Press for Champagne

A Guide to Enjoying the World's Greatest Sparkling Wine

Non-Fiction - Cooking/Food
182 Pages
Reviewed on 03/19/2022
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Diana Lopez for Readers' Favorite

Press for Champagne is a very special book. Christopher S. Ruhland researched a complicated subject and explained it simply. First, he tells us about his interest in the topic, then he tells us about the history of champagne in a very entertaining way. The description is amazing. Later, when we already have a clear context, the author explains the process and characteristics of champagne. But that is only the beginning of the book. The more we read the more we learn. Christopher S. Ruhland gives explanations for all audiences, and there are even descriptions of French terms to understand the bottle labels. With the information that the author gives us, we can more easily choose champagne according to our tastes. Press for Champagne is a book that everyone should read.

I loved how Press for Champagne explains some myths and corrects information because many ideas about champagne are confused. The narration is very entertaining. Christopher S. Ruhland speaks to us from his experience. Reading this book feels like having a conversation with a man who knows what he's talking about. The amount of information is amazing. I liked how the author expresses all his arguments. This book is a very useful guide because it teaches us to see champagne from a different perspective. Champagne doesn't have to be just for celebrations; champagne is a drink made to be appreciated. The important thing is to have a good time with champagne if we have a chance. Christopher S. Ruhland enjoyed writing this book, and that enjoyment comes through in every word of it.

Jamie Michele

Press for Champagne: A Guide to Enjoying the World's Greatest Sparkling Wine by Christopher S. Ruhland is a primer for those who would like to learn more about the titular drink. The book begins with what Champagne actually is and, perhaps more importantly, what it is not. The reality of Champagne being colloquially known to Americans as being any sparkling wine is unfortunate. In many worldwide branding regulations, it is worse than unfortunate; it is illegal. In Europe, people know the difference between Prosecco and Champagne but in America, this is not so. Ruhland then moves into a breakdown of Champagne components with chapters like Playing with Grapes and some of the grape varieties, including Choices and Consequences with an expansion of stylistic differences, and A Question of Place with its focus on the “distinct winegrowing areas within Champagne.” The book wraps up with a tidy summary and perhaps the best advice of all: “...drink it joyfully.”

I am the granddaughter of a small batch winemaker on a tiny plot of land in Sebastopol, California, and my summers spent in Sonoma, running fingers along vines are among the greatest of childhood memories. The wines were not sold and were for family only, making them even dearer to me. While I have a firm understanding of wine, Champagne has always been a bit elusive and Press for Champagne is the guide I would love to have long ago. I am grateful to have it now. I love the author's no-holds-barred approach and conversational nature. It is unpretentious while still intelligent, cleanly written, and easily understood. The most enlightening chapter to me included a section dedicated to vintage year labeling of Champagne, which I never fully understood since the years shown on wine labels are absolutely everywhere, but rarely on Champagne. There is so much I did not know, and what a treat it is to have Ruhland around to teach us all about this exceptionally special wine. Highly recommended.

Astrid Iustulin

Champagne is the most celebrated sparkling wine in the world and is usually associated with cheerfulness and lightheartedness. If you are already a champagne lover or need a guide to get started, Press for Champagne by Christopher S. Ruhland is the right book to find new information about your favorite sparkling wine. Ruhland will make it clear what champagne is (and what it is not), explain the production process, describe different champagne types, and also give you tips on how to serve it to yourself and your guests. In addition, he will give you excellent arguments as to why you should not limit yourself to drinking champagne only on certain occasions, such as celebrations. Are you ready to broaden your horizons?

Press for Champagne is a book for champagne drinkers who are curious and open-minded. I liked that this guide helps readers explore and understand a world that could be confusing and gives them the tools to choose their favorite champagne. I must say that Ruhland has succeeded very well in this intent, and each chapter of the book is clear and exhaustive. Moreover, he writes in a lively and pleasant style that is perfect for a topic like this. Sometimes, some of his considerations made me smile; the reading was undoubtedly as delightful as a glass of champagne. In short, if you are looking for a book that guides you in this world with intelligence and joy, Press for Champagne is the right companion to learn more about this amazing sparkling wine.