Why is the national daily, The Australian, recommending luxury French Champagnes? This story appeared on the 29th December, ‘When it comes to the bubbly, the French do it right. So put diplomatic scuffles aside and end 2021 on a high note with a bottle from this list’, by the wine writer Nick Ryan. The article reviewed ten Champagnes with a total purchase price of $2200.
Champagnes and sparkling wines are popular and since they cover a wide price range they are worth discussing. Champagnes are at the expensive end though readers would find interest in topics like:
-are they worth the money,
-how they rate against other sparkling wines,
-compare them to the progress being made in Australia like the news that an Arras Vintage (Tasmania) recently received a score of 99/100,
-discuss the influence of the local chapter of the Le Comité Interprofessionnel du vin de Champagne (CIVC) among journalists, bloggers, influencers, wine judges, and sommeliers,
– and consideration of the use of samples.
Champagne is an interesting wine as its invention is quite recent. Retaining gas in the bottle saved the day for Champagne as the switch from selling wines made from unripe wines to a different pleasure was a remarkable piece of ingenuity. Champagne then is a manufactured product created less by the climate ripening bunches of grapes than about human intervention. Many drinkers find the taste to their liking, and this is just as well as another piece of French ingenuity is the marketing and selling of the 30 million cases each vintage when 80% are indifferent.
The UK price fighting grocers Lidl and Aldi take delight when their house brand Champagnes are judged the best over similar offerings from the posh grocers like Waitrose and Selfridges. At times they are judged to be better than the non-vintage Champagnes from houses like Moet and Chandon and Lanson. Perhaps Mr Ryan in a masked tasting would also find it is not easy to rate differences in the wines.
I also had difficulty with the introduction and how it related to the wine reviews; ‘The trade-off for that universal gift is the simultaneous publishing of such staggering rubbish that you assume it was only written after the author ran out of windows to lick and grew tired of sculpting busts of dead monarchs from their own filth’.
I do not understand the reason for this article with its strange tasting notes and where the editor saw a benefit for readers, I found a puzzle.
Picture: Champagne label dating to the time of the great wine promoter Champagne Charlie C1860.