Book review: Michael Cooper's Buyer's Guide to New Zealand

More and more consumers are now relying on the likes of the Parker point system when making their buying decisions. Although I wouldn’t recommend anyone lives by these scores, it’s not a bad idea if there’s nothing else to go on, such as a product description or personal recommendation. If you are the sort who sees the value in buyers guides, then Michael Cooper’s Buyer’s Guide to New Zealand is one to consider.

A full-time wine writer since 1991, Cooper’s previous works include ‘Classic Wines of New Zealand’, ‘The Wines and Vineyards of New Zealand’ and the ‘Pocket Guide to Wines of New Zealand’. He is also the New Zealand consultant for Hugh Johnson’s Annual Pocket Wine Book.

Cooper’s quality scale runs from one to five (one being poor and five being outstanding). The 2011 edition opens with the ‘2010 Vintage Report’ and ‘Best Buys of the Year’, before a report on the industry and cellaring guidelines. The results make up the rest of the book. Each wine is scored, with tasting notes followed by details on vintage, drink-by and dry/sweet.

Example extractMurray’s Road Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc: “The immaculate 2009 vintage is a single vineyard wine, grown at Spring Creek, in the lower Wairau Valley. Very fresh and vibrant, with concentrated, ripe-tropical fruit flavours, woven with crisp acidity, and a dry, sustained finish, it’s a fine debut.” Drink by 2011, dry, above average value, 4.5 stars.

Even for people just starting to get serious about wine, Michael Cooper makes the topic of wine, and specifically New Zealand wine, very accessible, so you really don’t have to be a wine geek to find the benefits. He’ll state why one wine has scored well, and give the reason why another hasn’t scored so well. The book is easy to navigate, well laid out, and with 3,333 wines tasted and rated, you certainly won’t get bored too quickly.

Older editions are available on Amazon, although it is difficult to get your hands on the 2011. This New Zealand book store ships worldwide. Well worth the money me thinks.

Comments are closed.

Sign up for our Newsletter

Like what you see? Sign up for our weekly-ish newsletters for the latest special offers, new arrivals, bin ends and exclusive discounts.

Privacy Policy

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Content ©2021 Curious Wines Ltd. and Partners | Company registered in Ireland No. 462257

Tramore Commercial Park, Tramore Road, Cork, T12 V5DE, Ireland | Tel: +353 21 432 0233