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the wine anorak's
wines of
  the year 2002

It's that time of year again. I've drunk (or, at least, tasted) a lot of wines this year. I don't know exactly how many, although it's in the thousands. However, I doubt it is as many as the 26 000 which one well known critic claims he tastes each year. He must taste in excess of 100 wines every working day. That's quite an average!

Anyway, this is the bit where I make my pick of wines of the year for 2002. I'll be doing this in two categories, best value wines of  the year and best overall wines. I'll apologise in advance for the fact that many of these wines will be hard to obtain. I know this is a frustration for readers, but such is the state of wine retailing in the UK that if I stuck to supermarkets and high street retailers, the list would be a lot less interesting. 

Over the course of the last year, I've recommended 99 wines from 14 different countries. It's interesting to look at the breakdown. As you might expect, France has performed strongly. The relative over-performers are Spain, South Africa and Portugal: these represent good value and are areas that I've concentrated on to some extent. I'm surprised New Zealand didn't have more entries, and the poor performance of the USA is because American wines are so expensive. No Chilean wines: I think people are beginning to realize that Chile isn't the happy hunting ground for wine lovers that it has been touted as.  

Position Country Number of wines
1 France 26
2 South Africa 14
3 Spain 12
4 Australia 11
=5 Portugal 9
=5 Italy 9
7 Argentina 5
8 New Zealand 4
=9 Germany 2
=9 Hungary 2
11 USA 2
=12 England 1
=12 Lebanon 1
=12 Austria 1

The winners!

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