Champagne Mumm Launches Zero-Gravity Bottle Design

It took three years of research and experimentation to develop Mumm Grand

It took three years of research and experimentation to develop Mumm Grand Cordon Stellar, the first champagne designed to be tasted in space. For this world premiere, Maison Mumm symbolically chose to fly over the vineyards of Reims to present its innovation during a zero-gravity flight.

Science Serving Champagne

Maison Mumm’s goal was to take champagne into space while maintaining its integrity – that is to say, respecting its aromas, the tasting ritual and the specifications of the AOC. The Maison was the first to take an interest in the scientific constraints that the absence of gravity could pose on a gaseous liquid. To explore the possibilities, Maison Mumm called upon Octave de Gaulle, founder of SPADE, a design agency specializing in creating objects for use in space, and assembled a team of experts (engineers, researchers, astronauts and oenologists) to work alongside him.

Driving this exceptional scientific adventure forward, Maison Mumm worked in close collaboration with Jean-François Clervoy (French ESA astronaut, veteran of three NASA space missions) and Gérard Liger-Belair (professor at the University of Reims, a world-renowned researcher specializing in the physiochemistry of the effervescence of champagne). With their knowledge of the dynamics of fluids and capillary action, they were able to understand the terrestrial behaviors of Mumm Grand Cordon champagne.

They faced many challenges: without the effects of gravity, the main difficulties were expelling the liquid from the bottle, capturing it once it came out and finally, how to drink it. To help solve these questions, professor Liger-Belair made twenty years of research related to the creation of bubbles in champagne available to Maison Mumm. He also led a study to predict the behavior of champagne in zero gravity.

SPADE worked on a prototype for the bottle based on theories put forward by the two scientific experts on the team to create several models which were tested in realistic conditions during three parabolic flights between April 2017 and February 2018.

A High-Tech Design

At this level of innovation, every element is essential, starting with materials which, for some, could impact the flavor, the expulsion of carbon dioxide or even the formation of bubbles in the wine.

SPADE selected the glass, the aeronautical-grade aluminum and the stainless steel (the same metal found in the assembly vats at Mumm Grand Cordon in Reims) for their ability to adhere to complex specifications. The double cavity of the glass bottle, the mechanized system contained within it, the ring mounted on the cork and the unique tapered-stem glasses were all carefully considered to reproduce the terrestrial tasting ritual as loyally as possible.

New Taste Sensations

It is in the extreme conditions of zero gravity that Mumm Grand Cordon takes on new, surprising taste characteristics and unexpected sensations in the mouth. Wine exits the bottle as a foam to be inhaled, rather than sipped. This emulsion then turns to liquid, which coats the palate and tongue as capillary action takes effect. “By releasing the power of Pinot Noir, the weightlessness concentrates and intensifies Mumm Grand Cordon’s signature style. The expression of fruit is more accomplished than it is on Earth,” explained Raimonds Tomsons, Best Sommelier in Europe 2017, who also participated in the first official zero-gravity tasting of Mumm Grand Cordon Stellar in Reims.

A Pioneering Spirit

Innovation and daring have been integral to Maison Mumm since its foundation. Exploring new territories like space was a big challenge but one that the Maison took on with passion. “Maison Mumm likes to push the boundaries and has been a leader in its field ever since its foundation. As such, Maison Mumm is a natural supporter of both the pioneers of yesterday and those of the future. In 1904, Maison Mumm was present on board with Commander Jean-Baptiste Charcot to celebrate the first successful French expedition to the Antarctic. Tomorrow, Maison Mumm will accompany passengers to space on this unique adventure,” said Pierre Bérard, Global Marketing Director.

This project goes far beyond the bounds of the Maison. It not only allows the wine to be revealed differently but ensures that champagne is part of the future of space exploration with the advent of space tourism and the first commercial suborbital flights. Beyond champagne, Maison Mumm has made a considerable contribution of the behavior and the tasting of fizzy drinks in space, opening up new horizons.

Dare, win and celebrate

Pushing the boundaries of possibility, daring, taking on challenges and looking ahead are both what this innovation represents for Maison Mumm, and what has always driven it – just like Usain Bolt, the Maison’s C.E.O. (Chief Entertainment Officer) since 2016. Usain Bolt was, of course, present in Reims, alongside the Mumm, for this momentous occasion. During the parabolic flight, he discovered the pleasures of champagne in zero gravity, before returning to Earth to celebrate, during a one of a kind party in the Mumm cellars.

 

Results of 2018 Airline Wine Competition

Global Traveler, the only AAM-audited magazine for luxury business and leisure

Global Traveler, the only AAM-audited magazine for luxury business and leisure travelers, has released the results of its 15th annual Wines on the Wing Airline Wine Competition.

The competition, held at the end of May, took place at The Pierre, A Taj Hotel, in New York City. Expert judges participated in the blind tasting of 22 airlines’ white, red and sparkling wines. The judges hailed from a wide range of specialties, including sommeliers, wine shop owners and winemakers. In total, 18 Champagnes/sparkling wines, 39 white wines and 39 red wines were tasted.

Airlines are required to submit five different wines — two red wines, two white wines and one sparkling wine/Champagne — to be eligible for the overall Best International Business-Class Wines on the Wing award or the Best International First-Class Wines on the Wing award. This year, the winner for Best International Business-Class Wines on the Wing was Delta Air Lines, and the winner for Best International First-Class Wines on the Wing was All Nippon Airways.

In the white wine category, Best International Business-Class White Wine was La Capra Chenin Blanc 2016, South Africa, submitted by Aeroflot. For first class, the winner was EL AL Israel Airlines with Yatir Winery Viognier 2015, Israel.

The best business-class Champagne was American Airlines’ Lanson Black Label Brut, NV. The best first-class Champagne was All Nippon Airways’ Krug Brut Champagne 2004.

When it came to red wine, American Airlines reigned supreme in the first-class category with Valduero Reserva 2012, Ribera del Duero, and United Airlines took the No. 1 business-class spot with Les Graviéres du Roy Sauvion 2016, France.

For the 10th consecutive year, Global Traveler awarded the Best North American Wines on the Wing. North American airlines submitted first-class and business-class wine samples, depending on their domestic flight offerings.

American Airlines was named Best North American First-Class/Business-Class Wines on the Wing, and also won for its red wine, Raymond Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 Reserve Selection, Napa Valley, California, and its white wine, Joseph Drouhin Pouilly-Vinzelles 2015, Mâcon, France. JetBlue’s Raventós de Nit Brut 2015, Spain, won Best North American Champagne/Sparkling Wine.

For the seventh year, Global Traveler awarded the Best Alliance Wines on the Wing. The participating airlines were divided by airline alliance. The overall points for each airline were tallied and averaged to determine the alliance with the highest total. Congratulations to oneworld, represented by American Airlines, LATAM and British Airways.

Competition director Eunice Fried spent months preparing for the blind tasting. Fried, an accomplished wine journalist and respected wine expert, resides in New York City.

Global Traveler is the only U.S.-based publication to conduct such a survey in the United States.

The top airlines in each category are:

BEST INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS-CLASS WINES ON THE WING
1. Delta Air Lines
2. United Airlines
3. All Nippon Airways
4. Brussels Airlines
5. British Airways

BEST INTERNATIONAL FIRST-CLASS WINES ON THE WING
1. All Nippon Airways
2. British Airways
3. American Airlines
4. United Airlines

BEST CHAMPAGNE INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS CLASS
1. American Airlines
2. Aeroflot
3. All Nippon Airways
4. United Airlines
5. Brussels Airlines

BEST CHAMPAGNE INTERNATIONAL FIRST CLASS
1. All Nippon Airways
2. American Airlines
3. British Airways

BEST WHITE WINE INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS CLASS
1. Aeroflot
2. British Airways
3. British Airways
4. Delta Air Lines
5. Brussels Airlines

BEST WHITE WINE INTERNATIONAL FIRST CLASS
1. EL AL Israel Airlines
2. British Airways
3. All Nippon Airways
4. American Airlines
5. British Airways

BEST RED WINE INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS CLASS
1. United Airlines
2. Brussels Airlines
3. Alitalia
4. Alitalia
5. American Airlines

BEST RED WINE INTERNATIONAL FIRST CLASS
1. American Airlines
2. All Nippon Airways
3. British Airways/United Airlines (TIE)
4. United Airlines
5. EL AL Israel Airlines

BEST NORTH AMERICAN WINES ON THE WING
1. American Airlines
2. Delta Air Lines
3. United Airlines
4. JetBlue

BEST NORTH AMERICAN CHAMPAGNE/SPARKLING WINE
1. JetBlue
2. Delta Air Lines/United Airlines (TIE)
3. American Airlines

BEST NORTH AMERICAN RED WINE
1. American Airlines
2. American Airlines
3. Delta Air Lines
4. United Airlines
5. United Airlines

BEST NORTH AMERICAN WHITE WINE
1. American Airlines
2. American Airlines
3. JetBlue
4. United Airlines
5. Delta Airlines

BEST ALLIANCE WINES ON THE WING
1. oneworld
2. SkyTeam
3. Star Alliance

 

Global Traveler: http://www.globaltravelerusa.com/wines-on-the-wing-2018/

Liv-ex top 50 most-searched wines in 2018

Each year around the summer season, Liv-ex examines the top 50

Each year around the summer season, Liv-ex examines the top 50 most-viewed wines, based on visits to their website from January to July.  The search-data acts as a barometer for the interests of fine wine merchants, showing where there have been changes in the trade’s interests each year.

Firsts still first

The Bordeaux First Growths continue to occupy the top five spots in the table, with Lafite Rothschild holding its position as the most viewed wine by Liv-ex members. The only difference from last year is Margaux has leapfrogged Haut Brion into third place, helped along by this year’s most searched wine, Margaux 2015.

Risers

Brands on the move such as new entrant Carmes Haut Brion (+34) have been the winners so far this year. However, trade is yet to catch up with interest, as the wine ranks a lowly 141st in terms of trade by value. Canon has had another strong year. It has climbed 23 places into the 20th spot, after climbing 24 places in 2017.

Opus One is the largest non-Bordeaux riser, jumping 24 places. Louis Roederer, Cristal has also done well, jumping 18 places. Trade has also seen a corresponding increase in 2018, placing the champagne as the 9th most traded brand on Liv-ex.

Fallers

For some to rise, others must fall. Traders appear to be losing interest in Super seconds as, amongst others, Ducru Beaucaillou (-8), Leoville Barton (-6), Leoville Poyferre (-5), Montrose (-4) and Pichon Baron (-2) have all subsided in the ranking.

Vieux Chateau Certan was the biggest faller, down 15 places.

This year’s top 50 are shown in the table in full.

Sources: 

Fine Wine Market

 

Champagne Event with The International Wine and Food Society-Oakville

It was a culinary evening of magic, from the moment I arrived at the private home in Oakville, I knew that a night of elegance and celebration was ahead!

It was an honour and privilege to participate in this event as the “Special Guest” speaker, to discuss my book “The Ultimate Guide to Champagne” and personally sign 40+ copies.

The event was well-organized by Christian Frayssignes, Dale and Jim Egan and catered by Kerr St. Café, Oakville.

60 members and guests had the opportunity to taste six champagnes, personally selected by cellar master Christian Frayssignes and Liz Palmer to pair with specially designed and prepared by Kerr St. Café, Oakville, while listening to jazz and blues tunes by pianist Rob Roland.

Champagne and Food Pairings

Lacroix-Triaulaire NV Brut

Brie & peach crostini with Roquefort & field honey

Fresh watermelon cube with elderflower,
apple-cucumber slaw & candied ginger

J. de Telmont Grande Reserve Brut NV

Tuna poke with herbed russet chips and
fresh parsley vegetable spring roll

Henriet-Bazin Selection de Parcelles ler Cru

Mini chicken parmesan lollipops with marinara dipping sauce

J. de Telmont Blanc de Blanc 2010

Lobster petit-fours…. butter poached lobster set on
roasted potato cubes with avocado puree & tarragon

Delouvin-Bagnost NV 70% Pinot Meunier

Rare thinly sliced grilled beef tenderloin swirled on mini Yorkshire
puddings with horseradish cream & pomegranate

Jean Pernet N.V.

Homemade macaroons

My favorite pairing for the evening was J. de Telmont Blanc de Blanc 2010 with Lobster petit-fours/butter poached lobster set on roasted potato cubes with avocado puree & tarragon.

I want to thank The International Wine and Food Society-Oakville for an extraordinary evening and in particular President, Christian Frayssignes and hosts Dale and Jim Egan.

And a special thank you to Esprit du Vin, Tod Warner and Kathryn Taggart Braneff!

Liz Palmer

“Dame Chevalier” of the Ordre de Coteaux de Champagne

Author of “The Ultimate Guide to Champagne”

The International Food and Wine Society – Oakville:  https://www.iwfs.org/americas/oakville

Liz Palmer – www.liz-palmer.com 

Japan Overtakes Germany in Champagne Export Market

Japan has overtaken Germany in export volumes of champagne for the first time in history, according to recent data provided by Comité Champagne.

Japan imported 12.8m bottles between 2016-17, which is a 21.3% increase on the previous year, leapfrogging them above Germany into third place.

“Over the past 20 years, Japan has produced 3,000 sommeliers and the country has a real passion for champagne,” said Vincent Perrin, deputy direct general, Comité Champagne.

“Japan has a strong distribution network and benefited from the free trade agreement announced with the EU.”

The US remains the number one for exports in terms of value, with more than half a billion Euros recorded in 2017, however the UK imported almost 28m bottles over the same period, a global high despite recording an 11% decrease in volumes.

Perrin adds: “There is an uncertainty with the UK due to the effects of Brexit, however the French economy is in a good place so we’re expecting big things for 2018, specifically in the on-trade.”

China grew 76.7% in terms of volume in 2017, the largest increase globally and the country is now ranked 15th in the world.

“These are promising signs from China, but I think they need educating on wines that aren’t Bordeaux reds before they become truly influential,” said Perrin.