Need to know the exact make-up of phytoalexins? Confused about eutypa dieback? Look no further than the Internet, as one of the world's most renowned wine books is now online.

The comprehensive Oxford Companion to Wine, edited by Jancis Robinson, is available through the British wine writer’s website, jancisrobinson.com, for £39 per year.

Acclaimed as one of the best wine reference works in the world, the encyclopaedic volume carries 3,400 entries on everything from calyptra to Kosovo, as well as numerous maps, lavish photographs, and a wealth of graphs, diagrams and other illustrations.

First published in 1994 by the Oxford University Press, with a second edition in 1999, the OCW has attracted praise from such luminaries as Frank Prial of the New York Times, and Robert Parker – the most influential wine critic in the world.

Prial said it is ‘easily the most complete compendium of wine knowledge assembled in modern times’, and Parker’s opinion is that it is ‘destined to become a classic.’

Robinson, and the publishers, are not concerned that the online version will eclipse the print edition.

‘People will still want the print edition because they can’t take a laptop to bed,’ Robinson said.

Written by Adam Lechmere25 September 2002