Researchers Reveal Link Between Champagne and Cognitive Health

A recent study reveals that drinking champagne, anywhere from 1 to 3 glasses per week, could benefit your memory and postpone the onset of dementia, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and other degenerative brain disorders. The study was recently published in the journal Antioxidants and Redox Signalling.

The research team, consisting of scientists from the University of Reading, in the United Kingdom, discovered that the phenolic compounds that are found in champagne are responsible for improving spatial memory. This is the type of memory involved in the gathering of information related to the environment. According to the research team, these phenolic compounds modulate signals from the cortex and hippocampus, the areas of the brain related to learning and memorizing. The compounds were also found to adjust the effect of several proteins that are directly connected to the memorizing process. Previous studies have shown that the levels of these particular proteins drop with aging, thus causing the memorizing process to be less effective. This, in turn, leads to the worsening of one’s memory and is considered to be one of the causes for the onset of dementia. Their study reveals that the phenolic compounds found in champagne can slow down the loss of these proteins, thus also slowing down the aging process of the brain.

When compared to other products that contain phenolic compounds, such as white wine, champagne has the highest levels. Champagne is predominantly derived from Pinot noir and Pinot Meunier, which are types of red grapes, and Chardonnay, a type of white grapes. The phenolic compounds found in these particular types of grapes are considered to be the one that have the most beneficial effects on the brain. One of the authors of the study, professor Jeremy Spencer, notes that ”These exciting results illustrate for the first time that the moderate consumption of champagne has the potential to influence cognitive functioning, such as memory. Several precedent studies have shown that flavonoids, the compounds found in red wine, also have beneficial effects on the human organism, if consumed moderately.

The current study shows that even though champagne doesn’t contain flavonoids, its effect on the brain function and brain aging process is still present, being achieved by the phenolic acids. Professor Spencer advocates on a moderate consumption of alcohol, due to the fact that their study results show that even small quantities of champagne per week can be effective. The main author of the study, David Vauzour, adds that their future studies will focus on the transition of these studies to human models. Currently, the effect has been achieved through intake of other foods rich in polyphenol, such as cocoa and blueberries. Precedent studies that were conducted by research teams from the University of Reading showed that 2 glasses of champagne per day have favorable effects on both the heart and circulation and could be responsible for lowering the risk of cardiac arrest and other cardiovascular disorders.

Moët & Chandon is the official Champagne The Great Gatsby

Moët & Chandon has joined a stellar list of sponsors for the Great Gatsby production — The Baz Luhrmann movie is based on the classic novel by F.Scott Fitzgerald and is due to hit theatres May 10th.

Great Gatsby is set during a time when importing wine from Europe to Canada was done illegally. Coincidentally, Moët & Chandon is putting their 1921 vintage on sale — perfecting marketing on both ends. Leonardo DiCaprio is part of the collaboration and promises to be in Cannes. We are not sure what they have in mind – a “Gatsby” inspired cocktail is almost definitely part of the plan!

Global Champagne exports rise 3.4%

Champagne exports across the globe have increased by 3.4% in value while the number of bottles exported fell by four million in 2012, according to the Comité Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne (CIVC).
The UK topped the list with Champagne exports increasing by 0.5% in value despite volumes dropped by 6.1% to 32.4 million bottles.

The increase in value was due to heavy spending from wealthy consumers from Russia and China living in London and often visit restaurants, hotels, bars and clubs – these places account for 30% of UK sales.
UK Champagne Bureau, the educational and promotional arm of CIVC, director Françoise Peretti said though the consumption of Champagne has gone down, consumers are paying high for the drinks. “We are seeing a new market emerging, as discerning consumers come and settle in London from developing Champagne markets such as China, India and Russia,” Peretti added. “This is where they choose to come to explore the best of Champagne.”

Liz Palmer

Veuve Clicquot Champagne & Sushi Lounge @ 2013 Sony Ericsson Open

The Sony Open on Key Biscayne is underway, and so is Veuve Clicquot’s Champagne Tent. Veuve Clicquot has brought back the popular posh oasis, this time featuring a sushi lounge by Sushi Maki.
Guest attending the tournament can stop by at any time to sip some Veuve and cuddle up on a cushy couch surrounded by mod tennis decor or stop by one of Veuve Clicquot’s three carts for a refreshing glass of champagne and a cup of fresh cut strawberries.

Veuve Clicquot’s Yellow Label is available for $18/glass or $118/bottle; and Veuve Clicquot Rosé $23/glass and $125/bottle.

Henri Krug [1937-2013]

Henri Krug, former director and chef de caves of Krug Champagne has died March 7 at the age of 75.

“Henri Krug’s passing is the disappearance of one of Champagne’s great personalities,” said Daniel Lorson, former communications director of the Comité Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne (CIVC). “He knew how to talk about wines like none other. He had an exceptional talent for explaining the art of blending, and knew in simple terms how to define the Krug style.”

Henri was the fifth generation overseeing Krug’s production and management, along with his younger brother Rémi. The house was founded in 1843 by Johann-Joseph Krug. Though Remy Cointreau purchased Krug in 1969 and luxury goods giant LVMH took charge in 1999, the Krug family always remained deeply involved, working with a notable degree of independence.

Henri’s time at Krug began in 1962, at the age of 25. Following family tradition and in order to preserve the house’s distinctive style, he worked closely with his father, Paul Krug II, as well as his retired grandfather Joseph Krug II. In 1965, Rémi joined the firm, and their responsibilities were quickly and easily divided: Henri managed the vineyards and winemaking, while Rémi largely handled communications and business.
“We always said we were two sides of the same fruit,” Rémi told a French newspaper after his brother passed away. “He was calm, reserved, unassuming, modest and always ready to listen to other people.”

Though they worked side by side for many years with their father, Henri’s and Rémi partnership shaped the modern lineup of Krug Champagne. To begin with, they reintroduced the house’s prestige bottling in 1979 as the Grande Cuvée, packaging the wine in the distinctive, fluted bottle that is a hallmark of Krug Champagne today. Henri also formalized the tasting panel that works for months each year creating and blending the wine, as well as strengthening the house’s relationships with top growers in the region and their supply of high-quality grapes.

In 1971 Krug purchased approximately 15 acres of land in the village of Le Mesnil sur Oger, including the enclosed, 4.5-acre Clos du Mesnil vineyard. With an exceptional harvest in 1979 and the quality of the Chardonnay of this vineyard, the brothers eschewed Champagne’s tradition of blending multiple grape varieties and produced the 1979 Brut Blanc de Blancs Clos du Mesnil (98 points non-blind, $3,350 at auction), made from one grape, from one plot and one outstanding year. The wine has been an icon of Champagne ever since.

At roughly the same time, Rémi recognized growing market demand for rosé Champagne. Though their father was against the idea, the brothers felt strongly enough about its potential to secretly produce a rosé in 1976. After aging was complete in 1983, they served the wine blind to their father. Paul was sufficiently impressed that a rosé could adhere to the house style, and so a Brut Rosé NV was created.

The latest addition to Krug’s bottlings, the vintage Brut Blanc de Noirs Clos d’Ambonnay, owes inspiration to Henri as well. Henri’s son Olivier began working with the house in 1979, and following Clos du Mesnil’s success, Henri planted an idea in his son’s head, saying, “Maybe your responsibility is to find a Pinot Noir vineyard to be a little brother to Clos du Mesnil.” Krug purchased the 1.7-acre Clos d’Ambonnay vineyard in 1994, releasing the 1995 vintage (95 points) in 2009, for $3,500/bottle.

“He was a perfectionist who has been able to convey his passion and demand for precision to Olivier,” said Lorson.

Henri officially retired in 2002, but remained active with the house’s day-to-day work until 2007. Henri left the reins of Krug in the hands of Olivier, director of the house since 2009, and Eric Lebel, chef de caves since 1998.

Henri is survived by his brother Rémi, his wife, Odile, their five children and several grandchildren.