The World of Fine Wine's editorial adviser Hugh Johnson OBE began his lifelong passion for wine as a member of The Wine and Food Society at Cambridge University, where he gained an honors degree in English literature. When he left King’s College in 1961, he became a feature writer for Vogue and House & Garden. In 1963, as a result of his close friendship with octogenarian André Simon, founder of The International Food and Wine Society, he became general secretary of the society and succeeded the legendary gastronome as editor of its magazine Wine and Food. His first book, Wine, published in 1966, established him as one of the foremost English writers on the subject. In the late 1960s, research for The World Atlas of Wine took him all over the globe; the result was a bestseller that was published in its eighth edition in 2019, revised in conjunction with Jancis Robinson MW OBE. Numerous bestsellers followed, notably his Wine Companion, revised and updated by Stephen Brook, and his annual Pocket Wine Book, which appears in 13 languages, including Mandarin; the recently published 2021 edition is the 44th. He has also written extensively on gardening and on trees. He was named a Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Mérite by the French president in 2004 and was awarded the OBE in the 2007 New Year’s Honours List.
When is it time to drink a vintage, and when should we wait? Hugh Johnson looks at the subject of drinking windows. Whose business is it to advise us when to drink a wine—and do you take
It was probably Jack Davies at Schramsberg who told me there was something exciting going on on the other side of the valley. I had already fallen in love with Schramsberg, an improbable white mansion high