WINE TASTING – Commemorative Edition
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Before the first publication of Wine Tasting in 1968, appreciating fine wine was a pastime enjoyed by the privileged few: there was no set methodology for comparing one wine with another, and no common vocabulary by which tasters could compare notes or pass on their knowledge. Michael Broadbent changed all that. By following his detailed approach to wine tasting – taking in all we see, smell and taste – he brought an appreciation of wine’s true qualities within everyone’s grasp and launched an industry that has never looked back. 

This special Commemorative Edition of Wine Tasting contains the original text from the 1975 edition, prefaced by a series of introductions by Hugh Johnson, Jancis Robinson, Steven Spurrier and the late Gerard Basset assessing Michael’s enormous influence on the wine world. There are also contributions from Paul Bowker and Fritz Hatton on Michael the wine auctioneer, and intimate portraits from his son Bartholomew and grand-daughter Leaf on Michael the family man.

The book concludes with three essays – by Hugh Johnson on how Michael the writer transformed the world of wine writing, by Charles Marsden-Smedley on his considerable achievements as an artist, and by Jonathan Freeman-Attwood on his love of music, both as listener and accomplished performer.

The world of wine has changed beyond recognition in the 50 years since Wine Tasting first appeared. But the groundbreaking principles that Michael established for tasting hold as good today as they did then, and will be of inestimable value to anyone interested in capturing the magic of wine for themselves. A true classic. 


Michael Broadbent, wine critic, writer, auctioneer and Master of Wine, brought a brand new approach to wine with his 1968 book, Wine Tasting. At a time when wine was either ‘jolly good’ or ‘decent stuff’, Michael gave us reds ‘full of fruit and tannin, yet clothed in a ripe-grape softness’, or ‘…fragrant with shades of mint, ginger, eucalyptus’, He gave us the tools to tackle wine tasting through a structured analysis of appearance, aroma and flavour still very much embraced today (and explained on the pages of Wine Tasting), but also enriched the experience by turning the tasting note into an art form – as beautifully portrayed in the Great Vintage Wine Book (1991) bringing Bordeaux, Burgundies, Ports, Champagnes and many other classics back to life from as far back as the 18th century.

He had added what the wine trade had lacked; a veneer of scholarship, and a dealer of genius.
— Hugh Johnson

Read the book that inspired the likes of Hugh Johnson, Jancis Robinson, Gerard Basset, Steven Spurrier and Ian Harris


Reading this book for the first time, I was struck by how much the wine world has changed over the past half century, as well as by how much Broadbent, now 92 and retired, still influences the way we taste and appreciate wine. He wrote for the British gentry — well-heeled, affluent white males who still purchased claret from France in cask, to be bottled in their private cellars on demand. “Lady guests” were to be honored and respected in their own way, though rarely, if ever, welcomed into the serious practice of tasting and appreciating wine.
— Dave McIntyre, The Washington Post