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The Finest Wines Of Champagne: A Guide To The Best Cuvées, Houses, And Growers (The World's Finest Wines)

Champagne is synonymous with celebration and success—but have its festive associations detracted from its status as a fine wine in its own right? Drawing on his intimate knowledge of a classic but rapidly changing region, Michael Edwards takes a radically different approach in this unrivaled, terroir-based guide to the world’s best sparkling wines. Ninety in-depth profiles of the best small growers as well as the greatest houses are organized geographically—from the finest producers of the great city of Reims, wine towns of Epernay and Aÿ, and the leading villages of the Marne, and to the rising stars of the Aube (Côte des Bar) and beyond. Edwards also discusses the culture of Champagne, reviews trends in viticulture and winemaking, and investigates controversial solutions to the current crisis of success in a region that cannot satisfy global demand for its wines. Additional sections explore the gastronomic traditions of the area, give advice on pairing Champagne with food, survey the vintages of the past 20 years, list the wines with the best price-to-quality ratio, and more, making this extensively illustrated work a true connoisseur’s guide to the most glamorous and perhaps the most enigmatic of French wines.

Series: The World's Finest Wines

Paperback: 320 pages

Publisher: University of California Press; First Edition, First Printing edition (October 14, 2009)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0520259408

ISBN-13: 978-0520259409

Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1 x 8.6 inches

Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)

Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

Best Sellers Rank: #874,040 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #16 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Beverages & Wine > Wine & Spirits > Champagne #123 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Beverages & Wine > Wine & Spirits > Buying Guides #608 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Regional & International > European > French

If you are into a coffee table book or a gift for a wine enthusiast this is nothing short of charming and informative (on a superficial level). I bought this book to add to a collection of "fluff" at a wine bar in Chicago. The size of the book, design layout and beautiful photos are superb. It's nice to see the actual face behind the legendary Krug, or my personal favorite Duval Leroy. However, if what you are looking for are specifics like, stainless steel or wood, how much new versus old oak, saingee method or not for roses, etc, you will be let short. This book is more about presenting "infomercials" about producers with little information about the actual Champagne. As a coffee table book it's pretty cool.

There are many books on champagne guides. Michael Edwards has not only produced one of the most up-to-date one but also one of the most enjoyable to read. It is not as unwieldy as Stevenson's "World Encyclopedia of Champagne & Sparkling Wine" (2003) or as compact as Eric Glatre's "Champagne Guide" (1999) or his own "The Champagne Companion" (1994) it's smaller than the iPad but thicker and slightly heavier. What makes it stand out apart from the very useful history of the champagne houses, this book has well taken photographs of the champagne makers and the vineyards - puts a face to the name. It also has the very useful information about the best champagne of each house and a neat table of the "champagne" years, with recommendations as to whether to drink or to hold. Cheers.

Upfront I will say that there are no complete works on Champagne which means that several sources together provides a good picture of this winegrowing region. Edward's "The Finest Wines of Champagne..." is one of those books that gives a nice recent introduction of the families that run the houses that produce champagne. There are big and small producers presented in the book but the producers highlighted are the subset you are likely to see product from on the wine store shelf in the US. Each of the producer profiles are succinct and informative. The short intro upfront in the book is an adequate toe in the Champagne water. This book will complement other Champagne books you might have on your bookshelf.

Excellent book containing detailed info of about 90 top growers, from Mumm & Moet down to small family farms (but whose product is superb). The book is also beautifully presented; you'll want to get in your car and spend a week or two touring Champagne to visit them all.

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