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Christie's World Encyclopedia of Champagne & Sparkling Wine Hardcover – 15 Aug 2014


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Sterling; Rev Upd edition (15 Aug. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402772246
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402772245
  • Product Dimensions: 3.8 x 22.9 x 29.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 215,721 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon Review

You have to have a real fizz fetish to buy this for yourself, but it's a great present for someone who has more than just a passing interest in posh sparkling wine and who owns a large, glamorous coffee table.

That's not to say that all the wines featured are posh, but it would be too sadistic to put a review of Laurent-Perrier's Cuvée Grand Siècle 1952 (or the more readily available 1990) in front of a Champagne fan who couldn't afford to buy a bottle. Tom Stevenson has very forceful opinions and great technical tasting abilities. His beautifully put together reference book has been exhaustively researched and his knowledge of people, places and wines that feature here is second-to- none. If there's a criticism, it would be that the book lacks heart.

The author has had more expertise in sparkling wines than any other style--his specialist subject would deny Magnus Magnuson of any "passes". His book, Champagne, was a milestone on the topic and won him just one of his current holding of 22 literary awards. The book has been produced in association with Christies, for whom he gives an annual Champagne Master Class. Buy the book and a few bottles of the most highly recommended sparklers; invite a few friends 'round; forget the Master Class. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"The breadth and depth of detail is astonishing, and the inclusion of entries from less-heralded wine-producing regions such as India makes the volume comprehensive . . . Vintners are scored when possible or otherwise commented on, and noteworthy bottlings are singled out. Color photography abounds, and select wineries are highlighted in sidebars or whole pages . . . This sharply observed and written reference guide to bubbly merits a home in any oenology collection. VERDICT A superb tome to pore over or dip into selectively. Highly recommended for libraries where books on wine are popular." --"Library Journal" (Starred Review)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 23 Jan. 2002
Format: Hardcover
Given to me as a gift for Christmas 2000, this is undoubtedly the book I read most during 2001. It is a detailed, captivating and fascinating encyclopedia of sparkling wine producers, products and regions. Tom Stevenson clearly has vast knowledge of the subject and manages to convery it in a intelligent, fun and passionate manner. The Amazon review which says the book lacks heart is indeed a very strange comment for a book I would say is full of heart.
My only criticism is that the author can lack consitency... for example Dom Perignon is rated in his top seven greatest Champagnes despite only one vintage (1990) receiving his highest three star accolade (whereas Grande Dame or Dom Ruinart have a few three star vintages yet don't make the cut). But then wine is a highly subjective matter.
But I still give the book five stars as it is hard, if not impossible, to imagine that you could find a more comprehensive and readable guide to this most pleasurable form of wine.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 15 Jan. 1999
Format: Hardcover
I agree with everything in the Amazon review except the comment that this book lacks heart. How can you say all the wonderful things you do about it, especially that the author has "very forceful opinions", and yet not feel the author's passion coming through on every page? This is a must for anyone who has Stevenson's CHAMPAGNE (Sotheby's, 1986). Champagne and sparkling wine lovers have been waiting for a book like this and I for one would like to thank Tom Stevenson for producing such a masterpiece.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
it arrived as expected, very fast and it was a good gift!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 13 reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
The ultimate sparkling wine reference guide 11 July 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This book mentions every sparkling wine you've ever heard of and many more that you haven't. I own several other good champagne books, but if I could only choose one, this would be it. My favorite feature: Stevenson mentions the best wines for each vintage -- something no other book I've found does. Highly recommended.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Beautifully illustrated and well researched 6 Feb. 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
The only book I have found that covers California sparkling wines in depth and provides comparative notes to French Champagnes. Has a lot of weird stuff in it like sparking wine made in India and Kenya. Stevenson is quite witty and acerbic in some of his comments and pulls no punches.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
comprehensive list of all French champagne houses 19 Jun. 2002
By Rosengarten - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This is the bible about all what you always wanted to know about champagne. Who invented it (Dom Perignon), who is the oldest wine producer in the Champagne (Gosset), which is the oldest champagne company (Ruinart) and which is the best champagne (Krug)? Find out all about the difference between Grand Crus, Premier Crus and Grand Marques. But also learn all about the history and the production process of the methode champagnoise. Lastly, there is a comprehensive list of all French champagne houses, including a brief description and rating, as well as a concise overview of the other sparkling wine regions in the world which, however, are not allowed to call their produce champagne anymore nowadays. The real champagne is restricted to the world-famous region East of Paris.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
A Monument to Hedonism 25 Oct. 2000
By Tatsuya Ikeda - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Champagne connoiseurship is probaby one of the most hedonistic pursuits (or occupations) anyone could dream of. Although clearly opinionated, the reviews are agreeable and, as far as books specializing in Champagne go, probably the most complete. It's not a book that tries to evaluate individual wines on a 100 point scale, but it gives relative ratings for the domaines as well as certiain luxury cuvees. It's not for everyone, or even every wine enthusiast, but it is indispensable for any Champagne nut.
Recently updated: A great overview of sparkling wines of the world. 19 Jan. 2015
By Christopher Barrett - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This text covers sparkling wines from every major wine producing country in the world. The bulk of the text does cover Champagne, and there are large sections devoted to Sekt, Cava, and Italian sparkling wine (Franciacorta, Asti, etc...). The text has a broad overview of sparkling wine production, then each section has a preface with information pertaining to said region. Within the regions, the text has individual producer entries.

While this isn't something that one would necessarily need for passing WSET or CMS exams, it is a handy reference for broadening knowledge of the producers of sparkling wines. Each entry also has a score indicating quality and potential. Champagne houses seem to have the edge, which is natural, but the authors have given some good scores to producers outside the classic region, though with a lower overall average. And while many folks may agree or disagree with the scores, it nonetheless makes for a good barometer for those navigating the thousands of producers in this book.

Also of note, Champagne producers are listed with the type of establishment they operate: RM, NM, and so on. This can help readers determine which producers grow their own grapes and which purchase grapes (though it is generally not a quality indicator).

If you have someone who loves Champagne and gets really geeky about individual producers, then this is a great gift idea. It can be quite technical, but the information is heavily researched and well laid out. For those more interested in the drink but not the technical information, there are some books which discuss more of the history and have less technical information.
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