January 2009

Champagne in the news: protests, inaugurations, and thefts

Our libation-of-choice has been making headlines recently! First off, protestors trying to prevent the building of a third runway at London's Heathrow Airport took a very civilized approach to their act of civil disobediance. In an alleged allusion to the peaceful Suffragette movement of decades past, the protestors wore Edwardian-era dress, and dined on cake and champagne. Puts a whole new spin on the phrase "let them eat cake!"

All of the world's eyes are of course on Barack Obama, soon to be sworn in as the United States' 44th president. And on the menu for his Inaugural Luncheon? California sparkling wines! While Champagne of course is the go-to beverage for celebrations, we applaud the choice of a U.S.-made wine for this important occasion. The full menu of the luncheon can be found here.

Champagne bloopers and cocktail recipes

Ever had an embarrassing experience with champagne? Hopefully it was not as bad as this one. In March 2008, a woman in Kobe, Japan ordered 10 bottles of champagne (totalling 180,000 yen, over 2,000 American dollars), despite the fact that she had no money with her. The bar pressed charges, but the case was dismissed because due to the woman's serious inebriation at the time, it was impossible to prove that she had ordered the wine with the intention to steal it. Also, a warning to always open champagne carefully from the Daily Buzz! This looks more like a blooper that we've ALL done...

Still have leftover bottles of champagne from New Years? Check out this video from Common Man Cocktails to learn how to make a Flirtini, a very simple Champagne or sparkling wine-based cocktail (with a very fun name!).

Blind Champagne taste-off

I recently stumbled across this post on the Thief Wine Blog about a blind champagne tasting the author did with customers, and I thought it was an interesting experiment.

They tasted Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin, Bollinger Special Cuvee, Pierre Gimonnet 1er Cru Blanc de Blancs, and Philipponnat Royale Reserve, all bottles within the same price range. Obviously, Veuve Clicquot is the most recognizable name of the bunch, but in the blind taste test it finished fourth (Philipponat was the winner).