Sunday, November 28, 2010

Debate a Bubble - Discover The Real Price of Champagne

Debate a Bubble - Discover The Real Price of Champagne

Link to Debate a Bubble - Champagne News and Reviews

Discover The Real Price of Champagne

Posted: 27 Nov 2010 11:29 AM PST

Have you ever wondered why there is such a difference in price between the most expensive champagnes like Cristal and Dom Pérignon and the other champagnes that you can pick up for a tenth of the cost?

If you had the opportunity to taste and compare the expensive ones with the others, are you confident that you could tell the difference anyway?

When you read reviews by wine writers do you wonder what the difference really is between a champagne that is rated at 95 points and one that is rated at 85? Can you taste the difference?

Well they are all great questions and you're not the only person that asking them.

That's why I've devoted a whole chapter of my e-book The Insider's Guide to Champagne to this very topic and I'm excited to tell you that the e-book is now available as a paperback that you can carry around with you.

Yep, I got it published today - now that's worth a glass or two of champagne to celebrate don't you think?

Some more good news is that for a limited period I have reduced the price to only £9.97 in the U.K. and Europe and only $14.99 in the USA ( plus applicable postage and packing in both cases)

To grab a copy just follow these links



If you're dying to discover just how much a bottle of champagne really costs ( and you'll be amazed ) you won't be disappointed and you'll find there's so much more to learn too.

Here's what people have been saying about The Insider's Guide To Champagne


"I learned more about champagne from your book, The Insider's Guide To Champagne, than any other book, tasting or chateau visit I have had the pleasure of attending"

"Your book is MUST for anyone who wants to know about champagne"

"Your book is refreshingly informative and .. I would recommend it above Tom Stevenson"

"Your book is so informative and brilliantly written giving all the information in an exceptionally readable style which is so rare these days"

 So if you're a champagne lover then treat your self to a copy for Christmas and take advantage of the special price now. Get a copy for your champagne loving friends too.

Here are those links once again





Thursday, November 25, 2010

Debate a Bubble - Champagne Detective

Debate a Bubble - Champagne Detective

Link to Debate a Bubble - Champagne News and Reviews

Champagne Detective

Posted: 24 Nov 2010 07:33 AM PST

There's nothing I like more than a challenge so I was delighted and intrigued when a friend in England asked me the other day if I could find out anything about a champagne called Chauvet Frères.

My friend's friend had discovered, in the bottom of a wardrobe belonging to a relative who had recently died, an unopened half bottle of vintage champagne from 1926. The bottle had probably been in that wardrobe for years, possibly since way back in the 1920s or 1930s

A wardrobe is not a good place for storing champagne and unlike the champagne that has been found in near perfect condition in shipwrecks at the bottom of the ocean, I fear that this half bottle won't be worth drinking - the bottom of a wardrobe is neither as still, nor as dark and cool as the bottom of the sea - but it would still be great to discover more about it.

The only clue is that the name on the label is  Chauvet Frères Reims

Now there are at least 3 Champagnes by the name of Chauvet that are still around today: Marc Chauvet and Henri Chauvet in Rilly-La-Montagne and Auguste Chauvet in Tours-sur-Marne.

I've spoken to them all hoping that one of them would be able to point me in the right direction. Perhaps one of them used to be called Chauvet Frères ( brothers) before some fascinating family feud?

Alas No.

None of them has any knowledge of Chauvet Frères, so it's back to square one.

If anyone has any suggestions,please let me know. Meanwhile I'll carry on with my Sherlock Holmes act and see where it leads

Monday, November 22, 2010

Debate a Bubble - Top Tips For Your Perfect Champagne Party 3

Debate a Bubble - Top Tips For Your Perfect Champagne Party 3

Link to Debate a Bubble - Champagne News and Reviews

Top Tips For Your Perfect Champagne Party 3

Posted: 18 Nov 2010 06:22 AM PST

More about champagne glasses for ultimate style and elegance


  • Hold the glass by the stem

  • Only fill it 2/3 full (not to the brim)

  • Pour the champagne one glass at a time

Holding the glass by the stem is so much more elegant than grabbing it by the bowl. Plus the warmth of your hand doesn't warm up the champagne, and you can see the lovely colour and the bubbles while it's in the glass.

Tasting at Henriet-Bazin Never, ever fill your glasses to the brim. Why? Because that leaves no space for the aromas to develop in the glass, and you don't have any room to swirl the champagne around in your glass which will help those lovely aromas to reveal themselves.


Resist the temptation to pour a tray full of glasses before your guests arrive.Wrong way to serve2

If you do that not only will the champagne warm up after a few minutes, but worse, the fizz will soon die down. What a shame, when watching the bubbles as the champagne is poured is part of the magic of enjoying champagne.

So take the time to fill the glasses individually for each of your guests, as they arrive. They'll appreciate it.

When you're pouring is also the moment, to tell your guests what champagne you've chosen and why, giving you an "expert" status in their eyes – now that has a bit of style about it!

If you want to find out more about how to throw stylish and elegant champagne parties, then check out "The Insider's Guide to Champagne"  an e-book that will reveal all the secrets of champagne. 





Top Tips For Your Perfect Champagne Party 2

Posted: 19 Nov 2010 03:23 AM PST

What about the glasses?

The glasses are important, and here's why:

  • If there are too few bubbles in your bubbly, 9 times out of 10 it's the glasses, not the champagne, that are the problem. 

  • Avoiding one big mistake can make sure you have loads of bubbles every time

  • Saucers or flutes - it's up to you, but be aware of the difference it makes to the champagne


Flutes selection Let's face it flat champagne is not what you want at your stylish and elegant champagne party. Avoiding this disappointment is usually just a question of ensuring the glasses have been cleaned properly

When I say "properly"  I mean that they've not  been washed  with  detergent, or worse, been washed in a dishwasher with RinseAid.

You see, detergent and especially RinseAid leaves a film inside the glass making it almost impossible for the bubbles to "stick", to the inside surface of the glass. That means fewer bubbles and champagne that looks flat and definitely unappealing.

This can be a particular problem if you've hired glasses from a caterer because most of them don't know about this and use RinseAid to make the glasses sparkle - great intention... bad result.


  • Wash your champagne glasses using just hot water – the hotter the better. 
  • Then leave the glasses to dry
  • If necessary polish them up with a clean cloth

This way your champagne glasses will be in perfect condition and you'll avoid embarassment later when your guests start remarking that there are no bubbles.

The type of glass you use is really up to you.

The saucers (coupes) are fun and good if you want to mix your champagne into cocktails. One sugar cube with a couple of drops of Angostura Bitters and a good measure of brandy or cognac topped up with champagne is still a hard one to beat.

But to get the most out of your champagne use tall, tulip-shaped flutes. This shape that gently curves inwards at the brim allows the complex aromas to concentrate. You'll really be able to notice the difference and, if you've selected a special champagne for your party, you certainly won't want to miss out on that experience.

This was tip No.2 for the perfect champagne party. More tips coming soon




Friday, November 19, 2010

Debate a Bubble - Top Tips For Your Perfect Champagne Party 1

Debate a Bubble - Top Tips For Your Perfect Champagne Party 1

Link to Debate a Bubble - Champagne News and Reviews

Top Tips For Your Perfect Champagne Party 1

Posted: 18 Nov 2010 12:47 PM PST

Bubbly Tip No 1 – Putting on the Style

 Big is Better and here's why 

  • A regular bottle of champagne only gives you 6 or 7 glasses  
  • Try magnums instead. They look great and add to the atmosphere
  • Champagne tastes better from a magnum  

Here's why...

 One regular bottle of champagne won't be enough if you have more than 6 guests – just to top everyone's glass up you'll need at least two bottles – so go for magnums instead.

A magnum will give you at least 12, sometimes 14 glasses, depending on the champagne glasses you're using. That means less time spent opening the bottles, and more time sampling the bubbly with your friends!

Magnums look enticing and elegant as you pour them, what's more many people have never had champagne from a magnum so that adds to their enjoyment as well.

They're not hard to handle either and you'll only need to chill them for about 20 minutes with half ice, half water, just like a normal bottle,  and then you're ready to go. Impress your friends with these bigger and better bottles

Why 'better'? Let me explain...

More bottles ageing at Krug 19th Feb 2010

As a  magnum matures in the cellars in France you have twice as much bubbly as in a normal bottle, but only a little bit more air in the magnum, so the whole ageing process is slower than for a regular bottle.

That means that the champagne spends longer in the producer's cellar and, as you'll know, ( if you've already got your copy of The Insider's Guide to Champagne) longer ageing produces flavours that are richer, rounder and more complex.

Give magnums a try and I'm sure you'll notice the difference!

Look out for more great tips soon about how you can get the maximum enjoyment out of your champagne this Christmas






Half Bottles Of Champagne

Posted: 18 Nov 2010 11:51 PM PST

Recently an American couple who were staying at our B & B in champagne shared with me a bottle of rather unusual champagne.

Bernardin half bottle 2002 Rosé It looked pretty ordinary at first sight as you can see from the picture but it turned out to be anything but ordinary - well worth a few lines in a blog post because there's always something new to learn about champagne

Take a look and see what you think

You can't make out much from this picture I admit.

In fact it's a half bottle, not a full bottle and here's a close-up picture so you can get a better view

Bernardin half bottle 2002 Rosé 

It's not the champagne maker that makes this bottle interesting: Bernardin in the village of Trépail - not a champagne that I had heard of even though Trépail is only about 5 kilometres from where I live 

If you look carefully though, you can see that this is

  • a vintage champagne from 2002
  • a rosé champagne
  • a half bottle

So why is this unusual?

Well, the thing about half bottles is that they don't last as long as normal-sized bottles. In fact the smaller the bottles the shorter the time you should keep them and vice versa. Half bottles are definitely not meant for laying down. It's a great idea to have a few in stock but they're meant for opening whenever you fancy a glass or two of champagne, not to hang on to.

It's odd then to find a vintage champagne in a half bottle, in fact I can't think I've ever come across a half bottle of vintage champagne before, much less a half bottle of vintage rosé. After all, vintage champagne is aged longer in the cellar and is supposed to have much longer ageing potential than non-vintage, so it just doesn't lend itself to half bottles.

So I was curious to see what this champagne tasted like - it had been 7 years since it was first put into the bottle - and lo and behold it was certainly past its best.

The colour was quite dark and the taste was sort of smokey with more than a touch of licquorice to it. Any fresh red fruit flavours that may have been there a few years ago had become very concentrated in a heavy and lifeless sort of a way. It wasn't exactly unpleasant but not a great bottle at all.

The moral of the story is not to hold on to half bottles too long and if you're interested in storing champagne for a year or more, then the bigger the bottle the better.