After taking a Champagne tour in France, one of the things I regretted most was not educating myself more about the drink before going. This is a guide to the best Champagne books out there. It will include guides and books about Champagne as well as informative resources about the Champagne region of France.
Best Champagne Books: Guides and Books about Champagne (France)
France’s Champagne region has long been revered as one of the best places to visit in northern France. The area has a lengthy and impressive history associated with this incredible sparkling wine. The temperate climate throughout the valleys and hills have proved perfect for growing conditions for the world’s most premier grapes.
Along with the ideal growing temperatures, the chalky landscape was easily carved out to make impressive cellars where temperatures remained cool even throughout the hotter summers allowing producers to store and age their wine in the perfect environment.
To fully immerse yourself in the region, it is best to study up on all things Champagne- from the ways of growing and the history of the region to yearly guides of the best Champagne houses.
This article will take you through ten of the best Champagne books to guide you through your trip to France’s fantastic and beautiful Champagne region.
The Essential Guide to the Wines, Producers, and Terroirs of the Iconic Region by Peter Liem
Peter Liem’s essential guide to all things Champagne is one of the most informative books you can purchase about the region. His in-depth knowledge about the drink and region as a whole provides a fantastic backdrop to the world of Champagne. The book is great for those who are newer to Champagne in addition to long-standing Champagne lovers, providing an enthralling and captivating read.
The special presentation box set also comes with a fantastic collection of historical maps which really brings the history of the region alive. One of the most interesting things about this Champagne book is that even though it looks into the history of the region, there is a strong focus on Champagne’s place in the 21st-century.
But First, Champagne: A Modern Guide to the World’s Favorite Wine by David White
The drinks industry is one of the most fast-paced sectors in the world with consumers’ needs and tastes changing constantly. David White and CO’s modern guide to Champagne is a great way to learn about this tantalizing drink. It takes a look at the history of Champagne and the production methods along with an in-depth look into the smaller artisanal houses where the grape growers have taken to producing their own small-batch wines.
These new, smaller houses have revitalized the Champagne industry presently and taken away some of the stuffiness associated with the larger, more prestigious houses. This book about Champagne provides an interesting read to those who are new to Champagne as well as long-standing enthusiasts. It is a great book to read before you take a Champagne tour in Reims or from Paris.
Guide VERON des Champagnes 2020 by Michel Veron
Guide Veron des Champagnes 2020 is the latest edition of this fantastic book that looks into the Champagne growers and producers of the region. The interesting thing about this guide is that the authors have purposely refused to use any rating systems in order to ensure that wine producers are not overlooked due to arbitrary ratings that do not reflect the work and effort that goes into the production of this fantastic drink.
The guide will help you prepare for your visit to the region and select the houses you wish to visit or provide a bit more background to those that you might visit on your Paris Champagne tour or wherever it may go from. The Champagne guide has been produced for the last 10 years and is one of the most reputable guides on the market.
A Scent of Champagne: 8,000 Champagnes Tested and Rated by Richard Juhlin
If you are looking for a book that takes a more objective view of Champagnes available in the region, Richard Juhlin’s A Scent of Champagne is one of the best resources in the world. The renowned taster and all-round Champagne expert has rated and ranked 8000 different Champagnes.
Along with an incredible catalog of Champagnes, the book provides information on how to taste bubbly and organize your own tasting sessions with the Champagnes you bring back from the region. The author also provides context and his own life experiences into the book making it an enjoyable read in your spare time too.
The Ultimate Guide to Champagne by Liz Palmer
Liz Palmer’s The Ultimate Guide to Champagne is one of the best books available for those looking to learn everything about the world of Champagne. A perfect accessory for a beginner, it takes you through the history and makings of Champagne, from how to shop for it to how to store it. The book’s exquisite detail and the clear in-depth knowledge possessed by the author is easily transferred from writer to reader.
Hailing from Canada, the author has spent plenty of time traveling throughout the region getting to know the area in great detail that you would easily believe she spent her whole life living and working there.
The Champagne Guide 2018-2019: The Definitive Guide to Champagne by Tyson Stelzer
If you are an avid traveler to France’s Champagne region, then Tyson Stelzer’s yearly Champagne guide is one of the best resources available to you. The book covers around 100 different Champagnes from small to larger producers along with stunning pictures to help you recognize the bottles while you are hunting down the wines.
The book about Champagne is a little more detailed-oriented and aimed at those with a good level of basic knowledge. The Champagne book is updated yearly, although if you have a slightly outdated version it will still be fairly relevant for a few years after being printed.
Champagne: How the World’s Most Glamorous Wine Triumphed Over War and Hard Times by Don Kladstrup
France’s Champagne region has a long and amazing history. Associated with high class and wealth, the area is one of the most stand-out regions to visit in the country. However, the Champagne region has suffered over the years and has been at the center of wars and various other struggles.
Champagne: How the World’s Most Glamorous Wine Triumphed Over War and Hard Times is an informative book that covers the history of this region and details how Champagne managed to become the world’s most revered and celebrated beverage. Written by two excellent journalists, it is well thought out and incredibly informative.
The Champagne book will provide you with an excellent insight into the region’s past which is often not covered on tours.
Fodor’s Essential France (Full-color Travel Guide)
Although this guide book covers the entirety of France, Fodor’s make some of the most informative guidebooks out there and the section on the Champagne region is detailed and complete.
Written by locals and those who are in the know, the book contains plenty of hidden gems and top spots which makes it the perfect accompaniment to your travels in the area. Fodor’s regularly updates their books to ensure that the information and places are correct. Aram and I actually just finished writing the Essential Norway guide… so we definitely are big fans of their guidebooks!
101 Champagnes and other Sparkling Wines: To Try Before You Die by Davy Zyw
This is more of a fun book for those who like to checklists and tick boxes. The 101 Champagnes and other Sparkling Wines: To Try Before You Die is an informative book of some of the best drinks in the world, although I must add it does cover other countries so you will not be able to tick all 101 off in one trip to the Champagne region.
Even though this book is more for fun and those who are new to the Champagne scene, it is still crammed full of detail and is a great way to introduce you to some of the more well-known brands.
Champagne Journal by Howard Burman
I’ll admit this is not technically a book but the Champagne Journal is a great place to write down your tasting notes on the different Champagnes you try in the region. The hard backed book includes plenty of useful notes and sections so you can really detail your tasting experience.
Aesthetically, the book is elegant and once filled in will provide a nice memento and memory your time in the region. As the book comes with definitions and some side notes, it is perfect for those of different knowledge and experience levels.
There are so many great books to pick up before you make a trip to the Champagne region of France or even just to read for your own knowledge. I definitely recommend educating yourself before you book your trip there- it was one of the biggest mistakes I made during my Champagne tour.
Click here if you’re booking a trip to Champagne country and are looking for things to do in Reims.