Epstein has been exploring and writing about food since the 1980s, and her experience shows. She deftly covers Champagne from its origins to present-day iconic status in crisp matter-of-fact prose. You won’t catch her passing off romantic wine-industry hooey.
Epstein also weaves in coverage of other sparking wines—Asti, Prosecco, Cava, and more. Champagne: A Global History (Reaktion, 2011) has lovely illustrations, along with buying, storage, and serving advice, and cocktail recipes. It can be read in four to eight hours, after which the reader might feel the itch to heard to the wine store to shop for some bottles of bubbly.