8 part video series on the history of Champagne filmed in France

Try Rose champagnes for Valentine's Day

Rose champagnes are great for Valentines Day

Looking for the best Champagnes to have on Valentine’s Day?

Try a Rosé! They come in a variety of gorgeous colors ( pale salmon to pink to very dark pink), have festive bubbles, and tastes a bit of spice from the pinot noir or pinot meunier grapes. Read More...

A Champagne Toast to the Allied Forces of WII

Picture from the Champagne Bureau

This Memorial Day let us remember and pay homage to the Allied Forces of WWII!! A heartfelt thank you to the "Greatest Generation"!

Allied Troops shown here in front the the Rheims Cathedral, located in the heart of the Champagne region.

Wine menu from White House State dinner with French President

Screen Shot 2014-02-14 at 8.28.43 AM

Curious what the wine menu was at this week's White House State dinner for the French President? Read More...

Champagne service button


Nuff said.

I got this from
Champagne Boucton. Luv it!

Business Lesson 10 to learn from champagne

Claude MOET
Claude Moët

10. First mover advantage.

It goes without saying, one must have a good product to build up a first mover advantage. And by most accounts, champagne is, indeed, a very good product!!! Though the champagne bubbles were first considered a flaw and the winemakers tried everything to get rid of them (especially the monks... they couldn't have fizzy wine for their mass service). Read More...

Business Lesson 9 to learn from champagne

Krug label

9. The Law of Supply and Demand.

Krug Champagne also offers single vineyard champagnes. These break the rules of blending and don’t use grapes from multiple vineyards. Instead, just as it sounds, the grapes come from a small, single vineyard. Read More...

Business Lesson 8 to learn from champagne


8. Don't accept defeat!

Never never never quit. Iron sharpens iron. Fall down 7 times, get up 8. There is a law of nature that states the best products always are made under difficult circumstances, because they are forced to surpass themselves. Champagne is no exception to this law. Read More...

How to best clean your champagne glasses


Follow these recommended steps for getting your flutes ready!

Wash by hand one at a time. Don’t put in the dishwasher.

1. Use a paper towel to wipe around the rim to eliminate any smudges from lips, due to food or lipstick for example.

Business Lesson 7 to learn from champagne


7. Think Vertical Integration.

Following the French Revolution in the late 18th century, the Champagne vineyards, previously owned by the clergy and wealthy, were confiscated by the State and divided into many small plots and sold. Read More...

Business Lesson 6 to learn from champagne

Veuve Clicquot lable

6. Build a better mousetrap.

Improving an existing product may just be the path to your fortune. Read More...

Business Lesson 5 to learn from champagne

Affiche Louise Pommery

5. Listen to the market.

Do this even when your company staff is skeptical and fears losing customers who like the way your product/service currently is. Status quo is frequently not the way to go. Read More...

Business Lesson 4 to learn from champagne

Louis XIV Sun King

4. Harness the power of celebrity spokespersons or endorsers.

The wines of Champagne were mostly known locally until the French kings, who resided in the Palace of Versailles, helped spread their popularity within France and other countries. Louis XIV first tasted champagne as a teenager at his coronation in the Cathedral of Rheims in 1654 (located in the heart of the Champagne region), and afterwards, it is reported he rarely drank anything else. Read More...

Business Lesson 3 to learn from champagne

champagne chiling

3. Don't come from a place of no.

It took two young widows, who both inherited their husband’s champagne firms, and both without any prior business experience, to solve the champagne bottle’s sediment puzzle that had been dogging the winemakers for over 100 years, and to create a new type of dry champagne that dominates the world market today!

Business Lesson 2 to learn from champagne

champagne tops

2. Do the never.

A monk named Dom Pérignon was appointed the business manager of the Abbey of Hautvillers, located in Champagne, at the age of 30 in 1668. The Abbey had been left in ruins, due to many wars and invaders. Among his responsibilities was the restoration of its vineyards and cellars.
Because of his dedication to hard work, he created multiple new improvements to the process of making wine. Read More...

Business Lesson 1 to learn from champagne

champagne foil caps

1. Turn a setback into a setup.

The law of polarity is when something appears to be truly bad, there must be something about it that is truly marvelous as well. Napoléon’s last military invasion was into Russia. It ended in failure and in full retreat back to France in 1814. The coalition of ‘enemy’ armies from Russia, Prussia and Austria subsequently invaded France. They plundered whatever they could and this included millions of champagne bottles lying peacefully within the miles of cellars throughout the region. Read More...

Sippin Champagne at Versailles

Lots of delicious champagne flowing at Le Grand Gala Extraordinaire at the Palace of Versailles!

G.H. Mumm was the bubbly of choice! Yum!

It was a fabulous night hosted by the American Friends of Versailles, to benefit a restoration project at the Château.

No more fake champagne in China

Moets Spirit of 1743 hot air balloon
Moet's "Spirit of 1743" hot air balloon over the Great Wall of China

"No more fake bubbly in China — at least in theory,” wrote Le Figaro, reporting on the announcement that Beijing has agreed to restrict use of the name to wines produced in the Champagne region of France. Up until now, the name Champagne had been misapplied to “mediocre sparkling wines and vulgar sodas,” according to the French daily. Henceforth, it can only be used to describe the two million bottles — and rising — of genuine Champagne that are annually exported to China.

The Chinese decision represents a victory for President François Hollande, who negotiated the deal during a recent visit to Beijing, and for Champagne producers who jealously guard France’s most prestigious appellation d’origine contrôlée, or protected designation of origin. Under French law, the only sparkling wine anywhere in the world that merits the name Champagne must be made from grapes grown on officially designated plots of land in France. France’s Champagne Committee — motto: “It’s not Champagne if it’s not Champagne” — has been fighting since 1935 against what it says amounts to hundreds of instances each year of the name being abused."

"Currently, non-sparkling varieties account for an estimated 99.5 percent of the China market, while consumers remain indifferent to wine’s bubbly brethren… This summer, Moët is slated to launch the Chandon Ningxia winery, which the winemaker developed in China with joint venture partner SOE Nongken. The winery will producing high-end method Champenoise sparkling white wine exclusively for the China market, from locally grown Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc grapes…"

A Great Gatbsy post

Moet et Chandon Imperial from The Great Gatsby

Isn't this is beautiful pic! In a scene from Baz Luhrmann's "The Great Gatsby," a flapper pours a 15-liter bottle of Moet & Chandon Imperial Champagne over a towering pyramid of Champagne flutes at one of Jay Gatsby's lavish parties. (Courtesy of Warner Bros. Picture)

My guess is that it is a
Nebuchadnezzar size bottle, equivalent to 20 bottles… so about 80 to 90 glasses. See my post on this awesome champagne bottle! FUN!

"The parties in F. Scott Fitzgerald's iconic novel are the stuff of legend, not only in fictional West Egg but the real world as well. Now "The Great Gatsby" is inspiring Champagne-soaked soirees from coast to coast. New York City's Plaza Hotel, a Fitzgerald hangout featured in both the book and Baz Luhrmann's movie, opening May 10, is celebrating by turning its famous lounge into a Gatsby-esque Moet Champagne Bar with Imperial Gatsby cocktails."

Can't wait to see the movie..though it's going to be difficult to improve upon Redford and Farrow! Read more here:
By Jackie Burrell, Contra Costa Times


The Ordre des Coteaux de Champagne

Ordre des Coteaux de Champagne

Champagne is indeed about old friends and new friends!

The Ordre des Coteaux de Champagne
A New Sparkle
by Karen Taylor

"The original Ordre des Coteaux de Champagne was a wine academy founded by a group of hedonistic young aristocrats who frequented the court of Louis XIV. The coteaux in question were the hillsides in Aÿ, Avenay and Hautvillers, where the best Champagne grapes were grown. The order did not survive the French Revolution but was revived in 1956 when several Champagne makers decided to launch a wine fraternity. Unlike other such groups, this one was conceived to be inclusive, its mission being to promote all of the region’s wines. Several large houses—Taittinger, Laurent-Perrier, Mumm—were among the founding members. As today, the nascent OCC’s leading activity was hosting induction dinners, or Chapitres, several times a year, the most impressive being the “Chapitre de la Fleur de Vigne.” That lavish celebration of the flowering of the vines is still held every June in the majestic Palais du Tau, the former Bishop’s Residence adjacent to the Reims Cathedral." Read More...

Sugar Free champagne becoming more popular

Sugar Free Champagne
London Evening Standard

Sugar Free champagne means no dosage has been added. Some other names for this type of champagne are 'Ultra Brut' and 'Brut Sauvage'. These champagnes are very dry and not commonly found. I personally love them, but some may not like this taste at all and find them too sour. Give it a try, if you haven't already, as the calories are about 50% less (due to the lack of added sugar) than a normal size glass of champagne. Read More...

My nickname is Bubbles

Maharaja of Jaipur

Brigadier Sawai Bhawani Singh Bahadur was the last Maharaja of Jaipur.
(October 22, 1931 – April 17, 2011)

I know what you are thinking…. yah, that is nice, but what does that have to do with champagne?

Champagne Pliers

Champagne Pliers

Looking for an easy way to get the cork out of a champagne bottle?
Well, give Champagne Pliers a try!

A Champagne Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving 2012

Let’s pretend these pictured grapes are Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay, the three varietals in champagne. Yes, champagne is a perfect wine for Turkey and the Thanksgiving meal! The following are some menu pairing suggestions Read More...

A Champagne for all reasons by Crain's Chicago Business

Kristin Noelle Smith in Crains


Thomas Jefferson on champagne

Thomas Jefferson ThJ

In two weeks, America will be voting in another Presidential election. And speaking of U.S. Presidents... this post is in honor of Thomas Jefferson, THE wine connoisseur of the 18th century and esteemed founder of our nation, who was born 269 years ago... on April 13, 1743. Yes, he was, indeed, an incredible patriot. He suffered numerous family tragedies, but persevered - thank goodness. It’s recorded he was soft spoken and had a speech impediment (no gift for oratory) and thus, would probably not have been selected for public office today, as now the media discourages candidates from running who are not ‘mediagenic’ on tv, but that is a story for another blog. Here is a short list of his magnificent achievements on behalf of America. Thank you Mr. Jefferson!

Another Thomas, Mr. T. J. Craughwell, writes in his new book,
Thomas Jefferson’s Crème Brûlée, "...by the time Jefferson toured the (Champagne) region, the famous houses of Moët et Chandon, Taittinger, and Veuve Clicquot (under a different name) were already flourishing... Naturally, Jefferson sampled the renowned wines of Champagne, but initially found them not to his taste..."


Bottoms Up

bottoms up
(photo from Richard L. Fetter)

Ever wonder where the phrase “Bottoms Up” comes from? Read More...

Champagne Champaign

Champagne Champaign

In the early 1600s, the region of Champagne in France was a “broad, rolling plain”, where agriculture grew successfully. The Romans named this area campus, which translates to “plain” or “field”, which eventually morphed into the word campana in Italian and champagne in French. (Roman armies invaded Champagne in their conquering of Gaul. They also dug out the crayeres for limestone for roads and buildings, now these ‘chalk pits’ are used as underground cellars for storing champagne.) Read More...

Champagne Crop Report 2012

duval-leroy vineyard

“This year has been unprecedented,” said Dominique Moncomble, the director of technical services of the CIVC, Comité Interprofessionnel du vin de Champagne. And not in a good way. Read More...

Champagne Flute

Leon Bakst 1902 Champagne Flute

Is it just me? or do parts of this painting remind you of a ‘light version’ of ‘The Scream’ Read More...

Be like Bond, as in James 007

James Bond and champagne

For many, when they hear the name James Bond they think “ Shaken, not stirred.”
But for others, it’s

Late Disgorgement

Bollinger RD label
What is Disgorgement? It is when the sediment (
lees) is expelled from the bottle. Lees is the wine’s leftover yeast sediment from the 2nd fermentation in the bottle. It is moved into the neck of the bottle via remuage, then flash frozen and expelled completely (disgorgement).

“To be sold as non-vintage Champagne, French law dictates the wine must age at least (on lees) 15 months after the second fermentation begins, and three years if it will bear a vintage date...

Grower Champagnes are Growing in Number

champagne foil tops golden

Grower Champagnes are growing in number. While the big, established champagne brands account for the vast majority of global market sales, there are also much smaller producers. Hundreds of grape growers now create their own champagne, instead of selling their grapes to the larger houses. This trend started to increase around two decades ago. Though these grower champagnes (also called estate grown champagnes) are imported into the States in limited quantities, they have a very loyal (fierce) following. Often, their champagnes are snapped up as soon as they hit the store shelves. Read More...

Champagne Smarts

Champagne Smarts Quiz Blog

Click here for the Champagne Smarts Quiz!


Best champagnes for weddings

Wedding champagne

I’m just going to come right out of the gate here and say

champagne and frosted wedding cake is a horrible combo.

Yes, it’s true. Not sure when this poor pairing tradition started, but unless the wedding cake is not a sweet cake (such as a short cake, pound cake or similar plain cakes not commonly served at weddings), then it’s best to skip the whole custom. Read More...

Royal Warrants for Champagne

Anointing of Louis XIVAnointing of Louis XIV

“Champagne… the wine of kings, the king of wines”, Guy du Maupaussant. Read More...

History of Champagne and Chicago Parallels

Champagne tulip flute tilted

This connection probably sounds very strange to your ears, especially since there are no commercial vineyards in Chicago, but when I was researching for Champagne Journal (film series based upon the history of champagne), I found several interesting parallels to Chicago. Let me explain: Read More...


Bollinger Nebuchadnezzar

A Nebuchadnezzar is equivalent to 20 bottles… so about 80 to 90 glasses. Handle with care! And open with care for that matter too! Read More...

Over 22,000 champagnes!

chilled champagne on tray

Did you know there are over 22,000 champagnes!
Yes, indeed, and the number is expanding...here are a few new labels to add to that list.

New World Record Price for a Bottle of Champagne

Czar Alexander II of Russia

In July 2010, a load of shipwrecked bottles of champagne was discovered by divers off the Åland
Islands of Finland, in the Baltic Sea (situated between Sweden and Finland). All together 168 bottles were brought to the surface, not all were intact.