Champagne Guide

Champagne Guide

by Eric Glatre

A single glass of Champagne imparts a feeling on exhilaration. The nerves are braced, the imagination is agreeably stirred, the wits become more nimble.
– Winston Churchill

I agreed so much with Winston Churchill’s famous quote regarding Champagne that a year ago I took up drinking a single glass of the tonic every morning along with breakfast. As a modern gal, I consider this the new breakfast of champions; it makes me feel alive and alert and ready to take on all the day has to offer.

There is one challenge in this information age; it’s not enough to just drink Champagne as a daily ritual, you have to be able to back up the bubbly with brains. Allow me to explain. When my friends, family, lovers, acquaintances and curious people in restaurants watch me take my first blissful sip while they are looking bleary-eyed over their steamy cup o’joe, they get jealous. Who can blame these onlookers? I find that they then assume carte blanche to playfully rib me or thank me for giving them “permission” to have a glass; either way I have the opportunity to recruit a new person into the Champagne Club.

Eric Glatre’s Champagne Guide is a book that may be read from cover to cover or as a resource to answer those burning questions one may have about Champagne. The glossy guide is only four inches wide so it is perfect for carrying in your purse or snuggled next to your laptop. While reading the book’s pages, it’s easy to feel as though you’re a part of the bigger picture and the story behind, the world’s most famous wine. Glatre reveals the secrets on why Champagne is considered special compared to sparkling wines from other parts of the world. Yes friends, there is a difference.

Since Roman times, Champagne has trumpeted status, prestige, and sex appeal. Today the bubbly still holds on to those titles but also denotes fun, frivolity, and a reward for being yourself and living life on your own terms whether you are a hard working nine-to-fiver; or a dot com multimillionaire who got out of the race at the right time.

Glatre’s easy to understand language provides detailed information regarding Champagne production, from vineyard to glass. Receive answers to mysteries like: How are “stars” captured in the bottle? What do the terms blanc de noir, blanc de blanc, Brut, and Extra-Dry mean? Where is the region of Champagne and how do the five main terriors of the region affect the taste of Champagne? How can I find one that my taste buds will like? What are the grape varieties used to make Champagne? How should Champagne be served and stored? What should be eaten with Champagne and what shouldn’t? Even though the book is easy to read and navigate it is suggested for those seeking in-depth information.

He even provides you with what I like to call a “shopping list” of one hundred of his favorite Champagnes, notes on what makes these his personal favorites, why they can become favorites of yours as well. You will also learn what Champagne houses you should visit when you are in the area, and how to be treated like a royal while you are there.

I finished this book feeling more inspired than ever about Champagne, and have read it two more times for good measure. If the reader is looking for a fun, warm and fuzzy read then Champagne Guide should also be accompanied by Champagne for Dummies by Ed McCarthy.

Review by Tracy Wallace

Tracy Wallace is a certified sommelier. Her new newsletter and interactive wine class, Become a Wine Genius in 5 Minutes or Less, has been well received by thirsty wine enthusiasts of all levels and wine professionals. Tracy accepts wine-related questions at worldwidewinelady AT