Matt Skinner The Juice 2010

Matt Skinner The Juice 2010

Matt Skinner The Juice 2010 is no ordinary wine book. Matt Skinner has created a new kind of wine handbook that has been sadly missing from the UK shelves and one every avid wine fan (who shops at the supermarket!) should not be without.

How many times have you gone along to the local supermarket or one of the chains (Majestic, Threshers, WineRack etc) and come away with with a right troll of a bottle? “Hit N Miss” aint even close to covering it, right?

Well then, praise be for this book. Matt Skinner The Juice 2010 is this years edition (the 5th) whereby lovable* Aussie wine pro Matt Skinner puts together a detailed list of 100 hot wines, easily sourced in the UK that will save you real pounds in your pocket and put an end to that sinking disappointing feeling you get when you blow a crisp £20 at Sainsburys just to coat your sink with precious red tears.

I’ve been back in the UK only one year and I can say that I have tried about half of these wines and agree on the most part with most of these picks. You will have heard of most of these producers and probably tried some of these wines too so it’s nice to see a degree of familiarity with the producers even if he doesn’t always promote the “usual suspects” in terms of varietal. They’re all here, Jacobs Creek, Peter Lehmann, Dr Loosen, Cloudy Bay, Wither Hills, Casillero del Diablo but even a few shop’s own brands make the list and as these wines are typically under the £10 mark this book has given me plenty of wines to look out for in the run up to Christmas.

Split into 20 categories, Matt has given tips on all kinds of wines, from the top end £20+ wines, through organic wines, food pairing wines, half bottles and lesser known grapes. Matt also supports the home team with a review on Chapel Down’s Brut Sparkler but you can’t help but wonder about the sheer number of Aussie wines in this book.

As the “Italian Wine Blog” it’s great to see Matt’s wine of the year is, of course, a little Italian number, the Castellare di Castellina Chianti Classico 2007 but aside from this a third of all his recommendations are Australian. It’s true to say that some of our lazy UK supermarkets do, at first glance seem to stock 50% Aussie Syrah but this books Aussie slant is a touch too extreme for my tastes.

If you are a frequent wine nut like myself and buying 100+ different bottles a year then I doubt this book is going to teach you anything new. I would recommend this book to people who are just getting into wine or those who buy most of their wines at the supermarkets. My own wine buying habits are firmly online but I can see this book appealing to those new to wine or would make a great Christmas present for a relative who is a casual wine fan.

Matt Skinner The Juice 2010 – £7.99 – Octopus Books – BUY IT HERE

Leave a Comment
If I were writing a Hot 100 wine book I’m sure I could fill 33% of my pages with Italian wines and not simply because I am biased! With which country does your wine bias lie?

Anyone who has read this book, please leave a comment.

* I don’t really know if Matt is lovable, it’s only hearsay and conjecture.

Note: It has recently come to light that many of the wine entries in this book were not first tried by Matt before inserted and this has caused something of an uproar in the wine world and led to me personally receiving many complaints about even reviewing this book at all. I’d like to point out that I do not approve of recommending any wines simply because they have been good in previous vintages. It’s clear that wines can change in quality vintage to vintage and their own bottle evolution can leave them going through long dumb phases. I neither condone these methods nor personally endorse this book but do believe the book has some value in what it does and that is give a “supermarket shoppers” guide to reliable wines.

Top Read Blog Posts – May 2011
Tignanello 2006
Italian Wines 2011
Verdicchio di Matelica

7 Comments Add yours

  1. Alex says:

    There was a bit of a hoo-ha last week about this when a NZ wine writer realised that Matt couldn't have tasted the referenced vintages of quite a few wines. Apparently the publisher had been criticised in the past for the book being out of date so decided to update Matt's notes with current vintages & prices!


  2. Joss says:

    What paper was this in? Trade press? I remember reading this did Matt ever comment?

  3. Mark says:

    For me personally, I live in California so I have an abundance of choice with smaller local CA wineries. For international value though it is hard to beat Italian wine right now. I do prefer the right bank French blends to pretty much anything out there, but it's a hard wine market to break into where I live.

  4. Martin Prescott says:

    These wines have gone sight unseen and not been tasted in many cases I am not sure we will see many more books from Matt.

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  6. Gallovini says:

    There was a stir in the wine related media in Denmark regarding this book too. A shame really, because most of his picks are really good. Maybe except for the Castellare di Castellina, which I don't really get.

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