My colleague Tom Stevenson produces even more books than I do and one of his most useful is his annual pocket book, the Champagne & Sparkling Wine Guide which rates current releases from most significant producers of wine with carbon dioxide dissolved in it. This year, for the first time, the latest edition of the guide is available as a free download from the web.
According to Tom, 'a combination of problems in the one year when I was supposed to be updating my Christie's World Encyclopedia of Champagne & Sparkling Wine (published July 2003 by Absolute Press, £35) delayed both that book and this one. When I finally finished the fizz guide, it was far too late for me to contemplate selling it. It was no one else's fault, and not only did I feel a debt to those who had submitted their wines in good faith, but also did not want to let down my readers, who expected another edition. The honourable course, and a great solution, was to update the book with notes on wines I had tasted in the meantime, and offer it for free on the web.'
The entire Guide (228 printed pages) is now available completely free, with not a string attached, on Tom Cannavan's popular UK wine site Wine Pages.