Tag: champagne

Interview with Sommelière Isabelle Brunet

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“…every wine lover can and has to take care of his/her proper education and opinion”

Whether you know it or you don’t, but as a wine enthusiast you’ve probably had contact one way or the other with the renowned French sommelière Isabelle Brunet. Educated at the “school of life“, her way finally led her to Spain where she soon started working for and with Ferran Adrià at his famous restaurant “El Bulli”. But she didn’t stop there and kept going with new promising projects. Today, you can meet her at Monvínic, a place 100% dedicated to the experience offered by a glass of good wine in Barcelona.

1. On your website (www.isabellebrunet.com) you call yourself “not qualified sommelière”. What do you mean by that? 

When I say “sans diplôme” in French…I refer to the school of life! My adolescent years are marked by my parents in a homble village in the South of Chinon. First, Christophe, my brother and sommelier qualified in La Loire infected me with wine. In 1994 in London, Christophe started to travel the world and they offered me his position. It was known already that London was and still is the platform for the wines of the world. This is how I attended all the tastings and travels offered to me during the following 5 years. All with a nice environment of sommeliers & vignerons. Before I came to Spain, I travelled around visiting vineyards as a present to myself.

2. You’re from France but have been living in Spain for quite a while now. Champagne or cava?

Neither. It depends on which Champagne or Cava we’re talking about.

One can’t generalise, let’s try not to compare an industrial Champagne produced by a commercial brand with an artisanal Cava elaborated in a fresher region than usual with low yields and a long ageing on the lees.

Some of my favourites don’t even come from the official DO Cava. I prefer sparklings with a wine character, with a bit of positive oxidation.

How can I know – as a beginner – if a sparkling is good or not? Having in mind points of guides and critics, DOs,…

I want to use this opportunity to say that every wine lover can and has to take care of his/her proper education and opinion. At the beginning, guides with their evaluations can be helpful to get to know names, regions and types. It may seem hard but all depends on our effort and concentration we apply.

With my humble experience of 20 years, I’ve learnt to give my opinion without grading the wine immediately. Rather enjoy the moment and live the emotion transmitted by the wine. That’s also what I tell my team of sommeliers and the customers frequenting Monvínic.

How can I find the Cava of my taste?

Tasting a lot until you find a vigneron style you like and start to know your own taste. Also, we won’t stay with the same cava always. The diversity of styles and tastes are is enlightening.

How do I know if the Sommelier understands my needs?

First of all, if s/he has listened more than s/he’s talked.

If s/he looked to find a humble and constructive dialogue.

Then, how the sommelier manages the information and my preferences.

If the recommendations come from a place of heart and not a commercial place based on trends or his/her tastes.

Do you have a favourite food pairing with a sparkling? Want to share it with us?

With only a few euros you can get a 20-year-old Champagne paired with fresh pasta al dente and white truffles.

Also, a Sumoll Espumoso Brut Nature with a 3-year-old “Papada” on the grill.

Thank you for taking the time to do this interview, Isabelle!

 

 

Tips to bubble lovers

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If you consider yourself a lover of cava, champagne and other sparkling wines, we want to give you some ideas so that your taste for sparkling wine expands and you discover new flavors, aromas, forms and experiences that this type of wine can offer you:

1. Give an English Sparkling Wine a Chance

If you have not done it, we recommend that you do it as soon as the opportunity presents itself. The English sparkling wine has had very good reception and positive trend during recent times and can be found in different places. It is made in the same way as Champagne.

2. Attend a tasting event

If you have never been to an event of this type, treat yourself to a course or a tasting specialized in sparkling wine. You will have fun, you will love it and you will learn a lot of things about the bubbles.

3. Visit a vineyard

It is something you should see at least once at some point in life. In fact, there probably is a vineyard very close to you without you knowing it. Whether in Spain, Italy or France, get lost in some of the regions specializing in sparkling wine.

4. Get out of your comfort zone

It is very pleasing to find a good sparkling wine that makes us “click” to think that “is ours”, but we can not or should not be limited to just one sparkling wine. There are many wines of this type all over the world, why not try some of them?

5. Simply pamper yourself!

Enjoying champagne is considered a luxury and should only be enjoyed on “special occasions”. Put aside those paradigms and enjoy a delicious glass of sparkling wine whenever you feel like doing it.

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Anna de Codorniu Blanc de Blancs Brut Reserva

 

 

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Pol Roger Brut Réserve

Sparkling Wine On Ice

TAGS:undefinedSummer has arrived and everybody knows. The fine weather invites to go outside to meet friends or family, or just enjoy reading a book by yourself. A new season nearly always comes with new trends and ideas, in summer, we are looking for refreshing and cool drinks. And this year is the year of ICE sparkling wines

What’s that, you ask? Usually, you pour your champagne, cava or prosecco into a narrow and high glass and that’s it. No ice cubes allowed in order to preserve the taste and aromas. Because ice melts and waters your wine. However, these Ice sparkling wines are specially created for summer. You have to pour them over ice to enjoy their full saviours during the hot season. 

Ice sparkling wines simply are innovative versions of famous champagnes and cavas from Möet & Chandon up to Freixenet. For years, they have been growing a special audience just to excel this summer with hopefully more years to come.

Uvinum Recommendations 

When we talk about sparkling pioneers, we can’t go without mentioning the Moët & Chandon Ice Impérial made by Moët & Chandon. The French winery found an innovative way of tasting the classic Champagne variety. Also available in the pink version, Ice Impérial Rosé, for those who prefer fruitier notes of red and black berries with soft nuances of roses and spices.

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Moët & Chandon Ice Impérial: the first champagne created to be enjoyed with ice. An ideal drink to quench your thirst during hot days and which will achieve a touch of distinction in the most glamorous and chic summer festivals parties. Imperdible!

 

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Moet & Chandon Ice Impérial Rosé: a sparkling wine from Champagne based on Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay. Dishes like shrimp and white fish make for an ideal match for the Moet & Chandon Ice Impérial Rosé.

One of the most famous brands for sparkling wines, the Catalan winery Freixenet, brings the Freixenet Ice on the table and has already made it to the top of the icy list. A blend of autochthone grapes, Xarel.lo, Parellada and Macabeo in combination with the French Chardonnay results in a creamy, sweet cava with aromas of ripe pear, white flowers and tropical fruits. The perfect introduction to these types of wine.

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Freixenet Ice is a sparkling wine made by Freixenet from Cava from the Xarel·lo, Parellada, Macabeo and Chardonnay grapes. According to Uvinum users, the Freixenet Ice deserves an evaluation of 4,3 of 5 points.

Further ones worth mentioning are the Nicolas Feuillate Graphic Ice, as well as the François Montand Ice. The most famous brands have opened a new path for enologists and winemakers to target a broader audience and offer an innovative tasting experience. 

With the ice sparklings, the sky’s the limit. Drink them poured over ice in balloon glasses. Turn them into gorgeous cocktails with brand new tastes and aromas and get creative. Maybe you’re the first amongst your friends and you’ll get a chance to impress them with a whole new experience!

Beyond Beer: Exciting New Drinks for your Offseason

 TAGS:undefinedFootball forms a fundamental part of the British culture, no doubt about that. But what are we to do when the Premier League ends and the summer break forecasts three whole months of abstinence? Football fans and enthusiasts will need to find an alternative way of pleasure and outburst. Since every weekend is characterised by a huge consumption of different ales and beers, people that use to fill the stadiums or just watch matches in their regular pubs might now change their habits for the long offseason.

Rosé Wine

Perfect to enjoy during hot summer days, accompanying appetisers or dinner, a rosé wine is one of the best-rated drinks of the past years. England is currently growing a wine culture that includes rosé wine as a good recommendation for those who are not yet used to drinking wine, those who usually prefer beer. Both the wine’s sweetness and freshness are well-known and highly appreciated all around the globe. In this context, the Maison Aix Rosé 2016 is a very good sample to taste.

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The Maison Aix Rosé 2016 rises from a perfect combination of dedication and passion for wine. With a delicate balance, crispy acidity and its fruity sweetness, he brings a summery taste of the Provence.

 

Cider

Another refreshing beverage is cider, normally served in pubs and restaurants. However, during summer, you can also enjoy it on ice in order to amplify the drink’s refreshing mouthfeel. With a low alcoholic degree, cider makes for a delicious aperitive or dinner companion. One of this summer’s most popular ciders is the Magners Berry from Ireland that reveals a sweet and powerful taste of red berries.

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Magners Berry 50cl is a cider with origins in Ireland. The Uvinum community values the Magners Berry 50cl with 3,5 of 5 points.

 

 

Gin Tonic

We’re talking of one of the most successful cocktails all over the world. More than that, gin is also a typical English product, that means earning a huge response from the British audience during the hot season. It’s the perfect cocktail to enjoy after dinner events in cosy bars and outside. The Bombay Sapphire is one of the world’s most important gin producers telling a great story and showing prestige behind its brand. This gin grants to achieve a proper and powerful gin tonic. Top it off with a slice of lemon, a few peppercorns and a slice of cucumber.

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Bombay Sapphire is a London Dry gin with aromas of Juniper, spicy with citrus notes. It is a great classic that is still the favourite of many gin enthusiasts and comes at a very attractive price.

 

Champagne

The perfect way to finishing a nice dinner is, of course, tasting a delicious champagne. Still an icon in France, champagne has also become an important part of the British drinking culture. With the overwhelming power of his bubbles, the Mumm Brut Selection Grand Cru is one of the best options for enjoying the pleasure of a very good sparkling during summer nights, when even the craziest football fans want to relax from their sports routine.

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G.H. Mumm elaborates this Mumm Brut Sélection Grand Cru, a sparkling wine from Champagne that is made with pinot noir and chardonnay. Uvinum users reviewed this sparkling wine with 3,9 of 5 points.

 

 

Do you know of Dom Pérignon?

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Dom Pierre Perignon was born in the region of Saint-Menehould, France, in 1638. He is credited with the creation of today’s famous sparkling wines and also of using the cork to cover the bottles. Dom Pierre had severe eye problems, which made his other senses sharpened.

At the age of 29 he was transferred from a convent of monks to the abbey of Hautvilliers, in Champagne, where he was in charge of taking care of the basements of the cellar. One day in 1670 he heard that one of the bottles exploded. With his curiosity, he went to the scene and, while he was on all fours and touched the ground, he managed to taste the liquid of these bottles, which at first he found strange. Motivated by his thirst for knowledge and research, he prepared to open and taste the other bottles, exclaiming at the same time, according to the legend: “I am drinking stars!”

Of course, those stars were nothing other than the air bubbles that had formed due to the fermentation of the sugars and yeasts that were reactivated that day. He knew that the bottles of that crop were not completely resistant and he began to wonder what would happen if they were. And if the bubbles would remain for a longer time using suitable bottles.

Dom Perignon wasted no time and prepared to make stronger bottles. For this, the monk found a serious problem: the cap. The ones used before were made with wax, but he knew that they would not be good enough to achieve a good result and, thus, remembering to have once seen corks of used corks in travelers’ canteens, decided to opt for that way, adding the Peculiar crown of wires that until today we can see.

Such was his research to create the “drink of the stars” that also was in charge of selecting the specific strains to elaborate his product and to have a result of very good quality, which, to date, continues to reproduce strict standards. Dom Pierre Perignon is, therefore one of the most influential people, important and remembered in the vast world of wine.

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Dom Pérignon Vintage 2006

 

 

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Dom Perignon Vintage Rosé 2002

Champagne vs. Prosecco: Who is winning the European championship?

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Prosecco is becoming very strong in Europe and, according to statistics, could soon reach and exceed sales of Champagne. For the last quarter of 2016, sales of Prosecco reached up to 789 million euros, while those of Champagne exceeded 1.4 billion. Analyzing the data at a glance, we could conclude that Prosecco is not even close to Champagne, but what we need to know to notice the trend is the percentage of growth that each of these drinks has been showing during the last years.

First, the value of Prosecco grows much faster than that of Champagne. In this period, this value had a growth of 24% compared to Champagne, which was barely 0.9%. On the other hand, speaking of volume, Prosecco increased its sales throughout Europe by 23%, which represent 77 million liters, while Champagne decreased its volume on the continent level by 0.3%.

Prosecco‘s favorite consumers include the UK, who consume 2.5 times more of the Italian drink and pay almost double the price per liter than the Italians themselves. More than three quarters of the Prosecco sold in Europe, were sold here, for a total of approximately 600 million euros, doubling the sales of Champagne that only reached 333 million, this despite the fact that Champagne reduced its prices by 7 % after the country votet to leave the European Union in June 2016.

One of the characteristics that has helped to increase sales of Prosecco is its “Magnum” bottling, which are larger than normal bottles for which people are willing to pay instead of buying 2 small bottles equivalent to the volume. The bigger the bottle, the better.

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Foss Marai Prosecco Valdobbiadene Brut Guia

 

 

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Duval-Leroy Premier Cru

5 myths about champagne and sparkling wines that you must forget

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Whether it is Champagne, Prosecco, Cava, English sparkling or any other sparkling wines, it is no secret that the world loves them for its effervescence and magic. That is why today we will bust 5 myths behind these delicious drinks:

1. They must open with a strong “pop”

Although doing it with a strong sound makes more spectacular, as we have been accustomed to from the movies, it is not always the best way. It is best to do it with a twist with the help of your hand and thumb of one hand and holding it from the bottom with the other at a 45 degree angle. A soft “Tsss” (like soda) should be heared, not a “pop”.

2. Use a spoon to keep it gaseous

This simply does not work, it is not possible. It was believed that by using a silver spoon, placing it inside the bottle for the handle to hang inside, would keep the air colder and, therefore, make the bubbles disappear more slowly. But it’s not like that.

3. The sparkling ones cause you the worst hangover

It is very common to hear this myth, but the reality is that, like any other alcoholic beverage, the sparkling ones can give you a bad hangover, everything depends on the amount consumed. And, at the same time, we mention that the bubbles will not make you get drunk faster.

4. Champagne should be served only as an aperitif

Traditionally, sparkling wines are seen as a celebration drink and served as appetizers at weddings and events of that style, however, they will combine very well with a wide variety of foods. You can prepare a rich dinner and enjoy a good champagne to go with it.

5. All sparkling wine is Champagne

This is not correct at all. And it is a very common mistake that people get confused by. Champagne is sparkling wine made using the champenoise method and is generally very high quality, thanks to its tradition and history. However, in many cases it is used as a synonym for sparkling. That term is not entirely correct, since each type of sparkling wine has its own signs of identity. Cheers!

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Moet & Chandon Ice Rosé Impérial

 

 

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Dom Pérignon Edition Luminous 2006

Is it important to be innovative about Champagne?

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The drink business is slightly more complex than the other industries, because to innovate something, it has to be planned starting years in advance, when the fruits are planted. For champagne, it is no different, since your marketing campaigns have to be foreseen from up to 3 years before. Generally, these plans go in the direction of product packaging and specific techniques to reach younger audiences, maintaining the premium style of the beverage itself. Lynn Murray, marketing director at Hatch Mansfield, explains in an article in The Drink Business, He assures that among the challenges one has to achieve a good enough exterior to attract and catch the young but also following and respecting the great variety of laws of appeal that exist for these types of drinks.

Oliver Legrand, director of marketing and communications at Nicolas Feuillatte, has a different vision because although he agrees that the best thing that can be done is the innovation of the packaging, we must think of adding a plus value that denotes excellence and prestige. A few years ago they launched a set of 3 drinks in which, instead of just creating a luxurious gift package, hired the best chefs and created a complete menu to match their new creations, providing a unique experience for diners and people who bought the product.

Terence Kenny, director of exports for Champagne Pannier, adds: “Innovation can come in different forms, whether it be creating low-dose stewed drinks for seafood, pink candies for tea afternoons and desserts or red forts to accompany meats, in Pannier We have all these to offer and it is our main advantage. “Innovation, in short, can be presented as a well-diversified product portfolio so that consumers have options when purchasing the champagne of their choice”.

And what is the reason for this debate? The increase in the audience and young population has been key to initiate a search for Champagne innovation. Moët & Chandon Moët Ice Impérial was launched in 2011 under a different concept: serving the champagne with ice. And although it was not the first drink of its kind to be served in this way, it established a trend that has become very popular among the new generations, causing producers to find new ways to innovate and attract young consumers

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Moët & Chandon Ice Impérial

 

 

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Moet & Chandon Ice Rosé Impérial

Elite athletics and champagne go hand in hand thanks to Usain Bolt and Mumm

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Once again, a major Champagne producer as Mumm, has created an alliance with a public figure to be the face and CEO of the brand. This time, it is nothing more and nothing less than The world’s fastest man of Jamaican origin, Usain Bolt.

The company announced hiring the athlete through a video in which Bolt is appreciated by uncovering an emblematic bottle of champagne from the company with one of his gold medals. With eleven world titles and nine Olympic titles, Usain can afford that sort of thing. 

The campaign aims to innovate Mumm through original and effective ideas that provoke potential users with an irresistible desire to consume their champagne. He will also be, by his great fame, the spokesman and the image of the brand in the advertising campaigns that will be carried out in the near future.

In the words of the athlete himself, he said: “My main mission is to improve the image of Maison Mumm as a brand to celebrate our victories, and I want to invite all my followers around the world to raise their cup with me.” He added that he is honored to hold the reins as Executive Director of the company and said he intends to teach the whole world the meaning of celebrating and entertaining in a daring way.

Mumm has been recognized for being very involved in the sports world since they previously included well-known personalities of the industry among its main executives. In fact, the historic sponsorship of Formula 1 was declined this year as “insufficient” – only € 5 million – and the contract ended, which may be a reason why they are looking for new horizons and re-inventing themselves.

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Mumm Cordon Rouge

 

 

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Mumm Brut Rosé

New and better breeds to preserve Champagne

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It is well known that climate change is a global phenomenon that affects every one of us, including our agricultural processes and therefore our precious wine. The industry has already suffered many consequences because of this environmental problem and will continue to do in the future. However, for our luck, many people, including scientists and farmers, are thinking in new ways to change the wine market, specifically of our beloved champagne, and have joined forces to achieve a significant result.

As published by the Vinetur, the National Institute of Agronomic Research (INRA) in collaboration with the French Institute of Vine and Wine of Montpellier, will develop a program that is scheduled for the next 15 years with the sole objective to create 4 to 5 new grape varieties that will be capable to adapt to the climate challenges that will come in the future.

“We work on the long term, and the fundamentals of the grape varieties of our denomination could definitely change”, said Thibaut Le Mailloux of Champagne Committee, composed of the winegrowers and production houses of the region. “Research must absolutely start now because in 25 years it will be too late.”

In 2015, the first breeds fertilized with grapes were ended. Last June, the second crossing experiment concluded. This hybridization process should result in 4,000 seeds that are intended to be cultivated within the next 6 years in various experimental plots in the region. It is estimated that by 2030, and after several tests, analysis and tastings, the French catalog will be able to annex from four to five new breeds and then inscribe them in the DO Champagne.

Scientists have a duty to monitor all these processes to preserve the typical characteristics of these wines. The primary objective is to preserve the style of a good champagne and all the tradition that this means.

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Pol Roger Brut Réserve

 

 

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Moët & Chandon Brut Impérial