Last week I got the chance to head out to Champagne on the train and visit Champagne Deutz. Amongst the fine bubbles, great food, and wonderful setting, I managed to find time to have a chat with Jean-Marc Lallier-Deutz, the great great grandson of the founder William Deutz. Check out the video below and see how he feels about working in Champagne, and who he’d love to share a glass of bubbles with…santé Jean-Marc!
I had a great day out of the Big Smoke, last week, down to Kent, to go freeze my nuts off and do some digging in the dirt. Doesn’t sound all that appealing does it? Well how about if I clarify it a bit, as we were planting vines for the first Champagne Grand Marque to officially land on our shores. Domaine Evremond, a new venture for Champagne Taittinger, is now the proud owner of row after (slightly wonky) row of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier, as the quest for increasingly swanky and gorgeous English bubbles hots up.
Taittinger champagne and Villa Maria from New Zealand are sponsoring this year’s BAFTA awards. From anyone outside these shores that’s the British Academy of Film & Television Arts awards. It’s the big night in film and TV for the British, so only right that there’s plenty of booze on hand to celebrate and commiserate in equal measures!
Before I start about the tasting session we had, there are a couple of things that struck me about the winery and vineyard tours we started the day with. English sparkling wine can’t escape the link with the most famous sparkling wine region the world, Champagne. The (English and Welsh) wine press love to crow when our wines win out in trophies against their better known cousins. I was to learn that this “us versus them” attitude doesn’t exist in the winery.
When you start getting all twee and arty about wine is usually when most people switch off. But that’s ok, us wine geeks have this theory that the reason so many people like wine is that it’s this amazing mix between art, history, geography, and science. If you’re interested in one, then you’ll get into wine, no problem. Luckily I love 3 of them. As my old secondary school teachers will attest to; I’ve always hated bloody Geography!
I’m off on my travels at the minute. I’ve got a week in Northern Italy to get some much needed landscaping done, and then as soon as we drive back to the UK I fly off to Primeur week with all the other Millesima blog award winners. So yesterday and the day before we headed down through Eastern France with a stop over in a town called Troyes. I’d heard it was somewhere you had to visit at some point, and I’m really glad we did!
I’ve struggled with Champagne in the past. Maybe it’s cos I’m a penny pinching northerner? Fair enough, but for years the idea of paying £30+ for a bottle of entry level bubbles has never made sense. That’s two bottles of really good Cava or Crémant that!
So I’ve had a week off writing the blog as I ate far too much and drank…nah actually…I drank exactly the right amount! But as everyone seems to be throwing out pieces on which Champagnes to waste your money on, I thought I’d chip in with a couple of tips on what to have at all your parties.
As I said yesterday, we have a thing in the family about Christmas morning. We get up, someone throws the bacon under the grill, we toast up then butter the breakfast muffins, and tuck in with a bottle of sparkling wine…well I say “a” bottle, obviously it’s not just the one. We’ve got a big family these days!