Easter fizz under a tenner again

With Easter weekend approaching the big supermarket retailers are lining up some special deals on champagne to try to steal share from their competitors. And Tesco is at the forefront with its Louis Delaunay Brut back down to under a tenner if you buy six bottles, plus the ripe forward and very attractive Moët Grand Vintage 2006 down to just £26.99, on the same deal. As yet Sainsbury’s, the original creator of the Easter fizz give-away hasn’t reacted to these deals other than to improve two of its offers. But will it be able to resist tomorrow? See Latest Champagne Offers Page

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Retailers gear up for Easter weekend

It’s been a madly busy period period that kicked off with a four day trip to Champagne at the start of February and ended last week with the big Champagne Information Bureau annual tasting in London. There will be reports on all of this shortly and hopefully the problems with Word Press that have hit the site recently and made parts of it inaccessible for several days in the run-up to Mothers’ Day are now all sorted and normal service can resume.

In terms of special offers Easter weekend has always been important ever since Sainsbury’s, left with with massive post-Millenium stocks in 2000, decided to make a feature of discounting champagne.

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UK champagne shipments up by 6.1% in 2014

Britain continues to lead the way in champagne consumption with imports rising by 6.1% to 32,675,232 bottles in 2014, that’s more the next two markets, the USA and Germany, can muster together. Value was up slightly more by 6.7% to just over 477m€ giving an average price per bottle of 14.6€. The British consume more than seven times the combined volume of champagne imported by the much vaunted BRIC countries with consumption flat in China and Russia, up 10.2% in Brazil and down 16.2% in India. Britain takes 22.4% of all champagne exports.

The five leading export brands account for 38.45% of the market in Britain or 12,562,721 bottles. Compare that with the USA where the top five brands between them take a massive 70.25% of the whole market. Some 31,470, 047 bottles or 96.3% are non-vintage styles, with only 1,205,185 bottles of vintage champagne imported into Britain in 2014.

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Extra lees ageing produces exciting wines

My tweets about Charles Heidsieck Brut Réserve and how not many other non-vintage champagnes can boast eight years bottle age seems to have aroused quite a lot of comment and interest. The current cuvée of this wine was put in … Continue reading

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Winemaker Richard Geoffroy on Dom Perignon rosé

When Dom Pérignon launches a new vintage, winemaker Richard Geoffroy likes to bring along some other bottles so you can compare and contrast. When I met up with him last month, as well as the soon to be released 2005 vintage, we tried again the so called ‘P2’ 1998 Dom Pérignon, the second release of DP that comes onto the market after further lees ageing (typically another 8 to 10 years) and now really showing its considerable class. We also looked at the latest Rosé release, the 2004, comparing that with the ‘P2’ pink from 1995, fast becoming my favourite vintage of that decade and these days regularly outclassing most ‘96s.

This was a great chance to look at how pink DP develops and evolves and in this short video I ask Richard to talk about the two rosés and their differences.

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French Wine Society launches in depth Champagne study programme

ChampagneGuru is one of 7 presenters

Sign up for the French Wine Society’s  Champagne Master-Level Program which starts  next month on 16 February. This comprehensive study programme which comprises 17 live webinars held over nine weeks has six other champagne experts beside myself and it’s an impressive group to be involved with that includes Stephen Charters MW, Essi Avellan MW, Charles Curtis MW, Richard Bampfield MW, Peter Liem and  Geoff Kruth MS.

Sign up today http://bit.ly/1s4ZAcZ and enjoy a free one year membership to the French Wine Society (worth $100) when using coupon « GILESCH » after adding the Champagne Master-level program to your cart. For more details about the course click on the link above.

Pics of FWS course and my coupon (235 x 235)Note: Founded in 2005, The French Wine Society is an international wine study and certification program, providing in-depth education in the form of print, webinars, recorded lectures, live lectures, and study immersion trips to France.

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Break out the ‘Shampoo’  

Champagne is particularly good for blondes and redheads. Not to drink you fool, but to wash your hair with. Apparently, according to the Daily Mail, “rinsing your hair with ‘fresh’ champagne [as opposed to stale or flat champagne presumably] to … Continue reading

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Richard Geoffroy shows new Dom Pérignon 2005

When I was organising the in depth tasting of Blanc de Blancs champagnes, vintage and unvintaged, for the on-trade magazine Imbibe last September,  I was questioned if there was an all Chardonnay Dom Pérignon cuvée to include in the mix. … Continue reading

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In praise of magnums

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As you have probably gathered from recent posts, and those during last year’s festive season, I am a fan of magnums. The magnum is without doubt the perfect receptacle for ageing champagne in and in nearly all cases in my … Continue reading

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Consumers pick their under £20 favourites

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I reported last month on the blind tasting Anthony Rose and I did of 18 champagnes and sparklers priced at £20 and under. A couple of days after we did our tasting, I invited a group of eight consumers round … Continue reading

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