Champagne – a Secret History by Robert Walters »

Media release
Subscribe to
<i>Champagne, a Secret History</i> by Robert Walters

Champagne, a Secret History by Robert Walters [©Allen & Unwin ]


Robert Walter shatters old myths and reveals new truths with verve and wit, making Champagne – the region and the wine – as intriguing, beautiful and magical as ever.

In Champagne: A Secret History, Robert Walters takes us on a journey, revealing the clandestine history of the region and dispelling many of the myths that persist about the world's most celebrated wine style. Controversial and ground-breaking, this book will change the way you think about Champagne.

Myth: the bigger the bubbles, the better

Busted: Bigger isn't always better – well, when it comes to Champagne bubbles anyway. When you're enjoying a glass of Champagne and notice streams of tiny bubbles rising to the surface, that's a good sign! Smaller bubbles means more bubbles per glass collecting and carrying the flavour to the surface, resulting in a heightened and more complex aromatic experience for your senses.

Myth: Champagne should be served ice cold

Busted: Chilled, yes, but hold the ice bucket. Serving a quality Champagne too cold mutes both the flavour and aroma, two of the most delightful aspects of any luxury Champagne. So, when you pull a bottle out of the fridge, just leave it as is – allowing the Champagne to stand at room temperature will do wonders when it comes time for sipping.

Myth: you must drink Champagne out of flutes

Busted: We're sorry to burst your bubble flute enthusiasts, but experts say that although flutes do retain the bubbles better than a coupe, the narrow opening concentrates the levels of CO2 in Champagne, forcing out an ultra-explosion of bubbles that ultimately distort the taste and aroma.

The solution? Get the most oomph (both in terms of bubbles and flavour) out of a high-end Champagne by serving it in a classic wine glass. However, a flute is still a good option for standard sparkling wines.

And there's a whole lot more in this secret history…

The book is beautifully embellished with a gold foil cover and flaps and matched with bottle of Champagne makes the perfect gift.

What the critics say

'A brilliant and appealing book. The story it tells is fascinating and compelling, leaving me thirsty to try some of the wines that are its subject' - Tim James, Wine Magazine

'It is well written and researched, a pleasure to read and Walters argues his case persuasively. Most importantly, at the same time as it engages in some hand-wringing about the way things are, it communicates a joy and enthusiasm for good Champagne. I whole-heartedly recommend it.' Huon Hooke, wine critic.

‘The self-importance conveyed by those who market big-name and prestige Champagne is occasionally echoed by those who pass opinion on it. No wine is promoted more pretentiously or more mythologically than Champagne. What’s needed to write well about Champagne, therefore, is a laconic wit, a probing intelligence and an outsider’s innate scepticism. Rob Walters possesses all of these qualities. He’s used them to write the most refreshing, pretension-pricking, myth-busting and amusingly unfrothy book on the subject I’ve read.’ – Andrew Jefford

About the author

Robert Walters is a wine merchant, vineyard owner and writer with over twenty-five years of experience in the wine trade. His obsessive search for great grower wines has led him to work closely with many important producers in Europe, Australia and New Zealand, as well as many of Champagne's finest artisans.

Over the years he has also found the time to write for publications such as The World of Fine Wine, and it was a series of these articles - on grower Champagnes – that eventually led to this ground-breaking book. He lives in Melbourne with his partner and two young children.

Champagne  A Secret History by Robert Walters is published by Allen and Unwin (Imprint; Sydney, NSW; Nov 2017; pb; 352pp RRP A$32.99). It is available at good bookshops and directly from the publisher »

 It can also be purchased online via »

Our Recommendations

To see our recommendations, ratings and reviews you must be a logged-in subscriber.

To subscribe please enter your email address in the "Subscribe Now - it's Free" box on the right and click the "Join" button, or fill in this form >

December 08th, 2017
Subscribe today - it's free
Subscribe Button

Subscribe now - for news and reviews, our newsletter (optional), to join our forums, and more.

Enter your email address and click the Subscribe button. We respect your privacy.

Log in

Enter your username...

Enter your password...

Log In Button

Forgotten your password?


Kerry's corner - your free benefits