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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 5 December 2010
There are many books on champagne guides. Micheal 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.
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on 2 February 2010
An insightful book into the area of Champagne-Ardenne and the history.
Covers the grape varieties. Highlights the key growing areas.
A useful explanation of the blending and how Champagne is produced. Although this is covered in more depth in other books.
Reads more than like a novel than a "dry" Reference book - which makes it better!
Has interesting anecdotes about the area, the history and the producers.
Then follows Area/ Producer sections which the author views as making great Champagne.
Nice to find a book where the author does more than recap the "Sales Blurb" that you get from the large houses.
Recommended! And useful if you intend to visit the area.
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on 20 November 2010
See my review of The Finest Wines of Bordeaux for general comments about this series of books which I like greatly. There have been criticisms elsewhere, especially relating to The Finest Wines of Tuscany that there is too much concentration on the individuals but for me those individuals and in many cases their dynasties are often key to the style and nature of the wines and therefore should be at the forefront of any story about wine. This seems to be even more apposite with Champagne Houses. These books are not for the beginner but if you have more than a passing interest in wine you should find this series a delight.
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on 11 February 2010
Michael Edwards sets out to profile the top producers from across the Champagne region. The book is wide ranging and contains a lot of helpful, in depth background information about champagne production and the region today, but at the same time it is very readable and accessible. The profiles of producers are insightful and the photography is beautiful throughout.

A really lovely book - and a must for anyone interested in going beyond the label on their fizz.
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on 7 June 2011
Michael Edwards has spent a lifetime immersed in champagne. Entirely unassuming but profoundly knowledgable he writes very beautifully and with great passion about the land and especially the people behind the region. Champagne is often treated in a very generic and dismissive way. Michael redresses this with his intimate take on the producers and their impact on the vineyards. Beautifully captured by Jon Wyand, this book is an absolute must-read for those professing an interest in champagne.
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on 14 October 2010
This is an excellent book. It is full of information on all variety of Champagne, from little known houses to mass production. A must for all Champagne drinkers.
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on 3 January 2015
If you are planning a visit to Champagne this book has all the names of producers that are well worth visiting. The text is beautifully written, reflecting a lifetime's interest in the wines of this region. The many fine photographs reflect the obvious affection the author feels for the producers. A lovely book.
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on 10 April 2013
But I was quite disappointed that the number of independent producers is actually more limited than the author reviewed in his handy pocket guide which was published some yeairs ago. Would also appreciate more reviews on supermarket champagnes. Searchability could be better.
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on 2 August 2014
Yet another great book in the 'Finest' series. An excellent overview of champagne followed by an in-depth study of most of the leading producers.
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on 6 May 2015
Good book about all the Maisons in champagne. Quite brief introduction for each producer, but provides a good overview.
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