Pug puppies and two good Champagnes

Nipped over to my sister Hester’s last night to see their new pug puppies. They already have an adult pug, and these new recruits take the pug quotient in the Beavington household to 3. And twin sister Anne has taken another pug from the litter.

They are incredibly cute, although labradoodles still rock more than pugs [...]

Moet Grand Vintage 2004

Liked this. Moet make a lot of Champagne, and when you review the wines from a big producer, there are two dangers. The first is to be prejudiced against them because they are big. The second is to be too soft on them: you would like the big players to be doing good work because it’s [...]

A remarkable lunch at the Armourers' Hall

Today was the launch of the Pol Roger Blanc de Blancs 2002, held at the fantastic Armourers’ Hall in the City of London. Aside from the fact that we were tasting 7 vintages of this brilliantly consistent, pure and complex Champagne, one of the draws was that Pol Roger had lured star chef Brett Graham [...]

Celebrating the Wine Blog Awards with Taittinger Comtes 2000

I was thrilled to find out today that I won an award. I was shortlisted in the ‘Best Overall Wine Blog’ category in the Wine Blog Awards, and the results were announced at the Wine Bloggers Conference in Portland yesterday evening: amazingly, I won.

So to celebrate, I cracked open a bottle of Champagne. Taittinger Comtes [...]

Video: tasting Champagne - Roederer NV compared with Lanson NV

Haven’t done one of these in a while: here I am on camera, tasting two non vintage Champagnes. Roederer and Lanson.

Two Champagnes to celebrate the premiership win

I was born in the season when Manchester City last won the league. We’re talking football here (association football, or soccer, for those outside Europe).

It was called the 1st Division then. Since it has been renamed the Premiership. I’ve always been a City fan. I was born in Manchester and my family background is blue (City [...]

Clos des Goisses, Selosse and Krug

Cracking dinner last night over at my sister and brother-in-law’s pad. We decided we’d open some nice bottles, and so we began with some fizz. Initially, we’d planned on two bottles to start (between four; we had some decent Bordeaux to follow), but we got into the swing of things and b-in-law William brought out [...]

Champagne, City and the last day of the Challenge

Spent the day at Lord’s today, for the final day of the International Wine Challenge. Just a small band of 12 tasters, deciding on the final trophies and value awards. Remarkably, the sun was out and the home of cricket was looking its normal lovely self. I’ve enjoyed the last couple of weeks a good [...]

How to manage a Champagne brand, some thoughts

I’ve been thinking a bit about wine branding recently, and specifically about Champagne brands.

The large Champagne houses are skilled brand managers. It has taken a lot of hard work to get Champagne positioned the way it is now, occupying an elevated space in the wine world, and much of the work has been done by [...]

Champagne Robert Moncuit Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru NV

This is one of several wines I was recently sent by Lot18, which is a new (to the UK; it has been going for a couple of years in the USA) wine retailer specializing in selling small lots of wines to a member-only audience. I’ve not seen enough of Lot18′s offers to comment on whether [...]