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Champagne: How the World's Most Glamorous Wine Triumphed Over War and Hard Times Paperback – November 28, 2006
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About the Author
Don and Petie Kladstrup are former journalists who have written extensively about wine and France for numerous publications. Don, a winner of three Emmys and numerous other awards, was a foreign correspondent for ABC and CBS television news. Petie, an Overseas Press Club winner, was a newspaper journalist and more recently protocol officer for the U.S. ambassador to UNESCO. The Kladstrups divide their time between Paris and Normandy.
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Top Customer Reviews
Written as a timeline, "Champagne" begins in the Middle Ages with an almost startling revelation....the bubbles in the wine, so essential to its success and taste in later years, were considered to be a flaw. The drink as we know it today must have borne little or no resemblance to what was consumed hundreds of years ago. The Kladstrups delve into many other aspects of the making and the keeping of champagne which are as engrossing as their narrative....how sediment was handled, the trials and errors of storing champagne so the bottles would not explode, the care of the vineyards, and so on. I was surprised to hear that dry champagne was a rather late development and that its initial offerings were met with resistance as most people preferred their champagne to be sweet. The transportation of champagne is one of the more humorous parts of this offering.
As much as this book concerns itself with the product, it is even more a story of people and politics. The effects that wars had on the region of Champagne (and no one really knows where those boundaries begin and end) make it all the more surprising that champagne could ever have survived the onlsaught of armies inflicting a tremendous toll, most notably during World War I, on the vineyards and the people who owned and operated them.Read more ›
I was not disappointed. The authors have once again given readers a highly enjoyable (and exhaustively footnoted) peek into the history of the Champagne region of France, and the origins of, and dramatic evolutionary style changes in, its namesake wine.
Told in a style that's somewhat evocative of Ken Burn's highly acclaimed "Civil War" Epic, we see a countryside repeatedly overrun, looted and destroyed by the conquering hordes of Attila the Hun, the Roman Empire, the Prussians (Napoleonic era), and Germany (WWI & WWII); a countryside at war with itself (first the French Revolution, then riots over outsourcing and regional labeling); and a countryside devastated by vine-destroying pests (phylloxera) and recurring economic hardships (Prohibition, and the Great Depression). From each period, the authors give insightful glances behind the scenes, from the vantage point of growers, winemakers, cellar masters, merchants, soldiers, local residents, and community leaders who are repeatedly driven by circumstances to extraordinary measures - such as staging public protests, evacuating entire communitites into underground limestone tunnels during wartime bombardment, and engaging in armed resistance, and even international smuggling, in order to defend their lives, vines and livelihood.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It was fascinating to learn the history past and present with the historical events and the love and care that went into making champagne.Published 4 days ago by Stanley Pollman
Interesting back story on champagne. Oh, excuse me, Champagne. It shows that in the end, everything seems to come down to marketing. Read morePublished 19 days ago by Carolina Summer
Happy to get this book so quickly. Less than happy about the condition it came in. Somewhat ben/wrinkled cover, slightly water-damaged pages.Published 1 month ago by christopher Becerra
I love the authors (did you read Wine and War?) and this book is simply amazing. Easy to read, filled with interesting stories. Great book!Published 6 months ago by Ale Esteves
Very interesting story for anyone who wishes to understand less well known stories about WWIPublished 7 months ago by Beatrice Muchman
I love this book so much, so many little stories affecting one small area that produces my favorite drink in the world. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Zildheam L. Dietrich
Similar style to wine and war, the book takes the perspective of real people who's livelihood are most affected by the atrocities of war. Lovely read.Published 8 months ago by Alexander Wong