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James Bond is my kind of guy. He drinks well, drives super cars, stays at the classiest of hotels and beds really fine looking women with exotic names. What I like most however besides the fine women of course is his exuberance for champagne and his precise method of ordering it, so classy.
On my first visit to Bordeaux, I had lunch with Mr. Taittinger of Champagne Taittinger and he confessed what he thought was the trick to life. He said, and I quote, “Make lots of love and drink lots of champagne”. I liked him immediately.
Champagne has been the epitome of celebration, romance and luxurious living for centuries. Speaking of romance, recently after drinking almost a bottle of Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin, which continues to be one of my favourites, I looked longingly into my wife’s eyes and said, ‘I think I should be drinking more champagne’.
For the uninitiated, champagne is a sparkling wine that comes from the Champagne region in France. The region’s soil, climatic conditions, grape varietals along with skills and traditions of the Champenos – a family that has been producing fine wine generation after generation – comes together to create this sparkling wine.
And honestly, beyond all the glitz and glamour, the liquid in the bottle when produced by iconic producers, is pure gold.
Raise a Toast
I think we should be drinking great champagne the year round, but this time of the year particularly warrants the finest, especially since we just survived another world ending prophecy!
Some of these are not available in India easily, but if you get a chance to buy one somewhere in the world, do not hesitate.
Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin La Grande Dame Brut
In honour of Madam Cliquot who revolutionised the champagne making process, this vintage champagne is their prestige Cuvee.
Taittinger Comtes De Champagne Blanc de Blancs Brut
White from white refers to the fact that this champagne is made from 100% Chardonnay only.
Krug Clos du Mesnil Blanc de Blancs Brut
A very rare vintage champagne produced using Chardonnay grapes from a small 1.84 hectare walled vineyard.
Dom Ruinart Brut Rose
A blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, this wine embodies intense red fruit, floral notes and a dash of spice.
Bollinger Brut La Grande Annee
It doesn’t get more James Bond than this. Notes of toasted bread from its time spent in the barrel with fruit makes it powerful and delicate all at once.
Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill Brut
Made in honour of Winston Churchill who loved champagne and was a loyalist to the iconic Pol Roger house, this rich champagne is a perfect tribute to an exceptional leader.
Nicolas Feuillate Palmes d’Or Brut Rose
Made from 100% Pinot Noir, this limited rose champagne in a very interesting bottle design, is just simply delicious.
A point to note, all of the above are vintage champagnes i.e. they have been produced from the harvest of one outstanding year. The non vintage champagnes from the same houses are also brilliant and definite must-haves.
I have not included the likes of Dom Perignon or Cristal or a few more like Salon or Laurent Perrier in this particular piece, but they are either just as exceptional as, or more so, than the ones above. I just thought we’d go with a few that were not so well known in India as of now.
A Very Happy 2013 folks, we wish you lots and lots of champagne and crystals!
TAGS: Champagne, wine, crystal, sommelier, bubbly, Bordeaux, james bond, fine wine, luxury spirits, Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin, Taittinger, Krug Clos, Dom Ruinart, bollinger, dom perignon, Nicolas Feuillate, Laurent Perrier, food, drink
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