines recommended in the first half of the book – M&S, Waitrose, Oddbins, Majestic but also the smaller independent too – Bat & Bottle, Big Red Wine Company, Naked Wines, Oxford Wine Company, Swig and so on.

At the time of writing Oz Clarke My Top Wines for 2013 is available from Amazon for just £4.79.

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