Tag Archives: Fine Wines

Do you know your Champagne?

29 Aug

Do you know your Champagne?

Fact One: It is good to know that Champagne is actually a sparkling wine and comes from specific grapes and is made in a specific region of France.  However, the reason that the sparkling wine changes its name to Champagne is due to the region of France from where it grows the region of Champagne to be exact. This means any other sparkling wine from around the world can never be renamed Champagne, because the region of France named Champagne has exclusivity rights to its name.

Fact Two: The bubbles that come from within the glass of champagne are created in the second fermentation process, the addition of sugar and yeast help create a chemical reaction which produces carbon dioxide, these bubbles  are trapped in the liquid inside the bottle until popped or poured.

Fact Three: Sparkling wines and Champagnes are usually categorized, demi sec, brut, extra brut, they are categorized depending the amount of sugar that is used in the fermentation process.

Fact Four: Although the region of Champagne in France has exclusivity to the naming rights of Champagne, other countries including, Australia, New Zealand and Italy can produce very high quality sparkling wines, unable to use the iconic Champagne name, they tend to be less costly.

Fact Five: Hollywood actress Marilyn Monroe allegedly took a champagne bath which took her 350 bottles to fill the actual tub.

Fact Six: Frederick the Great of Prussia used to drink an unusual concoction of Coffee mixed with Champagne to calm his nerves!

Fact Seven: The reason that you hear the famous pop when the champagne is opened is down to the tremendous pressure that is captured in the bottle through the carbon dioxide gases and bubbles building up.

Fact Eight: The most expensive champagne is available and on sale at Moscow’s Ritz Carlton Hotel. The bottle retails for around $275,000. These bottles are only sold to the wealthy guests that are staying at the hotel


Champagne Direct, what’s the best celebration bubbly?

21 Aug

Champagne Direct, what’s the best celebration bubbly?

We are nearly into the final quarter of the year; summer is fighting its last days as the colder weather starts to take over. As Christmas approaches, at least we can decide on what champagne we can crack open and drink to toast the new year of 2014!


The various quality champagnes and sparkling wines that are available on the market today are so good, that nowadays you can find some great tasting wines at just about any price.

It’s important though not just to limit these great tasting sparkling wines to only the New Year; they can also be a great compliment with selected dishes and accompany party foods very well too.

Let’s take a look at a couple of favourites and how the differ from each other in appearance, taste and price.

Veuve Clicquot Brut “Yellow Label” — this is a firm favourite and a choice of many years after year. This French favourite offers aromatic bursts apples and pears with a clear taste of fresh baked bread, and toast. This classic will accompany most foods and retails for around $50 – $60 a bottle.

• Piper-Heidsieck Brut — this favourite too has a lively aroma of peach, apple and citrus. It also has a great taste of toast and fresh baked bread; it accompanies poultry well including chicken and turkey. This brand can be found retailing at $30-$40.

• Bollinger, “Special Cuvee” Brut — this is officially a favourite of Her Majesty the Queen of England, that’s why it has her official stamp on the label, it is also the fictional spy character James Bond’s favourite wine. Its high quality and has loads of flavours and boasts of apple, honey with a hint of smoke. It accompanies most foods well, and can stand up well on its own when used for celebrating. You would be looking at paying around $50 to $80 depending where you are purchasing it from.

Roederer Estate Anderson Valley Brut — this sparkling wine originates from California, and probably one, if not the best American sparkling wines around today. It has lively aromas of cinnamon, apples and baked bread, it bold in taste and rich in style and should cost you around $20-$25 again depending on where it is purchased.

But don’t just limit these to New Year’s and spraying bubbles on the dance floor. These wines are great with the food at the party or even with your holiday dinners.

Do you let the aroma from Champagne excite your senses before tasting?

20 Aug

Everyone knows that the way we experience the world is through the five senses. In order to understand something truly, it needs either tasted, smelled, touched, heard, or seen. The amazing thing about the five senses is the way experiences imprints on a person’s mind.

One sip of specific champagne brand, or the scent of a champagne, could instantly bring a person back to their wedding day, or the New Year’s Eve event that changed their life. Whatever the memory brought forth by the taste and scent, these two senses play a big role in recalling it forward.

Research, however, suggests the scent of something plays the larger role in memory recall, or the final decision as to whether it will taste good or bad. For instance, if a person were to take a sip of their favourite drink, whilst plugging their nose, the taste of the drink disappears.

It is the olfactory sense that produces the results of certain tastes. It is the nose and its ability to notice scents that tells the brain whether a person is about to eat or drink something wrong. Case in point, the smell of milk or an egg turned, produces a rotten smell that tells the brain, to tell the person about to eat or drink it, to set it down and throw it in the bin.

This is why it is proper to smell the champagne before tasting it. When a review is written about champagne, it will always include the phrase…”on the nose,” or something to that effect. Smelling the champagne or wine for that matter helps the person’s brain categorize the smells to make certain it is not spoilt, but it also adds to the experience of the taste, especially when it smells delicious.

Here is one excellent example of a champagne review (please note that Champagne Direct has made it a priority to post reviews in the description portion of all the products to help with purchase choice):

Product: Moet & Chandon Rose £24.95, “On the nose the aromas are intense and irresistible, a lively bouquet of fresh red summer berries with floral nuances and a light peppery touch. The palate is flamboyant and combines intensity and roundness: fleshy and juicy at first, then firm, with a subtle herbal finish.”

In summary, enjoy a glass of champagne better by first letting the bouquet of aromas awaken your senses before enjoying and treasuring the taste of that first sip.