Thursday, February 05, 2009

February Wine Book Club: A Book on Bubbles

After a somewhat bumpy start, the next book up for reading and review in the monthly Wine Book Club is Don and Petie Kladstrup's Champagne: How the World's Most Glamorous Wine Triumphed Over War and Hard Times. (Harper Collins, $13.95;, $5.50).

I picked this book for the month of February because more bubbly is consumed in the US between January 1 and February 15 than over the remaining course of the year.

I think it's insane the way we think sparkling wine is only to be had at special occasions. This book sheds light on how we got the idea in the first place, and explores the wine region that has produced this famous, coveted beverage through good times and bad.

Even though this book examines wine history, I think most people will find it a bit more to their taste than the last book. Sorry--I am a historian! So grab yourself some champagne and get your hands on a copy of this book from your local library or bookshop. Then all you have to do is read along and tell us what you think.

I'm also open to suggestions on what to read in upcoming months. We'll be reading Kermit Lynch's Adventures on the Wine Route in March and Jamie Goode's The Science of Wine in April. Possible books I've come up for the summer include Susan Sokol Blosser's At Home in the Vineyard, Ferenc Mate's A Vineyard in Tuscany, and Christy Campbell's The Botanist and the Vintner. Any thoughts? Additional titles?

If you post a review of the book on your blog, please do so by Wednesday, February 25 at 5 pm and send me the link via email or be leaving it in the comments section of this post. I promise I'll check back here for it. That way, I'll be able to include your reaction in my wrap-up post on Thursday, February 26. No blog? No worries. You can always leave your thoughts in the comments here.


Wine Club Insider said...

Sounds like a good read! I didn't get a chance to jump in on your book club selection last time, but I think I'd like to do so this time. I'm a big Champagne lover and would love to know a little bit more about its history and its background. I'd especially like to know more about how people wound up deciding that Champagne is only for special occasions.

I personally do not buy into that idea at all. I've found that Champagne goes wonderfully with any number of foods from a taste standpoint -- including so-called "casual" or snack foods like pizza, potato chips, and popcorn. It's also a great addition to a summer picnic or a neat way to kind of dress up a friendly gathering any time.

I've always kind of thought people were missing out by only buying a bottle on Valentine's Day or New Year's. I've managed to convert a few friends with strategically chosen wine club gifts that focus on various sparkling wines though -- including Champagne. Hopefully I'll find a chance to pick this book up soon and share my own thoughts.

David said...

I'm getting a jump on the Lynch book now, very enjoyable so far! Have you read the House of Mondavi? Finished that recently, that could be a good future title. (though that is as much a Grisham style drama as much as a wine book!)

Wilf G.K said...

Sounds like a fascinating, must read book. I really liked Don & Petie's other book "Wine & War".A gripping tale of France and its wines in World War II.