AS summer heats up, this season’s movies give you a chance to escape as films like Sex and the City 2 and Pirates of the Caribbean 4 transport you to exotic destinations like Abu Dhabi and the high seas. And what better way to enjoy the journey than by sipping a fine glass of Champagne? No matter where your movie of choice takes you, you’ll also be getting a taste of France.

WITH summer in full swing, the Champagne Bureau has compiled a guide to the season’s hottest movies, along with the best Champagne to enjoy with them.

1. Sex and The City 2 – A glass of Champagne will make you feel just like one of the girls during this sequel, where the crew escapes New York and heads for Abu Dhabi . Abu Dhabi is known for its fresh fish from the Arabian Gulf. Try pairing shrimp, crab, or lobster with a Blanc de Blanc Champagne and you will feel like you too are along for the ride. To be as classy as these girls, you can never go wrong with Vintage Champagne (produced from the wines of a single harvest).

2. Salt– If you’re looking for action and excitement, Salt should do the trick. Angelina Jolie plays a CIA agent accused of being a spy, who goes on the run as she tries to clear her name. What could be better with a Salty food and film than a classic Non-Vintage Brut style Champagne. The dry style of this wine will pair perfectly with many salty cuisines, but we recommend adventurous pairings.

3. Eat Pray Love – Follow Elizabeth Gilbert on her journey around the world in this movie based on her book of the same name. After a painful divorce, she sets off on a trip that takes her to Italy, Indonesia, and India to discover herself, and ends up finding much more. Try pairing romantic Rosé Champagne with Italian chocolate truffles.

4. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides – Everyone’s favorite cast of swashbuckler’s returns to big screen for this 4th chapter of Pirates of the Caribbean. Captain Jack finds himself onboard a ship with a woman from his past searching for the Fountain of Youth. Soak up the coastal feel of the film as you travel the seas right along with them by sipping a Blanc de Noir, which will pair perfectly with a peppered shrimp Alfredo dish. The light sauce will be the perfect match for this full-bodied Champagne and you will truly feel as though you are cruising the high seas.

The Champagne Bureau is the official U.S. representative of the Comité Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne (CIVC).

Champagne Outing ‘In Style’ with four Sommeliers, one Apprentissage Sommelier and one Jazz Pianist

As a practising (and practical) Sommelier, it has long been a rule of mine to confine my examination of fine wines to dry land only, citing the importance of dexterity and balance; in other words avoiding, for instance, tasting delicate, delicious Champagnes on a 38-foot sailboat stationed several hundred metres off the coast of Lake Ontario. And yet, this is precisely what I undertook recently on the brilliant watercraft of avid boaters Liz Palmer, Wine Writer and Apprentissage Sommelier, with partner Robert Roland (jazz piano extraordinaire), both active affiliates of Port Credit Yacht Club, soon to play host to a multitude of fine wine tastings for its members. Also in attendance were fellow sommeliers Kate Hatherly, Richard Wah Kan, and Wanda Wang.

Of my hosts, let me just say that they are experts in combining the pleasures of wine and sailing with remarkable contentment — I believe the phrase “This Is the Life” was uttered on more than one occasion during my time aboard. Boarding Déjà Vu on a sunny thirty-degree afternoon, I was first treated with a refreshing serving of J’adore Tiffany Champagne Cocktail™ a creation of Liz’s own making, comprising one-thirds Champagne, mango juice, and pink lemonade. Delicious, refreshing, and strongly mango-flavoured, these were served in unusual conical-shaped glasses, which Liz had procured on her most recent expedition to Paris, from the Eiffel Tower.

The Champagnes:

Casting off and sailing out onto the water, we first partook of a lovely half-bottle of Chassenay d’Arce Brut NV ‘Sélection’ (89+/100, priced well under 20 Euros), comprising 90% Pinot Noir and 10% Chardonnay, sourced from the Aube winegrowing region of Champagne: revealing lovely scents of delicate toasted biscuits, lemon, pears, dried nuts, and spice; complex and elegant, though definitely lighter-styled. Quite interestingly, the claim to fame for this smaller-scaled house is its participation with various famous artistic establishments (including the Louvre) in organizing wine-and-art events. Usually, when one hears about such activities, one tends to think of Veuve Clicquot or Moët & Chandon, not the smaller houses – a real coup if you ask me.

Our second Champagne was the exceptional Drappier Brut Vintage 2002 ‘Millésime Exception’ (93/100, approx. 90 Euros), comprising 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay: starbright, pale straw colour, offering incredible scents of fresh toast and biscuits, switching to pears, hazelnuts, lemon, green apples, brioche, and spice; extremely complex, stylish, moussy, and crisp; disgorged in March, 2010.

The Accompaniments:

With such marvelous Champagnes, Liz and Rob were wholly up to the task of providing a wide array of delightful food accompaniments for the afternoon. On her latest visit to Champagne, Liz had been able to procure a lovely packet of authentic ‘Roses de Reims Biscuits’ Champagne biscuits, used primarily as a palate-restorative by the locals whenever they partake of some bubbly. Combined with an exquisite helping of locally: (Champagne) crafted pork liver pâté, cheeses, crackers, and Californian berries (where else?), it was assuredly clear that all things edible only served to enhance what was truly a lovely Champagne-and-sailing outing … utterly worthy of mention in the inaugural column of ‘Wine Waves’.

Julian Hitner, Sommelier

Ruinart’s Champagne Art

Ruinart has launched “Collection Prestige” and made their Blanc de Blanc champagne a collectors item by having Milan-based artist Patricia Urquiola create a Fil d’Or or Golden Thread bottle stopper. Urquiola was inspired by the twisting motion used to manufacture cork cages. The bottle and champagne stopper costs $69.95.


This Bastille Day, Toast a Different Sort of French Revolution: “Grower Champagne”

This Bastille Day, toast a different sort of French revolution: “Grower Champagne,” the underdog out to mount a coup d’état against the monarchy of big champagne houses. Of the 15,000 grape growers in the region, historically few have bottled their own elixirs — the majority sell grapes to négoçiants, such as Moët & Chandon and Veuve Clicquot, which blend and bottle, and capture 97% of U.S. sales. But now, more growers are storming the figurative Bastille and crafting their own artisanal bubbly. So far, they’ve taken only a sip of the $291 million U.S. market, but it’s a start. Vive la révolution.

Fast Company

Part I – Yacht Club de France: History; Location; Racing; Library & Membership

Philippe COURT, Président,
Yacht Club de France

The Grande foyer of this highly prestigious club is adorned with trophies, cups, sculptures, paintings and half-hull models (of its members).

Yacht Club De France (YCF) was founded in 1867 during the Second French Empire, and according to Maritime Literature is one of the oldest yacht clubs in the world.
Admiral Rigault de Genouilly served as the club’s first Président from 1868 to 1870. According to Philippe Court, twelve of the 20 past-Présidents have been Admirals. By tradition, a strong bond unites the Navy and the Yacht Club de France. This relationship extends to marine trade, fishing and salvage values which are fundamental to the Yacht Club de France and its members.
The club remains faithful to its mission: “helping the development of recreational boating in all its forms; cruise as race, defending and promoting values of solidarity, courtesy and moral elegance that motivate all seafarers”.

Yacht Club De France was formed and established to be close to the “Power” or the “Institutions”. Avenue Foch has the reputation of being the most expensive residential neighborhood in Paris and one of the most expensive addresses in the world, as well as home to many grand palaces, including international ambassadors, Onassis and the Rothschild families and others.
In addition to its landlocked Paris headquarters, Yacht Club De France has developed close–ties with yacht clubs located on all coastlines of the hexagon and overseas.

During 1907 Union des Yachts Francais, Société d’Encouragement pour la Navigation de Plaisance and YCF merged and were recognized by the International Sailing Federation.

Apart from the trophies and cup races, YCF organizes the annual prestigious Coupe de France (the elite of the yachting world), the annual Autumn Cup, and together with the Yacht Club Italiano, the Giraglia Cup regatta from Saint Tropez.

The Coupe de France Cup is a beautiful ornate silver trophy,
designed by the jeweler of the Place Vendome Cardeilhac


Yacht Club De France is one of the world’s most distinguished and influential yacht clubs. The membership currently has over 500 members, (20% female and 80% male members).

A prospective candidate must have two sponsors in order to obtain membership admission. Ownership of a sailboat, large or small, civil recognition, civic and military, are not part of the election criteria, only a matter of adherence to the values of the club and the desire to “serve” to defend, at sea and ashore. The merit of the application is submitted by the sponsors to be reviewed by the Commission of the Interior, who shall in turn submit to the Council.
Distinguished Members include under the high patronage of the President of the Republic

Minister in charge of the Navy
Minister of Merchant Marine

HM Queen ELIZABETH II of England
HM King Juan Carlos of Spain l
HM King Constantin of Greece Il
HRH The Duke of Edinburgh
HSH Prince Albert II of MONACO
HIH the Princess NAPOLEON
HRH Prince Consort Henrik of DENMARK

Since its inception, the Yacht Club de France has been and continues to build, collect and preserve prestigious maritime heritage that illustrates the memory, and new maritime adventures of its members. The Heritage Commission is working to highlight these treasures.

Through text, photographs, and illustrations you will find many big names in sailing such as Marin-Marie, Alain Gerbault, Olivier de Kersauson Virginie Heriot, Commander Charcot Montpassant Guy, Eric Tabarly, Damien, the America’s Cup Jules Verne.

Part II (coming February, 2011)

Dining, Menu and Wine list
Taittinger is a staple on the wine list
Secrets from Chef Benoît Fleury