“Producing champagne will never be an exact science, it’s a true art. It can’t be replicated. From the pop of the cork to that first delicious sip, champagne engages all four senses and evokes celebration like nothing else can,” says Pascal Asin, Moët Hennessy, Managing Director, Africa Middle East.
RAISE YOUR GLASSES …
Taking place over a 24-hour period on the third Friday of October every year, Champagne Day has become a global occasion as champagne fans from every corner of the globe raise their glasses in celebration to their favourite libation. Aside from the multitude of champagne experiences taking place worldwide, the day also provides an opportunity for champagne fans to exchange champagne tasting notes, experiences, recommendations, discoveries and videos.
WHAT MAKES CHAMPAGNE SO SPECIAL?
Champagne’s ‘Methode Champenoise’ process follows strict regulations that require non-vintage varietals to be aged ‘on the lees’ in the bottle for at least 15 months. This means that the champagne is kept in the bottle with the sediment that forms, while it’s gradually turned and inverted until it’s time for the sediment (lees) to be removed.
Champagne such as Moët & Chandon, can also only be produced from grapes grown in the Champagne region of France. This is legally protected by the EU (under the Protected Designation of Origin status) and may only refer to sparkling wines made according to specific criteria in the Champagne area in France. So why is region so carefully protected you may ask? Because it’s the region’s ‘terroir’ which makes champagne production such an art. It’s the notion that each wine is a product of a set of conditions unique to the Champagne region, such as climate, soil and local wine making traditions developed over centuries, whose combined influence makes any single wine different from all other wines produced anywhere else.
THE ULTIMATE CHAMPAGNE DAY SELECTION
Ensuring your fridge is stocked with a range of suitably delicious champagne ahead of Champagne Day 2019 is a job we take very seriously. But with the wide range of champagnes now available in South Africa, what to choose? So we’ve done the hard work for you and asked a man very much in the champagne know for his top picks – Pascal Asin, Managing Director, Moët Hennessy Africa & Middle East. Pascal has sipped and savoured his way through a selection of the most desirable champagnes on the market to bring you his perfect bubbly selection ahead of Champagne Day.
The must-buy – celebrate a global champagne icon on Champagne Day
Moët & Chandon Impérial
For those in the know, 2019 sees Moët & Chandon celebrate the 150th anniversary of their flagship champagne – the iconic Moët Impérial. First released in 1869, Champagne Day couldn’t be a more perfect occasion to pay tribute to 150 years of celebration and to mark this truly momentous anniversary of the world’s most loved champagne. Moët & Chandon believe in celebrating each and every day – so it comes as no surprise that a bottle of Moët & Chandon is opened every second around the globe. You’re invited to join the global celebration and pop a bottle of your own! And make sure to tell your friends that the winery’s founder Claude Moët was of Dutch heritage, so the correct pronunciation is ‘Mo-Wett’, and not ‘Mo-Way’. You heard it here first!
Available from: R529
Champagne Day sundowners for city-slickers
Veuve Clicquot Rich Rosé
Created expressly for mixology, Rich Rosé is Veuve Clicquot’s most versatile champagne, designed to allow anyone to create their own playful drinking experience. Best enjoyed over ice with fresh ingredients, including lime, pineapple, ginger or tea, all on the rocks! Just add a balmy summer evening and a perfect South African vista on Champagne Day.
Available from: R995
For serious Champagne Day ‘wow’ factor
Dom Pérignon Plenitude 2 2000
Of course for a truly spectacular Champagne Day, it’s hard to beat the wow factor that accompanies one of the world’s most famous champagnes, Dom Pérignon. P2 is the Second Plénitude of Dom Pérignon Vintage, the result of 16 years of elaboration. The opposing and complementary elements of the assemblage resound for an increasingly sharp intensity. The energy of Dom Pérignon P2 2000 is at its peak.
Available from: R4900
For a little Champagne Day romance
Champagne’s best kept secret. Known as the champagne for wine lovers, Ruinart was the very first rosé champagne to make its appearance, dating back to the 18th century. Expect a delicate yet sophisticated rosé with an intense aromatic profile, perfect to complement your Champagne Day feast.
Available from: R950
Champagne to impress on Champagne Day
Krug Grand Cuvée
Krug Grande Cuvée is the archetype of Krug’s philosophy of craftsmanship and savoir faire: a blend of more than 120 wines from ten or more different years. Every glass of Krug Grande Cuvée is the fruit of many years of craft and patience. Show off some serious champagne prowess and treat your champagne friends to a bottle.
Available from: R2500
“Whichever champagne you decide to celebrate with on Champagne Day, always serve (and then keep) your champagne chilled not icy – the best way to chill your bottle is to fill an ice bucket with ice and one-third water and allow your bottle to cool for 15-20 minutes, and ensure you open your bottle with suitable ceremony. Think a gentle whisper rather than a loud bang though! And most importantly, sip, savour and celebrate!” concludes Pascal.