The Australian Wine Annual 2012 by Jeremy Oliver

The 15th edition of Jeremy Oliver’s bestselling guide to Australian wine

By Laura McKinnon
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The Australian Wine Annual 2012 by Jeremy Oliver

The Australian Wine Annual 2012 by Jeremy Oliver [©OnWine Publications]


Jeremy Oliver’s Australian Wine Annual is an Australian institution, described as the definitive guide to Australian wine for wine lovers. If you have a comprehensive cellar of Australian wines, a few bottles that have a bit of age or simply like to buy Australian wine this book provides a comprehensive guide on what year to drink which wine.

Jeremy Oliver condenses his 27 years of knowledge and experience of Australian wine into the 2012 edition of The Australian Wine Annual, a handy-sized guidebook that details more than 14,000 current and back vintages of wines from more than 300 of Australia's leading wine producers. It starts with an introduction where Jeremy Oliver discusses the current state of the Australian Wine Industry, a section explaining how to use book, a list of the best Australian wines under $20, a varietal guide, Jeremy Oliver’s Top 100, a list of 5 star wines and Jeremy Oliver’s wine of the year, the 2009 Cullen Diana Madeline.

I initially skipped this section in my rush to see when Jeremy Oliver thought I should be drinking some of the older wines in my collection and then instantly regretted it. This meant I overlooked the section that explained I should lift the flap on the cover of the book for the legend that explained how to read the recommendations. Once I went back and took the time to read the opening chapters I not only learnt how to interpret Jeremy Oliver’s recommendations but also gathered a good overview of the current trends in Australian wine and a nice synopsis of Australia’s leading varietals.

The list of top 100 wines also proved insightful broken down in to groups of ten under such headings as the Top Ten Bargain Ranges, Top Ten Chardonnays and the Top Ten names to watch to mention a few. This format makes it easy to hone in on what you’re looking for, a good chardonnay or a ripper sauvignon blanc. Many of these wines are also repeated on the list of the 5 star wines but this time with tasting notes.

As you delve father into the book it is set out in alphabetical order by winery name.  Each winery has a short description including address, contact details, winemaker / viticulturist name and a blurb describing the main characteristics of the winery. Following the description of the winery each wine that was submitted for tasting is described including the price and year of current vintage, a tasting score out of 100, tasting note and a table containing scores of previous vintages and recommendations on when to drink them. The book also features a full colour high-resolution label of every wine covered, making it as easy as possible for people to find the wines they want to taste and enjoy.

The 15th edition of Jeremy Oliver’s bestselling guide to Australian wine takes all the hard work out of selecting what to drink or cellar. My only gripe, if you can even call it that, is that I may have left it too late to drink some of the bottles in the back corners of my cellar.


The Australian Wine Annual 2012 written by Jeremy Oliver is published in Australia by OnWine Publications (Melbourne, 2011; sc, 352 pp) RRP A$29.95.

The Australian Wine Annual 2012 is also available via Booko here »



  • Melbourne (VIC)

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April 12th, 2012
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