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So you think you know champagne? Taste again

"The Scent of Champagne" is the expert's dictionary
"The Scent of Champagne" is the expert's dictionary
Julia Hollister

In a new book –“A Scent of Champagne” – author Richard Juhlin takes the reader on an incredible journey through 8,500 French champagnes.

This is an outstanding treasure with superior writing and gorgeous photos. For those who have not been to France and do not understand the delicate process of crafting champagne, this book is an eye opener.

“I tasted champagne a few times as a kid and loved it from the start,” the author said. “But the magic day that turned my life around was at the age of 24. I was 51 when I tasted my 8,500th glass.”

Juhlin warns against looking for bargain basement bargains. “Avoid the cheapest champagnes,” he said. “They are crude with earthly flavors and no not provide value for the money.”

The highest number of glasses he sampled in a day was 150 and he admits and it worked fine, taste wise. However, he said it is awfully difficult to concentrate and to find the proper words to describe the taste.

Does he ever tire of drinking champagne? “Many times,” he said. “But a few days later I start to dream about a nice glass of champagne again.”

The author agrees with most star chefs when he says champagne is the best food wine in the world as long as you avoid sweet and hot ingredients.

A Scent of Champagne” ($75) is the perfect Valentine gift for connoisseurs of the bubbly or newbies that thirst for an in depth analysis, fascinating history, glorious photos and esoteric ratings.

Juhlin also weaves in some French history, including Napoleon Bonaparte’s thirst for the bubbly. “Napoleon always took a detour past Champagne before all major battles to replenish the supply of the sparkling beverage. Only on one occasion did he not – on the way to Waterloo. He said, ‘In victory, you deserve champagne; in loss, you need it.’”

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