Readers of a certain vintage or literary bent may recognise author Bernard Pivot from his appearances on highbrow TV shows in France. He is said to have inspired Inside The Actor’s Studio and, intriguingly, he also created the world spelling championships – so presumably the sub-editor for his superb wine miscellany had an easy job of it…

But why a wine book? From the off, Pivot is brilliantly opaque about his credentials – stating that he spent his childhood among the Beaujolais vines and has drunk his fair share of wine since.

Yet Pivot’s engaging approach to wine trivia (replete with great archive photos and illustrations) plus his knowledgeable insights into the top wine regions of France, belie this modest self-appraisal.

If you, or anyone you know, are considered a bon vivant or oenophile (alternatively, even if you have a less than perfectly refined palate), this fabulous book is an ideal coffee table companion.

French Wine: An Illustrated Miscellany, by Bernard Pivot. Published by Flammarion, 2014.

This book, along with many other fine titles, is available at the France Today bookstore

From France Today magazine