I've just finished reading Champagne, by Don and Petie Kladstrup (Harper Perennial, 2006). The book is subtitled How the World's Most Glamorous Wine Triumphed over War and Hard Times. The book, as the subtitle suggests, is a brief look at the vicissitudes the Champagne region has suffered over the years--from repeated military invasions to the invasion of phylloxera (the deadly root louse that nearly wiped out all of France's wine production in the late-1800s). This breezy history of the region, the wine, and the people who have made Champagne (especially figures that have had an important influence on its history--including Attila the Hun, Veuve Clicquot, Dom Pérignon, Louis IV, and Napoleon) is an easy page-turner, but entertaining and informative nevertheless. Good light reading for a rainy afternoon. By the same authors as Wine and War.