4 out of 4 stars
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Have you ever wondered what the story behind a bottle of Champagne is? Or what is the viticultural process of the bubbly until it reaches your flute? Michael Amon is a Certified Sommelier with the Guild of Master Sommeliers who dishes up an acidulous and frothy collection of stories, The Champagne Tales.
This fictional book is akin to a wine cellar in which the author has bottled ten plots with a completely different texture, colour, and flavour. With irresistible labels, such as The Rarest Bottle, Aurora Borealis Rising, or The Treasure of House LeClerc, I was ready to have a taste from these tale-bottles. With gentle moves, I applied the opening ritual that releases some tangy and fruity themes. From the nightlife of drug dealers to the events of the millionaire celebrities, I enjoyed the range of spicy, playful, and elegant aroma of these smooth tales. For those who have an aversion to the ghetto's language, the colourful slang could provoke dissension. Surrounded by some of the most exceptional Champagnes (Veuve Clicquot, Bollinger, or Dom Perignon), I was fascinated and amused by the wine pairings with the molecular gastronomy. I had to keep a food dictionary nearby, to translate all the posh menus, but this to-and-fro movement was more cultural than disconcerting.
Each tale has a unique scenario completed by effervescent and spectacular characters. The Riddle was another radiant design that captured my attention. Its composition familiarized me with the term of remuage which touched me with the feeling of affinity and appreciation. On the opposite end of the traditional winemaker, the modern fragrance of a social-media icon had me laughing loudly. The natural and realistic dialogue highlights the distinct personality of the involved figures, consequently generating intense scenes. The gay conversion therapy had such a powerful resonance that I had to cool myself a bit after reading the homosexual scene. For Christian readers, this section might not be the most ideal read. However, the all-embracing bouquet of stories was covered in mystery, leaving me a surprising aftertaste at the end of every story.
The substance of Michael Amon's writing style is limpid and fluid. His work seems professionally edited, as I only found two errors with an accidental aspect - a misspelling and a duplicate word. Therefore, I am pleased to rate The Champagne Tales with 4 out of 4 stars. I recommend the book to the mature audience who is passionate about the sparkling wine, but also to those who enjoy stories with original, erratic, and entertaining elements.
Warning: the consumption of this reading may cause laughter, contrasting emotions, or even a state of reflection.
The Champagne Tales
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