Month: April 2014

LA GRANDE DAME

LA GRANDE DAME
– Candy Champagne

The Champagne Surgeon told me that one of the things she likes most about Veuve is the story of “La Grande Dame”. I couldn’t agree more – La Grande Dame was truly an exceptional and inspirational woman who was an early pioneer for businesswoman all over the world (I think the Champagne Surgeon and La Grande Dame would have got along great and probably would have had a lot of leadership traits in common).

I experienced La Grande Dame for my first time in 2003. I was fortunate enough to visit Veuve Clicquot and tour their historic chalk cellars (I have attached a picture of the stairs leading into the chalk cellar although the picture doesn’t give justice to how spectacular it was).

Who was La Grande Dame? Or the Widow Clicquot as she was also known (did you know that Veuve is French for widow?).

1772 – Veuve Clicquot started in 1772 when Phillippe Clicquot established a wine business under the family name.

1798 – His son Francois joined the business in 1798 but died of typhoid in 1805.

1805 – His widow, Barbe-Nicole Ponsardin, only 27 at the time, took on the family business and became one of the first business women of modern times.

1810 – Madame Clicquot, as she was known at the time, proved her innovative prowess by creating the first recorded vintage champagne in the region.

1814 – As she became more bold and confident in her business skills, Madame Clicquot overcame the continental embargo that raged in Europe and she managed to ship her wine to Saint Petersburg. Her champagne received a triumphant welcome in Russia and she was praised by Pushkin, Chekhov and Gogol.

1816 – Madame Clicquot invented the first riddling table which makes it possible to ensure crystal clear wine. This process continues to be used today. From then on, the house goes from strength to strength. Madame Cliquot becomes known to her peers as “La Grande Dame” of Champagne.

1972 – To mark its bicentenary, Veuve Clicquot launched the first La Grande Dame vintage champagne. To this day, it is Veuve Clicquot’s most prestigious vintage champagne.

La Grande Dame (vintage 2004) is described as “luminous, sparkling gold with amber highlights. The first nose reveals a definite mineral base with noble fruit and remarkable intensity. The bouquet is gourmand and voluptuous with hints of apricot, vanilla, frangipane and jasmine”. Alison Napjus gave it 94 points.

In 1972, the Veuve Clicquot Business Woman Award was launched to honour outstanding business women around the world. The award pays tribute to the first among them, Madame Clicquot, who established herself as a leading female figure in the business world. Since its inception, the award has been presented to over 340 women in 29 countries.

La Grande Dame would have been so proud!

http://www.veuve-clicquot.com/en/house/business-woman-award

La Grande Dame

veuve chalk cellars

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British Airways is the King of Champagne

By Dr. Champagne

Bobo my boy always gets upset at me when I travel and blog. He thinks I have it in for our national airline Air Canada.

Recently Lufthansa went on strike and for my travel to Nice I was routed to Heathrow for a British Airways connecting flight. Now many would consider this an inconvenience but being a Gold Member with BA I looked it as an opportunity to enjoy the First Class BA lounge in Terminal 5 in Heathrow.

The flagship Air Canada international lounge in Terminal 1 at Pearson Airport in Toronto sadly offers no champagne or sparkling wine but there is some wine, mixed drinks and a spattering of adequate food on offer

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Now imagine landing in London and making your way to the First Class lounge where it really is a champagne heaven with a full champagne bar with 3 champagnes a rose and two brut on offer with a menu for food for order at your seat

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Relaxed and had the breakfast of champions, trio of champagne with soft boiled eggs and soldiers. BA does champagne right!!!!

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I HAVE BEEN KRUG’D

I HAVE BEEN KRUG’D
– Candy Champagne

Dr. Champagne, the Champagne Greek, the Beer Addict and I were so lucky to have a “Sunday Funday” morning with crepes and Krug. The Krug, Grande Cuvee, to be exact. Oh la la!

Krug is known as one of the finest champagne houses in the world and rivals the likes of Dom Perignon. It is an exceptional champagne and is fabled in it’s historic champagne making traditions of quality and superiority. The Krug Grande Cuvee is aptly described as “the ultimate pleasure and experience in champagne” and received an unheard of rating of 97 points by Alison Napjus. The only other champagne to receive a higher rating from Napjus is the Krug “Brut Blanc de Noirs Clos d’Ambonnay” (98 points) and the Krug “Brut Blancs de Blancs Clos du Mesnil 2000” (also 98 points).

I could easily tell you all about the colour of this beautiful champagne, the finesse and elegance of the bubbles and the rich taste, but Alison Napjus has already been “Krug’d” (I borrowed the expression from her blog).

Attached is Alison Napjus’ great article and experience with Krug in Naples:
http://www.winespectator.com/blogs/show/id/49545

I am in good company because I have been Krug’d too.

Krug 1

Krug 2

Krug 3

Krug 4

Krug 5

BILL MURRAY SHARES HIS CHAMPAGNE DRINKING SECRETS

Bill Murray Shares His Champagne Drinking Secrets
– Candy Champagne

I mentioned The Beer Addict in my last blog about the tasting of all tastings. He recently sent us this blurb about Bill Murray’s champagne drinking secrets. It is a light and fun blurb that I thought all the Champagne Addicts out there might get a good laugh about.

BILL MURRAY – “I learned how to drink champagne a while ago. But the way I like to drink champagne is I like to make what we call a Montana Cooler, where you buy a case of champagne and you take all the bottles out, and you take all the cardboard out, and you put a garbage bag inside of it, then you put all the bottles back in and then you cover it with ice, and then you wrap it up and you close it. And that will keep it all cold for a weekend and you can drink every single bottle. And the way I like to drink it in a big pint glass with ice. I fill it with ice and I pour the champagne in it, because champagne can never be too cold. And the problem people have with champagne is they drink it and they crash with it, because the sugar content is so high and you get really dehydrated. But if you can get the ice in it, you can drink it supremely cold and at the same time you’re getting the melting ice, so it’s like a hydration level, and you can stay at this great level for a whole weekend. You don’t want to crash. You want to keep that buzz, that bling, that smile”.

Later in the feature, he says this about his favourite champagnes:

“When I lived in Paris I drank this one called Lanson. Although I did once have a bottle of 1978 Dom Perignon, and that was amazing. It probably cost a fortune. I didn’t pay for it”.

I discovered Lanson on my first trip to Reims, France in 2001. It was an unassuming champagne house next to a little tucked away hotel where we were staying. I didn’t know much about Lanson at the time but over the years I have come to enjoy their signature champagne, the “Black Label”, a non-vintage Brut champagne. I have not tried it but Alison Napjus gave their Gold Label, 2002 Vintage, a 93 rating! In 2010, to mark Lanson’s 250’s anniversary, they released a special cuvee known as Lanson Extra Age (X.A.).

A few more champagnes to try thanks to Bill Murray!

http://www.lanson.com/en/le-style-lanson/

http://defamer.gawker.com/bill-murray-shares-his-champagne-drinking-secrets-1538901170

TASTING OF ALL TASTINGS

THE TASTING OF ALL TASTINGS
– Candy Champagne

Dr. Champagne organized a Sunday morning tasting. He didn’t tell me what we were tasting though, only that it was special and he was excited (which meant I was excited too!).

The Champagne Greek lined up the three champagnes we would be trying (it was truly a blind tasting for me). Our friend, The Beer Addict, joined us (we are hoping The Beer Addict will guest write a few beer blogs for our beer loving friends).

We judged the three champagnes based on nose, taste and finish. Dr. Champagne and I both picked #2 on nose while The Beer Addict picked #1. Dr. Champagne and I also picked #2 on the taste and finish while the Beer Addict stuck with #1.

Our final choices were:
2, 3, 1 – Dr Champagne & myself
1, 3, 2 – The Beer Addict

Dr. Champagne was so right about the champagne choices being special!

#2 was the Dom Perignon Vintage 2004. It was absolutely exceptional – one of the best champagnes that I have had. Richard Geoffroy, Chef de Cave, describes it as “nuanced and precise, the 2004 vintage is the natural sum of perfectly consistent parts. As a whole it is complete, elegant, with a hint of classicism – distinguished contemporary classicism”. I simply describe it as incredible! (Alison Napjus gives it 95 points)

#3 was the Moet & Chandon Grand Vintage 2002. The house only releases vintages during the best harvests and this vintage was kept in the cellar for seven years to reach it’s full potential (the first since the 1930’s to do so) – “the 2002 is worth the wait – it is creamy, with notes of citrus and honeysuckle and has a mouthwatering finish that leaves you longing for more”.

#1 was the Moet & Chandon Imperial Brut. In the past couple of years, the house has phased out its popular White Star in North America in favour of a new non-vintage, Imperial. Like its predecessor, Imperial is a luxurious and accessible champagne. Similar to the White Star, the Imperial is consistent and you can always count on the quality of this champagne (Alison Napjus gave it 91 points). Shout out to my Champagne Seester who loved the White Star!

It was truly an amazing tasting and experience. What more can I say other than LIFE IS GOOD!

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tasting 2

tasting dom 2004

tasting moet 2002

tasting moet magnum

tasting glasses

CHAMPAGNE & CHEESE

CHAMPAGNE & CHEESE
– Candy Champagne

Wine and cheese may sound a little cliche, perhaps, dare I say, even a little cheesy. Still, since their invention, wine and cheese have been a dazzling duo, going together like strawberries and champagne, Merlot and steak, boxed wine and Taco Bell. Doing it their way, yes their way, wine and cheese are the Laverne and Shirley of the alcohol industry (I cannot take credit for this intro, I stumbled up on it on the Savor Each Glass website http://www.savoureachglass.com).

And of course, champagne and cheese make a simply perfect combination.

My two favourite cheeses in the world are Delice de Bourgnon and Cambozola. Delice de Bourgnon is a triple cream brie that has over 75% butterfat (no wonder it is so delicious!). To me, Cambozola is the “blue brie” because it is a double cream that has blue cheese cultures in it (also high in butterfat with 65-75%). It would be fitting that Epicurious (www.epicuriuos.com) says they are two of the best cheese pairings for champagne then, non???

On this particular day, the Champagne Greek paired our champagne with:
– French Truffled Cheese (it was amazing with or without the champagne!)
– Gruyere
– Epoisses
– And, an artisan type of Swiss cheese that was very similar to a Jarlsberg

What about champagne with these cheese combinations?

Epicurious also noted that truffle cheeses are a top champagne pairing (Truffle Tremor to be exact) — “With the rind of the goat cheese that’s been lightly aged, this cheeses finishes with salt and a POW! of truffle. The earthy, mushroom flavors of the truffle match well with a dry champagne (Epicurious)”.

Gruyere has a dense texture and rich flavor. The light touch of champagne elevates the cheese into something more elegant, highlighting its sweet, nutty qualities and masking its mustiness.

Epoisses is notoriously STINKY (it makes my whole kitchen smell!). It is full-flavored – it is the type of cheese that either you love or you hate because of the strong flavor (personally, I love it). The bubbles in champagne help wipe your palate clean after a bite of Epoisses and balance out the saltiness of the cheese.

On this particular, Dr. Champagne brought a Vintage 2004 Dom Perignon. Could this day or tasting get any better??? I will blog separately about the 2004 Dom (it was so truly fabulous that it deserves it’s own blog!!!). Alison Napjus gave it 95 points (one of the highest ratings that I have ever seen her give other than to Krug, a Piper-Hiedsieck “rare” and Ruinart).

Stay tuned for a 2004 Dom blog and enjoy your champagne and cheese!

cheese champagne tasting

cheese tasting 2

cheese tasting 1

tasting dom 2004

OMELETTES & CHAMPAGNE

OMELETTES & CHAMPAGNE
– Candy Champagne

While Dr. Champagne is enjoying champagne in the south of France, we are enjoying a champagne breakfast at home. The Champagne Greek makes the PERFECT omelette (it takes skill you know!). It is a perfect omelette breakfast – a glass of Tarlant Zero champagne with a truffled cheese omelette (and of course Sriracha sauce!).

We are looking forward to seeing Dr. Champagne’s blog posts from his travels this weekend (he continues his disdain of the AC champagne experience and his love with the BA champagne experience at the First lounge in Heathrow). Check out his pictures on our Instagram page (I love the plane in my champagne glass picture):

http://instagram.com/thechampagneaddict

Perfect breakfast

Champagne spring diet

SPRING IS “FASTING” SEASON

SPRING “FASTING” SEASON
– Candy Champagne

Dr. Champagne says there are two seasons – “feasting” and “fasting”. We feast during the Winter and Summer – and we fast during the Spring and Fall.

It is April 5th – so I guess that means it is time for fasting season. We are loading up the wine cellar with Tarlant Zero (no sugar!) for our Spring fasting season.

Check out our earlier blog about “The Champagne Diet” – we could get used to this champagne fasting diet season!

https://thechampagneaddict.com/2014/03/10/the-champagne-diet/

Champagne spring diet