Pairing Champagne with Top Movies for 2010 [83rd Annual Academy Awards]

The Oscars are synonymous with class, beauty and celebration, which is why Champagne is the drink of this month’s Hollywood parties. As you pick your favorite to win Best Picture, remember to choose just as wisely when selecting your wine. Champagne only comes from Champagne, France.

In anticipation of the 83rd Annual Academy Awards show on February 27, the Champagne Bureau looks at the past year’s best movies and suggests the best Champagne’s to toast them with.

Black Swan (5 nominations): Natalie Portman plays a shy but fanatically devoted ballerina who loses herself in the lead role of Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake.” A full-bodied Blanc de Noir is the perfect complement as this film’s combination of music, dancing and stunning cinematography updates a famous ballet for the modern big screen.

The Fighter (7 nominations): They may call boxing the ‘sweet science’, but this gritty film is best enjoyed with a dry Brut Champagne. Enjoy it with hearty foods like steak or a hamburger, and with good companions, as you watch Mark Wahlberg and Amy Adams star in this true story of a boxer’s hard-scrabble fight for glory.

The Social Network (8 nominations): Whether watching the awards at a party or just with a few close friends, a light Blanc de Blanc is perfect for any social occasion. This Chardonnay-only wine will go down smooth as you marvel at this film about one of our generation’s greatest innovators.

Inception (8 nominations): Follow Leonardo DiCaprio’s mind-blowing journey into the human mind through dream invasion. This thriller is rich in mystery and layers of meaning, so toast to it with a non-vintage Champagne. The subtle mix of grapes from several harvests pairs well with Inception’s complex plotline (and with a bag of popcorn!).

The King’s Speech (12 nominations): There’s something for everyone in this true story of an English King’s struggle to overcome his lifelong stammer and inspire his people. It’s a moving tale of friendship, loyalty and courage, all set against the backdrop of World War II. It’s hard to imagine a better fit for a vintage Champagne than a movie about European Royalty.

The glamour of the red carpet can’t be duplicated, and neither can the uniqueness of true Champagne.

Comité Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne (CIVC)

TOP CHAMPAGNES IN BUSINESS AND FIRST CLASS – announced last month at The Business Traveller Cellars in the Sky Awards

The Business Traveller Cellars in the Sky Awards have been running since 1985, with a record number of 36 airlines taking part this year. Blind tastings took place over two days on November 4 and 5 at the Grosvenor House, London, with five judges independently scoring. The judges included:

• Charles Metcalfe, TV wine presenter and co-chairman of the
International Wine Challenge;

• Sam Harrop, Master of Wine and winemaking consultant;

• Derek Smedley, Master of Wine for more than 40 years,
consultant and co-chairman of the International Wine Challenge;

• Peter McCombie, Master of Wine, accredited tutor for the Wine and
Spirit Education Trust and consultant; and

• John Worontschak, leading winemaker and wine business development
consultant.

Business Class Sparkling

1. Qatar Airways – Laurent-Perrier Grand Siècle 1996;

2. Etihad – Henriot Blanc Souverain;

3. and
4. (JOINT) British Airways, Qantas and Singapore Airlines –
Charles Heidsieck Brut Réserve AND LAN – Louis Roederer Brut Premier; and

5. Jet Airways – Dom Pérignon 2002.

First Class Sparkling

1. Qantas – Taittinger Comtes de Champagne 1999;

2. United Airlines – Henriot Brut Millésimé 1996;

3. (JOINT) Qatar Airways, All Nippon Airways and Cathay Pacific –
Krug Grande Cuvée;

4. Thai Airways – Bollinger 1999; and

5. Malaysia Airlines and Jet Airways – Dom Pérignon 2002.

Participating Airlines:

Aer Lingus, Aegean Airlines, Air Astana, Air Canada, Air New Zealand, Alitalia, American Airlines, All Nippon Airlines, Austrian Airlines, British Airways, Brussels Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Delta Air Lines, El Al, Etihad, Emirates, Finnair, Gulf Air, Iberia, Jet Airways, Kenya Airways, Kingfisher Airlines, Korean Air, LAN, Lufthansa, Malaysia Airlines, Oman Air, Qantas, Qatar Airways, Scandinavian Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Swiss, South African Airways, TAM, Thai Airways and United Airlines.

Liz Palmer

GLOBAL – Champagne sales rise in 2010

Global Champagne sales rebounded in 2010, but demand failed to surpass the levels of 2008, according to trade body Comité Interprofessionnel des Vins de Champagne (CIVC).

Champagne sales rose by 9% in volume to 319.5m bottles, the CIVC said today (9 February). The figure confirms a rebound in demand for the category, following a sharp drop in demand at the peak of the global financial crisis.

Global sales by value increased by 8% to EUR4bn.

The biggest Champagne houses look to have led the recovery. Champagne group Lanson-BCC said today that the Champagne houses, rather than individual producers, saw collective export volumes increase by 20% in 2010.

However, industry volumes remain below those of 2008, when volumes reached 322.5m bottles. The 2008 figure, too, represented a 5% drop on 2007 volumes.

In contrast to the excess supply of Champagne in many markets during the financial crisis, the industry could face shortages in 2011. Both Vranken-Pommery Monopole and Moet Hennessy have warned in the last couple of weeks that supplies will be tight if the sales momentum continues.

Their comments will likely put pressure on the CIVC to relax its cap on grape harvests, put in place in 2009 in order to bring supply into balance with demand.

Just Drinks