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Champagne Baby: How One Parisian Learned to Love Wine--and Life--the American Way

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  273 ratings  ·  65 reviews
One of the best memoirs of 2016 (Library Journal) and winner of the Northern California Book Festival Award! Fresh, charming, and irresistible, Champagne Baby turns a familiar tale on its head: Instead of yet another American seeking the French secret to good living, a Frenchwoman finds her purpose—much to her surprise—in the U.S.

Laure Dugas was born into a family of winem
...more
ebook, 272 pages
Published April 12th 2016 by Ballantine Books
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Tonni Callan The title pretty much let's you know it's book about champagne and wine....why would you think that was appropriate for a child...smh
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Average rating 3.84  · 
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 ·  273 ratings  ·  65 reviews


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Karen KK
Feb 24, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc-netgalley
I received this ebook free from Netgalley.Com in exchange for my honest review.

Laure, the champagne baby, epitomizes the statement "fake it 'til you make it". Accepting a job selling her family wine, takes her from her homeland Paris to the U.S. She speaks no English and knows basically nothing about wine. As she learns and grows into her knowledge of wine (and English) she learns to love her job, and wine.

I think one of the best descriptions of her growing love for wine is this, "Drinking the
...more
Sam Sigelakis-Minski
First of all, a big thank you to Penguin's First to Read Program for this beautiful memoir.

Champagne Baby tells the story of 22-years-old Laure Dugas as she navigates a world of wine that she was born into, but denied up until now. Laure was always one to beat to her own drummer, but when her uncle makes her an offer to be his brand ambassador in the United States for six months, how can she refuse? Her interests had never coincided with the family business, but a chance to travel and prove her
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Karen R
Apr 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Author Laure Dugas knows wine, her passion is clear. This “Champagne Baby” grew up surrounded by grapes, her family in the business of making Champagne. Laure’s mother’s grandmother cultivated the family’s first vines in Champagne in the 1930’s and wine grapes continue to grow in the family’s vineyard.

Laure knew very little about the business when at 23 she was asked by her uncle to move to the United States to market his wines. She charges headlong into quite an adventure, leaving home and fami
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Janilyn Kocher
Mar 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. The way I read this book is the antithesis of how one is supposed to drink wine: I downed the book instead of sipping and savoring. Champagne Baby is a story of a French woman's journey to find her footing in a new realm that has been in her family history for generations. While the author's descriptions of the Nuances Of the wine industry were interesting, the real flavor was her story. It was fascinating. At the end she allu ...more
Pam Tickner
An entertaining audio for a long drive. A twist on the usual Anglo cultural adventure in an European setting. I loved all the wine information and feel I've had a crash course in French wines.
Rebecca Vincent
May 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reading Champagne Baby by Laure Dugas is like having an extended conversation with a friend who has an interesting job. Her passion is wine. This book is about wine. This book is about how she didn't have a passion for wine. Then she did. Wine pulled her up from her roots, swished her around the American landscape, and plunked her back in her terroir.

The big pitch on this book seems to be "Look! A Frenchwoman moved to the U.S. and learned about wine (instead of the other way around!)." But that
...more
Terry
Feb 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received a free ARC copy of this memoir from Netgalley and am so glad I did!

Laure Dugas is the type of person who fascinates me because she has so much more moxie than I'll ever have. Born in France into a wine-making family, she seizes an opportunity after college to move to New York City and represent her uncle's wines. Despite not being fluent in English and having to leave her boyfriend behind, she plunges into life in New York and embraces all its differences from French culture. Along th
...more
Dixie
Apr 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed the opportunity to see how the American culture is viewed by young foreign professionals, both the stereotypes and the actual experience. Laure's insights were unique in that she traveled for her work and was able to see many different socio-economic pictures of American life as she traveled across our nation. Pulling back the curtains in the field of marketing/merchandising, with wine being the product being merchandised, revealed various attitudes toward cost and value. I enjoyed the ...more
Ellery
Aug 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book immensely - tagging along as Laure moves to New York as a young 20-something, learns about wine for the first time despite being from a family of Champagne makers in France - and becomes a wine expert while enjoying what America has to offer.
It was a great escape, though almost too good of one, because when I returned from my first round of reading this book, to a table of squabbling kids whining about what I made for dinner that night, it was a rough landing...I was ready t
...more
A.M. Dunnewin
May 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. Not only did it allow you to sip on the coming-of-age story of a young French woman, it made love and wine a pleasurable pairing. The story itself was entertaining and moved at a good pace, and my favorite aspect was that it added information about wine that made the entire reading experience refreshing and delightful.
Philippa
Sep 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2017
A memoir that is also partly a beginner's guide to wine, Champagne Baby is a charming and compelling read. Laure Dugas is in her early twenties, she wants to learn English and wants an adventure - she finds herself off to NYC for six months to work in marketing/sales for her uncle's winery. What ensues is all kinds of fun (and drama!) as Laure gets to know and love America, and wine, and as she figures out how much of her old life in Paris will survive the journey to the new one. And every chapt ...more
Cinthia F
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tati (VlogginginViolet)
Champagne Baby is an amazing memoir by Laure Dugas depicting a woman who constantly leapt into action before thinking (Laure, herself). On a whim, she went from her comfortable life in Paris to a country and industry she knew little about. This is the Laure journey of how she learned to fall in love with America and Wine. While giving many insights into the world of wine, Laure also gives you insight into the woman she was, and the woman she planned to become.

Whether this memoir meant to or not
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Nari
This book is half memoir half beginners guide to wine. I liked both aspects and I think Laure did a great with transitioning from one to another. It's weird to think that we're almost the same age and she's accomplished so much in a short span of time.

She had a whirlwind romance with New York City, although she eventually found her way back home to France. I wish she expanded more on what about the US (or possibly just New York) that she felt drawn to. What were the perks? There were portions t
...more
Zee Monodee
May 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What an absolutely delightful tale!
Often enough, it reads like fiction - like you're watching a TV show following this charming and at first clueless heroine finding her footing by bluffing her way through at the start, to becoming a true connoisseur at the end. That's the journey - her very personal journey - that the author takes you through in this book.
I don't drink, but I absolutely loved Ms. Dugas' take on wine, the wine industry, the terroir of each region of France, how she makes somethi
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Kathy
Jun 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this memoir of a young French woman making her way in America, particularly because it centers around her education about French wine along the way--something I was interested in learning more about, too. Laure Dugas was raised in a Champagne-producing family but learns the French wine trade from the unlikely vantage point of the US. There's a little bit of romance and cross-cultural intrigue along the way, but I was especially interested in the interchapters where she offers a ...more
Donna
May 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I adored this book. I picked it out of the new list at the library and when I first started reading I was uncertain. But, I quickly loved the style of the author's writing and felt like I was talking to an old friend reading it. I edited for a wine column for years (one a week) and I never learned as much about wine as I did from this book. After reading this book, I have a better appreciation for wine and absolutely a better understanding. I would love to read another book about the start of th ...more
Daphne
Dec 20, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a light, quick memoir-esque read about a young woman who avoided the family wine business, then was offered an opportunity from her uncle with a different temperament than the rest of the family. She discovered a love of wine and then wanted to start her own business. As a oenophile, there is the right amount of wine background and history that wouldn't bore someone who doesn't subscribe to Wine Spectator.

Laure Dugas book is about her search for herself and discovering terroir affects
...more
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
I wasn't expecting to enjoy this book so much; I thought it was going to be a book I liked mainly because it was about a person from France and her adventures with wine.

It turned out to be much more.

It was a fascinating story of a woman who grew up in a wine-growing family in France who really learned about wine during her time in America. The memoir was intriguing from start to finish, and I was delighted to learn a lot along the way about wine, too.
Caitlin
Mar 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I picked this book up at the Dollar Tree and was very pleasantly surprised. Laure takes you on her wine journey but also takes the time to explain wine lingo and shares lots of information. We follow her as she starts off being a wine sales rep essentially and then ends up with her own wine shop in France. This book speaks mostly of French wine and you will for sure want to take a trip to vineyards after reading. A perfect book to pair with a glass!
Jean
Aug 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, memoir-abg
I learned a lot about wine. I especially enjoyed that I learned as the author did while she developed her career as a wine aficionado. There was more to the book than wine and I also enjoyed her comments about the various places she visited in the U.S. and the friends and relationships she developed. She is a warm and out-going woman as well as independent.
Jana
Sep 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed hearing how the author, a Parisian, slowly developed her appreciation for French wine while living in New York City, and slowly built a life around this business. I liked how the end of every chapter had a short section about some aspect of French wine. It was interesting and informative.
Jessica
Jul 14, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: french
Laure's journey of learning to love wine and spend a few years in New York is an enjoyable one. There are ups and downs like any memoir, and the main "up" in Laure's life is getting to know wine and the business that surrounds it. At the beginning and (especially) the end of each chapter, she goes into detail on different aspects of wine. Often way too much detail for the casual wine drinker and I found myself skipping much of it, especially towards the end.
Jeanette Michalets
I enjoyed this memoir even more than I thought I would. It is a well-written tale of a young French woman who moves to New York to work in the wine distribution industry. I learned so much about the production of wine as well as acquired great tips on tasting and purchasing Fine French wines.


Lara
Sep 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this story. Usually I read memoirs of people who move from the U.S. to France but this was the opposite. I loved how she teaches the readers about wine throughout her story. This made the information relevant and kept it from being boring.
Evelyn
A sweet story of a woman who leaves Paris, falls in love with NYC and wine. I loved all the wine talk. Regions, smelling, selling wine. I love wine and don’t know much about it and the nerd inside of me loved all the info.
Elizabeth Croston
Nov 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
I really enjoyed this book! Slow start, listened on CD. However, it grew on me. I learned A LOT about wine and I want to buy the hard copy of the book to highlight and take notes. Very interesting.
Shelley
Jan 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gift from a good friend. Engaging memoir. Learned a little about wine.
Natasha
Jun 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I LOVED this memoir, it really inspired me to want to get into wine and French culture, great escape.
Jessica
Feb 25, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cooking-food
Laure Dugas grew up in a prominent wine family in France and was constantly surrounded by champagne and wine growing up. But, she never felt a connection with the family business until her uncle offers to send her to the US to work with his wines in the American market. Laure falls in love with New York City and enjoys traveling and seeing the US, but she still has a lot to learn about wine. While working for her uncle in the US, Laure finally comes to appreciate the varieties of wine and the pr ...more
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