Tag: Charles Heidsieck

Aug 08 2011

The Benefits of Decanting Champagne!

Posted on August 08, 2011 | By merrill@cellarit.com

Decant Champagne? Yes, it’s becoming popular!

According to Tom Stevenson, the Decanter World Wine Awards Regional Chair for Champagne, Parisian sommeliers  first started decanting demi-sec Champagne in order to enhance its sweetness by reducing the tactile impression of effervescence. Now the practice has spread across the globe and includes almost every type, style and age of Champagne! (Ask Decanter, Decanter September 2011).

Decanting can help tame the most aggressive fizz and soften the mousse of young, non-vintage Champagne. Aerating the wine also helps to release subtle aromas not always apparent in the first glass when the Champagne is directly poured from the bottle. Interestingly, renowned Champagne house Charles Heidsieck also advocates serving Champagne in white wine glasses instead of the more traditional slender flutes, as the wider surface area of the white wine glass enhances the aromatics. (Charles Heidsieck wants to burst your bubble – decanting Champagne, Dr Vino, 23 October 2009).

Typically the prized fine beading and soft mousse of fine Champagne are the result of extended times on lees and post-disgorgement ageing in the bottle – a practice normally reserved for only the best vintage Champagnes.

But according to Stevenson, even vintage Champagnes can be improved by decanting. He offers the following fun, if expensive, experiment:

Buy Dom Pérignon off the shelf and try it side-side with a bottle of the same vintage bought one or two years earlier and you will see that advantage that time brings in softening the mousse. Decant another bottle bought off the self and the result is somewhat between the two.

A couple of years ago, Riedel, in association with Charles Heidsieck, released a decanter specifically designed for decanting Champagne. Shaped like a lyre, it aerates the wine to release the aromas but preserves the bubbles. Ideally the Champagne … Read the rest

Aug 08 2011

Bollinger: A Remarkable Champagne for almost all occasions!

Posted on August 08, 2011 | By merrill@cellarit.com

Bollinger is the only Champagne that can compete with Dom Perignon for star billing in a James Bond film.  To date, it has appeared in five films compared to Dom Perignon’s seven!

No doubt, the consummate marketer Lily Bollinger, who up until her death in 1977 tirelessy travelled the world promoting the brand, would be pleased that her Champagne is a favourite of one of the world’s most sophisticated and stylish spies!

Of course, Lily herself didn’t shy away from the limelight. She is perhaps most famous for the following oft-repeated quote about when to drink Champagne: “I drink it when I’m happy and when I’m sad. Sometimes I drink it when I’m alone. When I have company I consider it obligatory. I trifle with it if I’m not hungry and drink it when I am. Otherwise, I never touch it—unless I’m thirsty.” (Lily Bollinger, 17 October 1961, Daily Mail, The Wine Doctor).

But as Chris Kissack of the Wine Doctor notes, Lily’s marketing prowess was just one of her many skills: “She was a hard taskmaster, personally directing operations in both vineyard and cave, everything from harvest and selection through to fermentation and blending. It is perhaps not surprising that much of Bollinger’s success today is traced back to her exacting methods.” (Bollinger, The Wine Doctor).

Bollinger was founded in 1829 by German businessman Joseph Jacob Placide Bollinger, who partnered with Athanase Hennequin de Villermont and Paul Renaudin. The Germans were huge fans of Champagne in the early 19th century and other famous German nationals, including Johann-Josef Krug and Charles Heidsieck, also founded their own great Champagne Houses during this period.

The individualistic style of Bollinger Champagne is partly due to the fact that it is one of the few Houses to ferment all of … Read the rest