Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Fish, Chips and Champagne

Fish and chips with champagne is a concept which really seems to be taking off. I have read at least five publications in as many months telling me the joys of combining fish and chips with champagne. I have to say that it is a great combo and it, with out fail, puts a smile on everyones face. There is a wonderful juxtaposition in eating such humble and cheap grub with one of life's greatest luxuries. It always reminds me of when Miles from the film Sideways cracks open his prized bottle of 1961 Cheval Blanc in his local fast food joint. Even the champagne houses themselves are latching on to the idea. Salon, the incredible champagne house based in the Cotes des Blancs village of Le Mesnil sur Oger, released there newest vintage, the 1999, with a fish and chips lunch in Geales Seafood Restaurant in Notting Hill.

There is more to it than Great British nostalgia; the acidity in Champagne is great for cutting through the rich batter and the citrus notes and minerality of many champagnes work perfectly with fish. I suppose you can think of champagne's acidity as a replacement for malt vinegar and its citrus character as a replacement for your lemon wedge.

Some champagnes, however, do work better than others. I always go for low dosage champagnes with high acidity and light, fresh flavours. Blanc des Blancs champagnes like Delamottes Blanc des Blancs work well, as do champagnes which have not gone through malolactic fermentation like Lanson Gold Label 1999 or Gosset Grand Reserve NV.

Relevant Links:

Monday, 13 June 2011

KWM Wine are selling Laurent Perrier Grand Siecle Cuvee Alexandra Rose 1997 for £125

This is just a quick post to let you know that KWM Wine are selling Laurent Perrier Grand Siecle Cuvee Alexandra Rose 1997 for £125. This is as cheap as I have ever seen this champagne and is a great opportunity to try one of the champagne regions top roses for around £75 under the general market value.

Friday, 3 June 2011

Shipwreck Champagnes sell for a combined 54,000 Euros

Today saw the landmark auction of the two bottles of champagne from the 1800’s.

The two bottles in question were a bottle of the now extinct Juglar (pronounced you-glar) which sold for 24,000 euros and a bottle of Veuve Clicquot which sold for 30,000 euros. The bottle of Veuve Clicquot set a world record for being trhe most expensive champagne to ever sell at auction. Both bottles were salvaged from a Shipwreck just off Aaland, a Finnish-controlled archipelago of 6,500 islands in the Baltic sea and were in great condition. The pressure, stillness and darkness at the bottom of the sea made for great storage conditions for the hoard. Richard Juhlin, a top champagne authority, was one of the lucky few to have the chance to taste two similar bottles of Juglar and Veuve Clicquot and stated that Juglar was “more intense and powerful, mushroomy” and the Veuve Clicquot had notes of “linden blossoms and lime peels.”
Original estimates stated that the bottles could fetch up to 100,000 euros each.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Remy Cointreau Group sell Piper-Heidsieck Compagnie Champenoise

Remy Cointreau Group have announced that they have sold Piper-Heidsieck Compagnie Champenoise to the family controlled group EPI for €412.2 million. EPI will take control of all of Pipers Champagne operations including Piper Heidsieck and Charles Heidsieck as well as Piper Sonoma, the sparkling wine brand from California. In a statement Christopher Descours, Chairman of EPI, stated: EPI is very pleased to acquire both these prestigious champagne houses, that are Piper-Heidsieck and Charles Heidsieck. They perfectly complement our other French luxury goods brands, which include JM Weston, Alain Figaret and Bonpoint. This new initiative will strengthen our commitment to wine-making, initiated 20 years ago with Chateau La Verrerie (LubĂ©ron.)”.