BEHIND THE BUBBLY
By Richard Juhlin
by Nancy Huang
lovers are savvy enough to understand the prestige behind such
names as Dom Pérignon, Rémy Krug and Louis Roederer,
there are few that realize just how extensive and complex the
world of Champagne is. Drinking the bubbly beverage is easy enough,
but choosing a good bottle is an entirely different story, with
many questions to consider. For example, what is the difference
between a cuvée and a brut? Do older vintage years mean
better Champagne? Should one buy a bottle based on its price and
label? And finally, which Champagne tastes the best?
Champagne expert Richard Juhlin answers these important questions
and more in his latest book, 4000 Champagnes, a comprehensive
384-page guide. Like Juhlin’s previous work, 2000 Champagnes,
the first half of the book explains the popular beverage, including
its history, methodology, food matches, labels, famous Champagnes
and the famous people who drank them.
second half of this book serves as a reference guide featuring
extensive tasting notes for 4000 Champagnes, all tasted
by Juhlin, world record holder for most Champagnes tasted. The
guide contains detailed statistics of major Champagne houses followed
by ratings and descriptions of each of the wines tasted there.
Also included are a glossary, several “Best Champagne”
lists and contact information for winemakers and producers. Unfortunately,
the book is clumsily organized and lacks a much-needed index—surprising
for what is supposed to be a reference guide.
4000 Champagnes is more of a coffee table decoration
than a must-have bestseller, but the tasting notes alone are worth
the hefty $60 price. Juhlin’s guide is unprecedented in
scope of information, and provided you agree with his palate,
his notes will help you to pick Champagne like a pro.
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