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Champagne: How the World's Most Glamorous Wine Triumphed Over War and Hard Times
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Champagne: How the World's Most Glamorous Wine Triumphed Over War and Hard Times

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  470 ratings  ·  50 reviews
Throughout history, waves of invaders have coveted the northeast corner of France: Attila the Hun in the fifth century, the English in the Hundred Years War, the Prussians in the nineteenth century. Yet this region – which historians say has suffered more battles and wars than any other place on earth – is also the birthplace of one thing the entire world equates with good ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published November 28th 2006 by Harper Perennial (first published November 1st 2005)
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Average rating 3.97  · 
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 ·  470 ratings  ·  50 reviews

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Dave & Lindsay Gurak
Couldn’t put it down

Highly recommend for anyone who loves history and champagne / wine. The author did a phenomenal job of integrating the most fascinating aspects of champagne with the most important events in French and even US history.

Would love for the author to do a similar book on other wine regions in Europe
Jul 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
The authors appeared to play fast and loose with dates and historical figures/events in the beginning of this book, despite their heavy use of footnotes. Initially, I was turned off, BUT, it got better. I have some new fodder for my dream series of screenplays focusing on the exploits of pioneers of the wine world. ;) Extra points for winning me over in the end.
Rebecca Rosenberg
Jul 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: champagne
World War II and Champagne country-- great research for my CHAMPAGNE WIDOWS SERIES.
Randall Harrison
This volume tells the story of champagne and Champagne, told via a concise history of the region and its people. The Kladstrups clearly demonstrate it is not possible to separate one from the other when telling the tale.

I enjoyed reading this book. However, I was looking for something providing more information about the wine itself, i.e., it's creation, fermentation, recipes, method of manufacture, varieties of grapes used, differences among various types, etc.

This book does not contain that i
Apr 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
History, Tradition & Style
The history of Champagne presents a story here of a people steeped in their traditions and a singular devotion to their craft. Champagne, perfectly described here by the author, is emblematic of it's terroir and also is the name of the wine. Le Champagne is the terroir and La Champagne is the wine. This dichotomy is unique in the world of wine. It's fitting that champagne is wedded so intimately to it's terroir. This story describes the struggle, conflicts from multipl
Jul 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone curious about wine and WWI history
Fascinating read - concise, a bit second-hand in research, but full of anecdotes and always entertaining. This is not a comprehensive academic work- but more a collection of stories that come together to narrate the chronological history of Champagne (the region) and champagne (the wine). There's a lot of focus on WWI history as it relates to champagne... perhaps too much. Still, I'd say this is a good introduction to the history of this wine and region.
The writing style is... well, let's just s
Nov 21, 2016 rated it liked it
The joy of travel is in the surprises. We chose to stop in Reims to see the famous Cathedral, where the kings of France were traditionally crowned. Only when we changed trains in Champagne-Ardennes did I realize that the theme of this visit would be wine and war. This light, quick read helped to fill in some of the gaping holes in my understanding of European history. The Kladstrups use the history of bubbly champagne to discuss the broader history of the region of Champagne. The events of World ...more
Phil Green
Dec 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A great summery of the history of the wine and region. Well written that it keeps the reader engaged and interested. Could be a bit more detailed, but I don't think the authors wanted to bog down the reader with a report. ...more
Riley Bridges
Jun 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

A phenomenal read about the history of la champagne and le champagne. Pour a glass and read about the incredible journey of this famous region and wine. I can't wait to visit especially after reading this book
Aug 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Whether you enjoy champagne or not, you will have a whole new appreciation for this celebratory beverage. It definitely is a story of perseverance, ingenuity and team work to remain such a iconic symbol of good times for centuries. Cheers!
May 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Such an interesting and surprisingly touching read. Beautifully written. It brought the Champagne region to life and made me feel and care for it as if I was Champenoise myself.
Dec 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great read. History in an entertaining way. Wonderful stories to show the history.
Diane Cadei
Jan 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
An interesting look into the history of a wine and a region of France. This book took a in depth look at the effect of WWI on the region ---- I'm always stunned by the horrors of this war. ...more
May 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One of the most interesting books I've ever read. ...more
Diana Stegall
Aug 13, 2018 rated it liked it
Tolerable but there’s a lot of misinformation and champagne mythology perpetuated here.
Samantha Solberg
Really it was 3.5 stars.
Oct 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
So much history in this region of France, and Champagne is at the heart of it all.
Julie Christine
La Champagne, the region in northwestern France that is home to the world's most celebrated wine - 'le champagne'- has ever been at the crossroads of European history. In contrast to its rightful claim of a wine of superlative clarity, joy and finesse, Champagne has been the site of some of the bloodiest battles of ancient and modern times.

Don and Petie Kladstrup's lovely and heartbreaking book encapsulates an enormous stretch of history into 300 wonderfully readable pages. The authors original
Mar 29, 2008 rated it really liked it
From stories told by families about single fields to battles between regions for the use of the fields. Even battles between departments for just where the boundaries of la Champagne lie. Details and personalities abound in the story of effervescent wine. How kings and statesmen dance around the desire for a steady supply of wine and a desire for empire since it is difficult for vintners to produce great vintages when they have no grapes because a war either killed or drove the people into the c ...more
Andrew Smith
Feb 04, 2008 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Wine People
Recommended to Andrew by: Satan
Cannot... stay awake.. while reading. I don't know why I keep subjecting myself to reading these wine books. I read Kladstrup's other wine/war book and enjoyed it much more. Burgundy during the great wars was way more interesting than Champagne. Bordeaux, kinda lame, but still a little more interesting. I will say that I am holding my breath for the next book, "Oregon Pinot: How America's Tightest Varietal Triumphed Over Not Being Regularly Stocked In My Local Wine Shop". ...more
Karl Schaeffer
Oct 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Entertaining history of champagne and the regions of France where the grapes are grown and the drink is made. Never knew that bubbles in the wine were a negative. Also never knew that the Pope invented weekends when he forbade the local warlords from fighting on Feast Days, Festivals and Sundays. Finally, the German high command in both world wars had to have champagne (not the local German version of the bubbly) to wage their campaigns for world domination.
Mar 31, 2008 rated it liked it
I picked this book up randomly. I knew very little about Champagne the region or champagne the wine, so this book gave me a good introduction. That said, it had to cover a lot of materials. It jumped around at times, and didn't go into much detail. I'd be curious to read about about WWI in this region, as it was the most interesting aspect of the book. ...more
Jan 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed reading about a region I had visited and a drink I LOVE as much for its taste as for the celebrations it represents. Reinforced for me the information our tour guide gave us on the way to Reims about the effects of war on the region.
This book was a pleasure to read filled with historical anecdotes.
Which of my champagne worshipping family members wants to read it next?
Nov 25, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: wine and war buffs
This is a great history of the Champagne region framed by the wars it has endured. My favorite part were the human interest stories peppered throughout. I'm not big on non-fiction but this held my interest. ...more
May 01, 2011 rated it liked it
A well-written background on the trials and tribulations of the people of Champagne and the famous wine. I'd already read "Wine and War" which covered a lot of the same information- and in a slightly more interesting way. So if you've read that one, I'd skip this one. ...more
Jan 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: food-and-wine
I am so glad this book is over. Such lovely and troubling stories - millions died, pain, war, greed and families so dedicated to the beauty of Bubbly that I needed to finish this book to honor the past.
Aug 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
A very thorough look at the history of Champagne, one of the world's most famous wine growing regions, and how wars (napoleonic, franco-prussian, world war I and II...) have marked the area, and the drink. Wine history aficionados will love it. ...more
Aug 29, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: goodreads
Champagne, war, hard economic times, and a whole lot of French history. Quick, interesting read.
Oct 02, 2007 rated it really liked it
I'm a huge fan of champagne and loved this book. It's a well written history of the region that's both entertaining and filled with interesting facts you never knew. ...more
Jan 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
great combination of wine lore, history, and irony. i did start it with high expectations, but have been pleasantly surprised.
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  Kerine Wint is a software engineering graduate with more love for books than for computers. As an avid reader, writer, and fan of all things...
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“Is there anyone in the civilized world whose eyes do not light up and face does not smile when he hears the word champagne?” mused one champagne lover.14” 0 likes
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