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The French wine guide "Le Guide Hachette des Vins" is published by "Hachette Livre", a publishing house founded by Louis Christophe François Hachette (1800-1864) in 1826. It was first published in 1985. François Bachelot and Stéphane Rosa are jointly responsible as Direction de l'ouvrage (editors). In the 2013 edition, which has 1,399 pages, 10,000 wines from France, Luxembourg and Switzerland are described and evaluated. These were selected in the form of blind tastings by 900 experienced wine critics (winegrowers, merchants, sommeliers) from 40,000 wines from all appellations from 6,500 producers. According to Hachette's philosophy, "the marks within an appellation must be compared, as it is impossible to judge different appellations by the same yardstick". The grading system is:

  • 0 = wine with wine defect; is eliminated
  • 1 = small wine; excludes
  • 2 = successful wine; is praised without a star
  • 3 = very good wine; one star *
  • 4 = wine remarkable for its structure; two stars **
  • 5 = exceptional wine, exemplary for the appellation, three stars ***

Hachette - Porträt, drei Covers

For each wine there is information on the type of wine, the method of ageing, the vintage, the maturity and the price:

  • Wine type (with symbol): red wine, rosé, white wine, sparkling white wine, sparkling red wine
  • Organic wine (with symbol): white "B" in green ball
  • Type of finish (with symbol): in stainless steel tank, in wooden barrel
  • Vintage in red = ready to drink
  • Vintage in black = intended for cellaring
  • Vintage in black between two lines = ready to drink, but still storable
  • Vintage in circle = top vintage
  • red background at price = good price/quality ratio

The very best wines are selected by a "Super Jury" after repeated tasting, they receive the predicate "Coup de Coeur" (meaning "breaker of hearts"). They are identified in the guide by an illustration of the label. Usually this is only about 5%. Since 2010, armagnacs and cognacs have also been judged, and in 2011 and 2012 (no longer in 2013) restaurants and wine bars have also been evaluated. New in the 2013 edition is a small glossary. With each new edition there is information about the current techniques in the vineyard and cellar, as well as the latest developments in the three countries. At the end there is an index of appellations, municipalities, wine producers and wines. Until 2003 there was also an edition in German, from 2004 only in French. Since 2008 the online format has been available

Louis C. François Hachette: Emile Zola, Public Domain, Link

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