It’s New Year’s Eve so of course we’re drinking champers, love Aussie sparkling but as we’re celebrating at home (while our nine month old sleeps soundly in her bed – god willing!), I decided to lash out on proper champagne. Moet & Chandon go back further than white settlement in Australia. Claude Moet was the founder back in 1743 and this iconic brand along with G.H Mumms are two standouts for me. I visited the Champagne region of France around five years ago as I wanted to see if all the pomp and fuss was necessary or deserved. Yes and yes I would say! I bloody love Australian sparkling wine and could sing our praises as well, it just so happens I identify with that `bready`, `yeasty` character synonymous with French champagne. I know you can find these characteristics in some Aussie sparkling but there is nothing like champagne from Champagne! Given the choice between a glass of Moet and some other brand, I wouldn`t tell you to `get that Moet out of my sight or I`ll throw some foie gras on your white shirt`.
This tipple I`m about to rip into comprises three grape varieties. Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and about ¼ Chardonnay (I bloody love Chardonnay whatever way it comes). The Methode Champenoise follows the secondary fermentation (adding more sugar and yeast-addition of carbonation).
What happens with the yeast and sediment is pretty clever. The bottles are placed in a rack and `riddled`. The bottles are lifted out slightly, turned a little and slammed down. This helps settle the sediment in the neck. The next stage is `disgorging`. Essentially the neck of the bottle is frozen and this `cap` is removed. The pressure created by the CO2 (by-product of the ferment) shoots the cap out. This is quite a simplistic explanation but my attempt nonetheless. Also worth noting is the weight and strength of champagne bottles. I used to think it was purely aesthetics but due to the pressure of the CO2 in the bottle, standard wine bottles would most likely blow up under the pressure.
I`m going to crack on and enjoy it now.
When I look at the champagne in the glass, I see a beautiful golden colour. As I put my nose in the glass I feel the bubbles on the tip of my nose. I smell green apple and sharp, crisp fruit. On the palate I enjoyed the creamy, breadiness that I love so much. Chomping away on fresh prawns and the odd oyster, I reflect on comparable champagne but this is hard to beat at this moment in time.
Moet does cost a few dollars more and it`s rare that I drink it, but I feel confident that if it were served in a brown paper bag to me, I`d give you a big hug and compliment you for a job well done (selecting such a delicious champagne that is!) Please remember though that you drink what you enjoy. Don`t let others tell you what`s the best. You judge that by YOUR own taste.
Cheers and all the best for 2015!