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Financial Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

The third edition of The Oxford Companion to Wine has just been published and JANCIS ROBINSON MW can heave a sigh of relief. For the first time, the revision did not rely solely on Robinson, she had an assistant in the form of the ideally qualified' Julia Harding MW. The number of alphabetised entries has been increased by only 250 (from 3,650 to 3,900), but this translates as an addition of more than 300 substantive new entries' due to the ditching of all sections relating to wine in distilled form, such as Cognac and Armagnac, for reasons of space'. New entries include Crljenak Kastelanski, the Dalmation grape that turned out to be the original for California's Zinfandel and Puglia's Primitivo; and Mikhail Gorbachev, for the far-reaching effects on the world of wine of his anti-alcohol campaign'. Robinson reveals that there has also been an effort to avoid the book being overly biased towards English speakers: We have depended on European input rather more than in previous editions, which owed so much to Australia and the United States.'