The Go-To List for Champagne Shopping

Champagne Shopping
We all love to do a little bit of shopping; but unlike picking up those to-die-for shoes or that perfect shade of lipstick, wine shopping isn’t something that should be done on impulse. A good bottle of champagne is expensive, so want to be smart shoppers when it comes to buying that perfect bottle; and part of being an empowered consumer is being an informed one.

Just like the eyes are the window to the human soul, the bottle label is the window to the champagne soul; everything you need to know about the wine is written there for anyone to see—talk about wearing your heart on your sleeve! But if you don’t know what you’re looking for, all of that information can be really confusing—worse than watching a French film without the subtitles. So here is a go-to list for everything you need to look for on the label to make sure you’re making the best purchase possible.

1) The County of Origin. If it isn’t France, it isn’t champagne, pure and simple. Don’t be too bothered if you don’t see the AOC or AC stamp; sometimes these aren’t included, even on the genuine article.

2) The Brand or Marquee. This tells you who produced the wine—which can account for different varieties of flavor.

3) The Degree of Dosage. This will tell you how much sugar has been added to the finishing dosage—or in other words, how dry the champagne is. Common words to look for include: Brut Sauvage or Ultra Brut, or extra dry, sec, or demi-sec.

4) The Hometown of the Wine. This is the town in which the wine was made; so if you’re looking for a particular mixture of grapes, you can cross-reference which subzone the town falls into (like Cote des Blancs and so forth).

5) The Alcohol Content. This will be anywhere from 10.5-13%, but should be somewhere more around 12-12.5%. For vintage dated wine, it should be at least 11%.

6) The Volume of Liquid. Expressed in milliliters, this will range anywhere from 375 ml “half-bottles” to extra-large (and extra-rare) 18 L bottles. The 1.5 liter “magnum” size is most popular for its slow maturation rates.

7) The Trade Registration. Wine producers are given a specific registration number by the CIVC, and each brand owner will be given a different identity to be used on the bottle:

NM or negociant-manipulant is a shipper who owns vineyards and buys grapes, including many of the traditional internationally famed Champagne merchant houses.

CM or cooperative de manipulation is an association of growers who pool their resources and produce and market their wines as a collective whole.

RM or recoltant-manipulants are individually owned estate grape growers that independently produce Champagne using a majority (at least 95%) of their own grapes.

RC or recoltant-cooperateur are growers who use the help of a cooperative and their facilities to produce champagne.

MA or the marque d’Acheteur are third-party merchants who buy and commercialize champagne, but are not involved at all in the production.

The Èlaborateur. This may refer to a Champagne house, a grower, or a cooperative, but refers to whoever made the wine, and will be indicated on the label.

Now that you are armed with some knowledge on purchasing Champagne, go ahead and purchase some and enjoy what’s inside!

One of my favorite quotes and so very true…

“There comes a time in every woman’s life when the only thing that helps is a glass of champagne.” ~ Old Acquaintance


Introducing: 2014 Rosé Impérial Tie-for-Two collection

For an elegantly effervescent Valentine’s Day Moët & Chandon is launching the special 2014 Rosé Impérial Tie-for-Two collection.

This collection has been inspired by one of Moet & Chandon’s most iconic emblems, the Moët & Chandon black tie, which has elegantly adorned its legendary champagne bottles since 1886. In re-inventing this renowned symbol, the Moët Rosé Impérial Tie-for-Two Collection celebrates the precious ties that link us with those we love for a truly luxurious way to enjoy and share Moët Rosé Impérial.

The centrepiece of this impressive coffret is the emblematic black tie recreated as an elegant, satin-finished metal stand that embraces two delicately stemmed flutes for a stylishly unforgettable toast à deux. Also inside are a specially-crafted personalized booklet and, of course, a bottle of the famously sophisticated Moët Rosé Impérial.

This collection is fun and very alluring!

Champagne Served at the 71st Golden Globe Awards

GoldenglobesChampagne will be flowing freely at this year’s Golden Globe awards. Guests will be toasting the 71st awards show with 125 cases of 2004 Grand Vintage Brut magnums. In addition, red carpet arrivals will be offered Moet and Chandon imperial minis and for the first time a special Golden Globes cocktail has been created, which will be served in the lounge adjacent to the ballroom.

The Moet Golden Night, created by celebrity chef Aida Mollenkamp is crafted using Moet Imperial, cardamon syrup, pear brandy and is garnished with a fan of fresh pear slices.
“It was inspired by the glamour of the Golden Globes,” says Aida Mollenkamp. “It adds an exciting touch of sophistication to the festivities and is the perfect way to kick off the start of the Awards Season.”

For those inclined to join in a toast while enjoying the show at home, here’s Aida’s recipe:

Ingredients: (Serves 8)

1/4 cup unrefined granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
20 whole cardamom pods, crushed using the back of a knife or mortar and pestle
1/4 cup Williams pear brandy
1 (750ml) chilled Moet & Chandon Imperial Brut Champagne
2 small ripe Forelle or Seckel Pears for garnish


Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan, stir to dissolve sugar, add crushed cardamom pods, and bring to simmer over medium heat. Simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to steep and cool for 20 minutes.
Strain the syrup with a fine strainer and discard the seed and pods. Add the pear brandy and stir to combine. (This can be made up to 2 days ahead).
Immediately before serving, cut the pear from the stalk and slice lengthwise into 1/8 inch slices. Separate into a fan of three. Coat with a little lemon to prevent browning if not serving immediately.
To serve:
Add 1/2 ounce of the pear-cardamom simple syrup to 6 white wine glasses or champagne flutes. Add 4 ounces of chilled Moet et Chandon Imperial Brut champagne to each glass. Garnish with the fan of pear slices.

Source: Hollywood Foreign Press Association

Selfridges Installs World’s First In-Store Champagne Vending Machine

suffLondon’s luxury department store Selfridges recently unveiled the world’s first champagne vending machine, offering its patrons mini bottles of Moet & Chandon for £17.99.

The Moet & Chandon champagne vending machine holds 350 chilled mini bottles, which are described as “Art Deco-inspired crystal minis.”

The vending machine fits the motif of Selfridge’s efforts to create a one-stop destination for luxury gifting, transforming the entire fourth floor of its flagship store on Oxford Street into a Christmas emporium.

Champagne is often marked down in December

dec3You might expect Champagne prices to substantially increase in December, a month when festive gatherings are frequent and excuses to pop open a bottle of bubbly are quite common. No — Champagne is actually one of the best buys in December.

According to the Champagne Bureau, Washington, DC, Champagne prices drop in anticipation of New Year’s Eve. Because champagne is in such high demand at this time of year, retailers try to out-deal each other in an effort to gain more business. Consumers win in this bottle battle.