Moet Chandon Champagne

Demi Sec Champagne has 33 to 50 grams of sugar per litre and so is very much sweeter than the dry varieties. It is asked of sweet champagne vineyards "What flavours are you trying to cover up?". Brut Champagne makes it the easier to taste the inferiority or poor manufacture of the Champagne. However, although Brut champagne is regarded as superior, our Demi Sec Champagne is of the finest quality and will provide a most pleasing desert champagne for the sweetest of tooth customers.

Sparkling wine was invented in the Limoux area of Languedoc about 1535. Champagne was first produced in the French region of Champagne about 1700.

Dom Perignon began "La méthode champenoise" was introduced into the region by about 1700. The popularity of champagne did not develop until about 1650 when the nobility and royalty of Europe became "intoxicated" by the taste and eloquence of Champagne. Brilliant marketing and fashionable trends identified Champagne with luxury, celebrations and partying amongst the wealthy and privileged.

Champagne glasses began as traditional fluted designs that well showed the effervescent nature of the wine, but "saucer" shaped glasses became popular in England about 1663. In time, Champagne came to symbolize affluence and the "good life". Of course, despite over indulgence and decadence, champagne quickly began to be looked upon as the “Wine of kings - the king of wines.” [Guy du Maupaussant]

By the WW1, Champagne was used as an indicator of the superior quality of French goods and itself became the symbol of the inherited value of the French countryside.Winston Churchill's above comments indicated the importance of the British support for the French situation. The shortage of Champagne in England was critical. and could mean that Champagne was an important factor in the the outcome of WW2?

Champagne is made from vineyards that grow Chardonnay, Pinot noir and meunier varieties. The mature grapes are sorted and undergo rapid pressing, but without crushing so as to avoid and maceration. After a settling the must is fermented at low temperature. "Prise de mousse" is a second fermentation in the bottle and is produced by adding to the wine a highly concentrated yeast liqueur. The bottles are then capped [they used to be corked back in my day - 1963] and racked. After a controlled period of fermentation, the bottles are re-racked with a neck down tilt. For some time the bottles are individually rotated by hand and laid to rest in a slightly different position until all the sediment reaches the cork - or cap. Not very long ago a clever machine was used to removed the old cork from the upside-down bottles and replaced them with a new corks - an great machine to watch. Many vineyards now freeze the neck and disgorge the ice with the sediment. This is less wasteful I am told. At this stage the wine can be "topped-up" with old wine to produce a particular champagne vintage.

The writer has a sensitivity towards champagne and rejects the wasteful practice of spraying this precious and exquisite liquid over the audience at pop concerts, losers at car races etc. To some it looks impressive, but to me it is a disgusting waste of a valuable resource that deserves our preservation in line with all of earth's wonderful resources and not our abuse.