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Christie's World Encyclopedia of Champagne and Sparkling Wine [Hardcover]

Tom Stevenson
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Hardcover, 16 Oct 1998 --  
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Christie's World Encyclopedia of Champagne and Sparkling Wine Christie's World Encyclopedia of Champagne and Sparkling Wine
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Book Description

16 Oct 1998
This encyclopedia covers wine and champagne from all over the world. It also describes the history and proves beyond any doubt that it was the English who first produced the first sparkling wine.'


Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Absolute Press; 1st edition edition (16 Oct 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1899791981
  • ISBN-13: 978-1899791989
  • Product Dimensions: 28.4 x 22.1 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 574,591 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

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.

From the Author

Why this book is complimentary to my Millennium fizz guide
I loved Amazon's inhouse review, despite the comment about the book lacking heart (obviously I don't agree, but it would be churlish to complain after all the other praise and, what the heck, I believe in freedom of speech anyway!). When compiling an encyclopedia, an author is obliged to go into detail about every aspect of the subject. Furthermore, an encyclopedia about Champagne and sparkling wine must include all the producers, not just the best. If you're looking for the most comprehensive reference on the subject, look no further, but if you want a buyer's guide, the The Millennium Champagne & Sparkling Wine Guide is the book for you. Hopefully there will be a lot of people out there who have a need for both. While I'm at it, I might as well say that this is the book that proves "the English invented Champagne". It's not a new story. I mentioned it in CHAMPAGNE (Sotheby's Publications) 12 years ago, but it is the first time that the document proving the point has been published, which is why this became the first wine book to warrant a leader in the Guardian. While this upset Le Figaro, which accused me of trying to burn Dom Pérignon (not the most level-headed, rational argument to try and shoot me down with), the French were the first to award my book a prize - Best Wine Book of 1998 at the Salon International du Livre Gourmand in Périgueux - which I thought was very magnanimous of them.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ultimate guide to all things sparkling... 23 Jan 2002
By A Customer
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
5.0 out of 5 stars A World Classic 15 Jan 1999
By A Customer
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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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 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.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 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.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 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.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 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.
0 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Incomplete reference! 29 Aug 2004
By sabelotodo - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
GRAPE GRIPE: The book presents products from Malta (with a nine year tradition in champagnes), but does not mention any of the Romanian ones (with a 157 years tradition).

TRIVIA: Romanians had the first wine prohibition when the king had the vineyards burnt down to sober his army up as the Romans were approaching (first century A.D.). They have a local grape variety that has been cultivated continuously for the last two millenia. Romania wass the fourth country to produce champagne (chronologically) and is currently ranked ninth by the vineyards area.

CONCLUSION: While this book is an excellent lecture, calling it an encyclopedia is a bit misleading. I wonder what other information is missing...
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