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.

Champagne Gift Box by Piper-Heidsieck and Baccarat

ch1Piper-Heidsieck has teamed up with French crystal-maker Baccarat to create a $650.00 holiday gift featuring two bottles of vintage champagne and a pair of custom-made flutes.

Set in a red-varnished wood case, the limited edition gift set includes a bottle of 1996 and a bottle of 2006 Vintage Brut, along with two Chateau Baccarat flutes, designed by oenologist Bruno Quenioux.

CANADIAN TRUTH-IN-LABELING VICTORY APPROACHES

ch bureauIn the same way that a Napa wine comes only from Napa Valley, California, Champagne comes only from Champagne, France. As of January 1, 2014, Canada joins the group of nations that put truth-in-labeling first.

This change in the law isolates the United States even more as over 45% of all sparkling wine are still mislabeled “Champagne.” This practice seeks to trade on the good name of another location, as well as mislead consumers. This deception is a problem for all winemakers who seek to differentiate their products by location.

Winemaking regions around the world rely on their place name (or Geographic Indication, or “GI,” as it is referred to in Europe) to differentiate themselves from other winemaking regions. Consumers rely on these names to choose their wine as the name reflects where it comes from, its quality and its specific characteristics.

Champagne produces about 300 million bottles a year, a small percentage of the approximately three billion bottles of sparkling wine that are sold worldwide every year. And producers throughout the world, including the United States, Australia, Italy and Spain, profitably produce and sell millions of bottles of sparkling wine without using the name “Champagne.”

Most countries have robust truth-in-labeling laws that protect consumers from being deceived by requiring the name of a wine’s location be reserved exclusively for the regions where the wine is produced and grown. As of January 1, 2014, Canada will become the latest country to join the global movement in support of robust truth-in-labeling laws on their wine labels.

Most Canadian wine producers stopped using “Champagne” and other wine growing place names (Sherry, Port, etc.) many years ago, but the January 1 milestone will make the change official. Canada will now join the majority of countries around the world – including the European Union, Australia, Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa – that believe when consumers buy a bottle of wine, they should be able to rely on the truthfulness of the bottle’s label.

With Canada’s approaching change in law, there are very few countries which do not adequately protect Champagne’s name. While the United States has yet to ban mislabeled wines that misuse the name Champagne, many quality producers in the United States proudly and successfully use the term “sparkling wine” to describe their wines. We look forward to a time when the U.S. and others joining this growing body of countries which reserve the name Champagne exclusively for wines from Champagne, France.

Source: Champagne Bureau

MOËT COLLECTION DATING FROM 1914 – 2004 SOLD FOR £147,333

UnknownA collection of Moët & Chandon dating back to 1914 was sold for £147,333 at auction this week.

The collection, spanning 270 bottles from 2004 to 1914, was sold by Sotheby’s at its London sale on November 13.
The highlight of the sale were three lots each of two bottles of the 1914 vintage;100 years old and particularly commemorative with the advent of the centenary of the First World War next year.

Valued at £4,800 – £6,000, one lot alone made £10,340 and the three combined sold for £24,910.
Other top sellers included another six bottles in three lots of the 1921 vintage, which sold for £8,813 per two bottles and three bottles of the 1928 which sold for £5,405 apiece.

Serena Sutcliffe MW, Sotheby’s international head of wine, commented: “The Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage Collection 1914 is an extraordinary Champagne, both historic and glorious in taste and we are thrilled the price reflected the brilliance of the wine.”

Source: The Drinks Business

Chicago’s First Official Champagne Grand Tasting

2The largest official Champagne tasting in the United States kicks off today at the Ivy Room in Chicago. Trade and media attendees will have the opportunity to taste more than 100 unique wines from 36 different Champagne producers.

The event celebrates those wines produced in Champagne, France, which can only be called Champagne. Organized by the Comite Champagne, which represents all the grape growers and houses of Champagne, the tasting gives media, trade and the wine industry a special opportunity to taste and increase their knowledge of a wide variety of wines from the region available on the U.S. market.

“This is the first time we have hosted a Champagne tasting in Chicago and the fourth one we have held in the United States,” said Sam Heitner, director of the Champagne Bureau, USA the representative of the Comite Champagne in the United States. “The selection of more than 30 Champagne brands highlights the authentic qualities that are born from the land, climate and centuries-old methods that can only be found in Champagne, France.”

Jean-Marie Barillere, the Chairman of the Comite Champagne, and Thibaut Le Mailloux, Communications Director of the Comite Champagne are attending the tasting along with leadership from a number of prominent Champagne producers.

“Champagne is a location, 90 miles northeast of Paris, clearly defined and delimited since 1927; this wine region is integral to our unique product. That is why we say that ‘Champagne only comes from Champagne’ and why virtually every country in the world reserves the Champagne name exclusively for these wines,” said Le Mailloux. “With this event, we seek to increase understanding of the Champagne region in the United States, reaffirm the organization’s long-standing commitment to supporting the U.S. market and ensure U.S. trade, journalists and consumers know Champagne only comes from Champagne, France.”

Earlier this year, China and Brazil officially reserved the “Champagne” name for wines only from Champagne, France. Canada will follow on January 1, 2014. These countries join numerous others including Australia, India, Mexico, the EU and South Africa in ensuring that wine labels make it clear: Champagne only comes from Champagne, France.

In 2012, Champagne shipped 308 million bottles worldwide, with more than 17.7 million bottles shipped to the United States, making it Champagne’s second largest export market behind the UK.

SOURCE Champagne Bureau, USA