Thursday, December 3, 2015


A Scent of Champagne, by Richard Juhlin, is by far the greatest reference book on the topic. Juhlin is the world’s foremost Champagne expert and has compiled close to 10,000 tasting notes, 8,000 of which are included in this seventh of his works. (Skyhorse Publishing, Hardcover, 396 pages, 2013, US $75). He is gifted with a photographic scent memory, but more than that, is so deeply passionate about the chalky hills of Champagne and its sensuous wines that his book is truly addictive.

As a long-time student of wine with at least seven dog-eared editions of the Sotheby’s Encyclopedia of Wine by Tom Stevenson, I of course had to add his Christie’s World Encyclopedia of Champagne & Sparkling Wine. The book has been thoroughly updated and expanded by Tom as well as new co-author Essi Avellan MW (Sterling Epicure, Hardcover, 528 pages, 2014, US $40).
I love the female perspective and in-depth producer profiles brought by Master of Wine Serena Sutcliffe, in her Champagne, The History and Character of the World’s Most Celebrated Wine (Mitchell Beazley Publishers Hardcover, 223 pages, 1998, US $29.95).

An excellent online source of up to the minute information is Peter Liem’s Champagne Guide, Peter lives in the region, writes in English, and has the kind of firsthand knowledge only possible with such close and frequent contact.

Finally, for a quick tutorial, Champagne Bureau USA reports that ComitĂ© Champagne has launched an e-learning program called Champagne Campus, which consists of an online resource hub and a mobile app quiz. Visit the website at to learn about the region and its wines or download the app at Apple Store or Google Play to access a fun quiz game about Champagne.

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