What we drank last night – Moet & Chandon Imperial Brut

Elouise CalabriaCanberra Wine Tours, Wine

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!


Elouise CalabriaWhat we drank last night – Moet & Chandon Imperial Brut