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My Bordeaux Pocket Book

After learning that I had been shortlisted for a Born Digital Wine Award, yesterday turned into a good-news double-whammy with a knock on the door, and the long-awaited arrival of my book (well, OK, it’s actually only been two weeks since it went to print, but it felt like a long time). I’ve been working on this project for months and months, and it was amazing to finally hold a copy in my hands. And, although I am more than a little bit biased, I am over the moon with the finish on the final product.

A little bit more detail for you; it’s a magbook, so a sort of magazine-book hybrid. But with its A5 size and firm, card-like cover it feels more like a pocket book than a magazine to me. Inside is a mix of news, profiles, guidance and vintage reports, with hopefully something for everybody; a generic vintage guide for Bordeaux beginners, more detail on a selection of interesting châteaux for those more familiar with the region, and reports on the latest vintage and all the latest news for those who know the region well and just want to get to grips with what’s new.

And when I write latest news, I mean latest. I’m particularly pleased with the ‘current’ feel of the product. Most wine guides are already out of date by the time they hit the shelves, the copy for the book often having been submitted a year before you hand over your cash. Here, the short time between finishing the copy and holding the book in my hand (as noted above, a couple of weeks) means the news within is definitely not dated. I include a report on the 2011 Bordeaux vintage (added after my return from the Bordeaux primeurs in April) as well as other Bordeaux news from the past couple of months (as well as important snippets from 2011 of course).

I haven’t held back from expressing this in the introduction – nor from criticising some other elements of the annually published pocket wine guides!

What should also appeal is the asking price. I was tempted to countdown the figures here (must be the latent market trader within me) but maybe I’ll just come straight out with it: £6.99. Not a typo: £6.99. It will be available in hard copy in the UK with some copies going out to the Far East, the USA and a few to Australia. A major point of sale will be airport shops (WH Smith and the like), but happily in this modern era it should also be available through online retailers such as Amazon (it’s not listed yet though, to save you the time checking) and of course there will be electronic formats for Kindle in Amazon, and it should be available as an iBook.

Now I just need to read what the book-reviewing wine-writing community think of the product. Nervous, me? Absolutely.

Update: From myy publisher’s comments below, the book is available online now from Zinio, and will on the shelves and with Amazon from May 24th. Kindle and iBook versions to follow!

13 Responses to “My Bordeaux Pocket Book”

  1. What might I expect regarding the date when this will be available through Amazon and for the Kindle?

  2. Hi Chris,

    fantastic job! As the book won’t be available in Belgium, please keep us updated when we can download it as ibook version.
    Thank you!

  3. Jim, David, thanks for your interest. I’ve asked the publishers for more detail on when that can be expected, and will post details on the blog here as soon as I have them.

  4. Chris,

    Well done! It is a fantastic read (sorry got my copy in the office yesterday) as I work for the publisher. I’ve showed it to a couple of friends who are interested in wine and they gave it a big thumbs up too.

    What is amazing to me is that it includes the 2011 vintage in detail, with tasting notes and recommendations. And just as the en primeur campaign sputters into life (maybe..). It is bang up to date which NO other wine books will manage. And the style, as you would expect from Chris, is informed, engaging and not in any way tainted by hype.

    All the bottles shot for the covers, and inside are my very own btw so I feel proud too.

  5. Congrats, Chris! I hope it will be listed on Amazon, I’m not so thrilled by ibook or kindle or whatever…

  6. Thanks James. I was wondering where the bottles came from!

    Thanks Ciprian. I will let you know when I have information on the Amazon listing.

  7. Nice! Amazon will probably be the only option for me and other Finns but I will definitely get myself a copy. By the way, is it just me or does the cover share a strong resemblance with the Decanter magazine? 🙂

  8. The Decanter look is not intentional. There are only so many ways to shoot wine bottles and make them look beautiful, but yes we did look at a few Decanter covers when we were coming up for ideas for the cover.

    Much more scientific is the choice of actual wine for the cover. I did a search on cellar tracker for the most owned wines and the top three were Leoville-Barton, Lynch Bages and Pontet Canet.

    The idea was to put wines on the cover that people associate with quality that are still vaugely accessible. This is very much in tune with Chris’ style too. It was a deliberate decision to do this rather than use the more iconic 1st growth choices such as Latour or Margaux. Let’s face it, how many of us actually own first growths these days, let alone dare to drink them?

    Cellartracker seems like a good cross section of the wine enthusiast community worldiwde so potential readers will also hopefully instantly recognise the lables and pick up the Magbook to buy it as they wander through London Heathrow….that’s the theory anyhow!

  9. Brilliant thoughts James, thanks for those clarifications.

  10. Hi Chris, I know you’re a busy man so thought I’d save you some time by posting the book’s availability myself.

    You can purchase a digital version of the book now from Zinio here:


    This will allow you to read the book through your web browser. Any readers with an iPad/Android tablet can download Zinio’s free app from the relevant app store and read the book on their tablet, but they will need to purchase the guide from the above link. Zinio will then automatically send the book to their tablet.

    Kindle and iBook versions are in the works, but will take slightly longer.

    Hard copies of the guide will be available from both http://www.magbooks.com and http://www.amazon.co.uk (as well as from the shops) from the 24th of May 2012.

  11. Congratulations Dear Chris. Great contribution. I didn’t find it yet in the Gatwick kiosks but certainly I’ll got my copy next week when I’ll be leaving for…Bordeaux. Nice lecture on board!

  12. Tommy, thanks for those pointers. And the digital version is even cheaper at £4.99!

    Juan Carlos, good to see you here! Looks like you might have to wait until 24th, but very happy you will be picking one up! 🙂

  13. Chris – congratulations on both the award and your new book!! That’s fantastic news! I’ll look forward to hunting a copy down.