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 [...]

Video: tasting four pink sparkling wines

A short film of me tasting four pink Sparkling wines.

 

The wines:

Hush Heath Estate Balfour Brut Rosé 2008 England
(£34.99 Waitrose, Bibendumfinewine.com, Slurp.co.uk, Sparklingenglishwine.com)
Freixenet Cava Elyssia Rosé Pinot Noir NV Spain
(£14.99 Waitrose, Tesco)
Champagne Michel Arnould & Fils Grand Cru Brut Rosé NV France
(£25.40 Tanners (http://www.tanners-wines.co.uk, 01743 234500)
Graham Beck Brut Rosé NV South Africa
(£11.99 Slurp.co.uk 0208 [...]

Nice fizz from Laithwaites: Champagne and England

Two impressive sparkling wines from Laithwaites, both of which offer great value for money.

South Ridge English Quality Sparkling Wine 2008 England
12% alcohol. This is made by Ridgeview, one of the UK’s top 3 sparkling wine producers. It’s toasty and quite complex with intense citrus fruit characters as well as some spice and apple notes. There’s [...]

Exploring perception at the Champagne assembly

Today was the Champagne Mumm/Perrier Jouet Champagne Assembly, held in the fabulous surroundings of the Marriott Renaissance Hotel at St Pancras.

Peter Barham (in waistcoat) presenting his session

I attended three of the five sessions, and they were pretty thought provoking. Physicist and food science geek Professor Peter Barham led a session looking at the effect [...]

Funniest label of the year, so far

Caught a glimpse of this new wine label from D’Arenberg, for a celebratory sparkling wine they are releasing.

It’s very funny indeed. (For those who don’t get the joke, see this link.) I hope Pernod Ricard, who own Champagne Mumm, can see the funny side too.

The third New Year Great Blind Champagne Tasting video!

So here it is. The third installment of the Great Blind Champagne Tasting, which is – by tradition – held on new year’s eve. This years’ was bigger (16 wines) and longer than ever. But I hope you’ll find it gripping viewing.

Some real surprises here. There were three ringers: a top Cava, a famous English [...]

Christmas bottles

OK, a round-up of some of the memorable wines we’ve had this holiday. Pictured above: the Man O’War Chardonnay 2009, with its characteristic matchstick reduction adding some Burgundian-style complexity. This is a superb wine with real interest. And I’m pleased to say I spotted it when served blind!

Totally different, and thoroughly enjoyable. La Morandina Moscato [...]

The mechanics of the £20 Taittinger offer

This is the time of year when the supermarkets try t0 outdo each other with special offers on well-known fizz.

I was surprised when I popped into my local Asda and found Champagne Taittinger NV for sale at £20 per bottle, with a maximum of three bottles per customer. I’ve heard from others that Sainsbury’s and [...]

A lovely wine dinner focusing on Champagne and Bordeaux

Headed over to brother-in-law Beavington’s place for a joint birthday celebration (ours are 6 days apart, but he is a year older than me). We had some fabulous wines.

Champagne Philipponnat Clos des Goisses 2000
12% alcohol. From a south-facing, steeply sloped vineyard of 5.5 hecatres, this is a blend of 65% Pinot Noir and 35% Chardonnay, [...]