My Interview with Ange Aiello of iYellow Wine Club

picture1Taking Champagne with Madame Champenoise 

Liz Palmer graced the Wine Angels with her presence in the Cave (Toronto) last month to toast to the release of her new book The Ultimate Guide to Champagne. Liz’s love affair with wine began nine years ago, as she made the transition from law to a studying Somm. As we sipped, savoured, and yes, SABERED in her honour, it became apparent that we could all agree that no matter the question – Champagne is ALWAYS the answer. As we poured ourselves some champers and settled into chat – Liz told us about her continued book tour plans (Paris, New York and Toronto), and how she will soon be launching her own Champagne brand- How cool! Liz is fondly known as the “Queen of Champagne”, but we call her “Madame Champenoise”!

If you could describe the purpose of your book in one sentence, what would it be?

The Champagne Bible

Do you consider yourself a Champagne purist?

I’m a purist when it comes to vintage Champagne, but I am still open minded. There are people in France who don’t believe that you should cook with Champagne. Then, there is the topic of decanting Champagne, it does change the taste and effect the bubbles – true purists don’t agree with decanting.

What was the very first Champagne you drank in the region? 

Drappier Champagne from the Aube region. Champagne has been produced by the Drappier family for eight generations and I’ve have the honour to meet and taste with three generations Andre, Michel and Charline. I just fell in love with their wines when I visited them several years ago. They a “champagne table” that holds your champagne glass and purse – what else do you need.

What is your favourite Champagne?

The 1998 Dom Pérignon, I tasted with the chef de Cave Richard Geoffroy and a sommelier in a private intimate tasting experience a few years ago –  It was memorable! (Find it in the LCBO here)

Is there another female that inspires you?

It’s difficult naming one, but Maggie Henríquez, the CEO of Krug stands out, she is quite a dynamic woman. There are more females in ownership, management and board roles than ever before. I’ve interviewed quite a few of these women and have mentioned a few of them in my book “The Ultimate Guide To Champagne” (even our very own Angela Aiello).

What is your favourite wine pairing?

Oysters and champagne –there is nothing better!

What are you wearing if Champagne is the perfect accessory?

Either an elegant evening gown or a bathrobe.

If you were talking to someone who didn’t know anything about Champagne, what would be the key thing you would want to tell them? 

Two things – firstly, how to shop for champagne, and secondly how to taste it.

When you’re not writing, or drinking Champagne, where are you and what’s in your glass?

I love Chablis. I also been going in between Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio. During the spring time I focus on Provence rosé.

And the final question – have you ever sabered!?! And tell us about your experience.

I’m a beginner – I just bought my first saber from Reims, France and it is a Laguiole brand. I’ve been practicing off the back of my boat!

Liz’s champagne and wine adventures! Follow me on Instagram here!

Book Review by Thierry Sabon, Président de la Fédération des Syndicats de Producteurs de l’AOC Châteauneuf-du-Pape

15085517_10153799398366184_5964057673541223488_n“Great work – Your book is really impressive.”

“Through this book Liz shows us that the economic success of Champagne is based on passionate people, a long history,  landscapes and cities, a real and special “art de vivre!”

After reading this book you will never taste a glass of Champagne the same way”

Thierry Sabon
Winemaker – co owner of the Clos du Mont-Olivet
Président de la Fédération des Syndicats de Producteurs de l’AOC Châteauneuf-du-Pape

Wine Book Launch: Liz Palmer’s The Ultimate Guide to Champagne – November 13- 3 pm, New York

imagesJoin New York Champagne Week Founder, Blaine Ashley as she welcomes Journalist, Liz Palmer as she officially debuts her book to NYC: The Ultimate Guide to Champagne. This essential guide takes you to the Champagne region, explores its culture and honors it’s history. Chalk full of beautiful pictures, this equally informative read provides tips for traveling the region, breaks down grape varieties and styles, Grand Marques / Growers and Cooperatives, harvest and viticulture. The guide also covers food pairings, how to cook with Champagne and how to taste and identify flavors. Readers will also explore Champagne Etiquette and Style, tips for weddings, the Economics of Champagne and it’s health benefits, yes, HEALTH BENEFITS! Come on, come all to enjoy the final day of the 4th Annual New York Champagne Week with The Ultimate Guide to Champagne. Champagne Bulle de Reve will be served.

http://nychampagneweek.com/public-events/

 

 The U.S. Becomes Champagne’s Top Export Market

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, CA - DECEMBER 29: Bottles of champagne are seen on display at a Costco store December 29, 2008 in South San Francisco, California. As the economy continues to falter, sales of sparkling wine and champagne are down this year compared to a 4 percent surge from last year. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

The Champagne category is bubbling over in the U.S. market, driven by a dynamic premiumization trend. With per-case value up 20% to over €300 ($334) last year, the U.S. overtook the U.K. as Champagne’s top export market by value in 2015. Champagne shipments to the U.S. leapt 28% to €515 million ($573m) for the year, surpassing the U.K.’s total of €512 million ($570m), which itself represented a 7% bump. U.S. depletions, at 1.4 million cases last year, remain shy of their 2007 total of 1.6 million cases, but shipment value has surged by nearly 60% since 2010, according to Impact Databank. A slide in the euro—whose value against the dollar is down by about 20% over the past two years—has helped to stoke growth.

From 2010-2014, Champagne’s value on a per-case basis rose a respectable 10% in the U.S., adding around $25. But in 2015 alone, it more than doubled that incremental growth, tacking on about $55 in value to the average case of Champagne. Price hikes and a stronger emphasis on higher-end bubblies are both contributing to the dramatic rise in value.

Piper-Heidsieck, which transitioned from the Rémy Cointreau USA portfolio to Terlato Wines last July, is employing both of those tactics. Piper is extending with a Rare Rosé this year, which will be priced at a premium to prestige cuvée Rare Brut, becoming the brand’s highest-priced offering. While looking to increase its high-end sales, Piper has also taken price hikes on its core Brut non-vintage. “Previously you’d sometimes see the Brut as low as $29.99 on the shelf. Over the holidays last year the average was above $39.99, which is a nice move in the right direction,” says Terlato CEO Bill Terlato.

The third-largest Champagne in the U.S. market, Pernod Ricard’s Perrier-Jouët, is seeing strong results for its prestige cuvée Belle Epoque, which sells above $150 a bottle. “The on-premise is back on a healthy trend and it’s a key driver for our portfolio,” says Aygline Pechdo, brand director for Champagnes at Pernod Ricard USA.

Meanwhile, market leader Moët Hennessy USA continues to enjoy impressive progress with the dynamic duo of Veuve Clicquot and Moët & Chandon, which dominate the category with a combined 60% share. Portfoliomate Dom Perignon is also among the top five Champagnes in the U.S. in volume terms—totaling nearly 60,000 cases annually—despite a retail price above $160 a bottle.

Fourth-ranked player Nicolas Feuillatte tells SND it’s focused on expanding Champagne into new consumption occasions. “We’ll be launching new advertising and social media campaigns this year which support our vision for the future of Champagne as more modern and accessible,” says Feuillatte’s Americas export manager Olivier Zorel. —Daniel Marsteller

U.S. – Top Six Champagne Brands
(thousands of nine-liter cases)
Depletions Percent Change3
Rank Brand Importer 2013 2014 2015 2013-2014 2014-2015
1 Veuve Clicquot Moet Hennessy USA (LVMH) 383 415 453 8.3% 9.3%
2 Moet & Chandon1 Moet Hennessy USA (LVMH) 354 369 382 4.1% 3.6%
3 Perrier-Jouet Pernod Ricard USA 71 71 80 -0.3% 11.8%
4 Nicolas Feuillatte Ste. Michelle Wine Estates 67 68 68 1.5% 0.0%
5 Dom Perignon Moet Hennessy USA (LVMH) 56 59 58 5.2% -1.7%
6 Piper Heidsieck Terlato Wines International 51 45 42 -11.4% -7.0%
Total Top Six2 983 1,027 1,083 4.5% 5.4%
1 excludes Dom Perignon
2 addition of columns may not agree due to rounding
3 based on unrounded dataSource: IMPACT DATABANK

Source: Shanken News

 

Liz Palmer

liz-palmer.com

@Champagnehouses

@LizPalmer_

Champagne physicist Gérard Liger-Belair’s recent observations revealed in the Journal of Food Engineering

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Gérard Liger-Belair a physics professor at the University of Reims and expert in effervescence and oenology released his latest report entitled:

“Unveiling self-organized two-dimensional (2D) convective cells in champagne glasses”

Fabien Beaumont, Gérard Liger-Belair , Guillaume Polidori –
Laboratoire de Thermomécanique (GRESPI), UFR Sciences 13237697_10209713954748660_6688242121628904899_nExactes et Naturelles, Université de Reims Champagne-Ardenne, BP 1039, 51687, Reims Cedex 2, France

Journal of Food Engineering

Volume 188, Pages 58–65

‘’’Our work around swirling movements which agitate the champagne in the flute (and their action on the exhaust of flavourings) continues.

In collaboration with our colleagues and friends of the grespi, we just released a new series of observations in the journal of food engineering, which makes the link between the number of vortices on the surface and the intensity of the effervescence in the glass.”

An Abstract of the Report

“Under standard tasting conditions, homogeneous stirring of champagne under the action of rising bubbles confers an advantage compared with a situation where the liquid phase would be at rest. Convection helps renewal of the immediate subsurface layers with champagne from the bulk, thus facilitating the evaporation of volatile organic compounds, and therefore better revealing the champagne “bouquet”. Here, spontaneous and self-organized two-dimensional convective cells were evidenced (at the air/champagne interface) in a laser-etched coupe poured with champagne, through laser tomography. Various regimes were evidenced, from a highly unstable 8-cells regime, to a very stable 4-cells regime. Moreover, by blowing air bubbles through a nozzle positioned at the bottom of a goblet poured with water, and by using Particle Image Velocimetry, similar 2D convective cells were also evidenced at the air/water interface, thus pointing out the crucial role of ascending bubbles behind the formation of self-organized 2D convection cells.”

“Amazing networks of convective cells revealed through laser tomography at the surface of champagne glasses.”

Highlights and Findings:

  • The stirring of champagne glasses under the action of rising bubbles increases the perception of aromas.
  • Self-organized 2D convective cells were observed in champagne glasses through laser tomography.
  • Identical convection cells were evidenced in a model experiment, with a bubbly flow blown in a water goblet.
  • Various regimes were evidenced, from a highly unstable 8-cells regime, to a very stable 4-cells regime.