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Celebrate with French Champagne

Home > Sydney > Food and Wine
by Vanessa de Largie (subscribe)
Published May 14th 2012
Image by Agne27 (Wikimedia Commons).

I love champagne and I drink it fortnightly in rotation with my favourite merlots and cab savs. Champagne is for when I'm feeling up and celebratory. Red wine accompanies my meals and my baths, its a more a relaxing drink, a chill-drink.

The word 'champagne' derives from the word campagna which means countryside. Apparently a name for this area of France since the Middle Ages. Wines with bubbles but not produced in the French Champagne region (Reims, Epernay, Ayers) are called "sparkling wines".

Being a Perth hick born and bred, I turned up to a bar in London years ago with my affluent friend who corrected me when I called 'sparkling wine' champagne.

'Ness, that's politically incorrect. Don't let my French friends hear you say that.'

I just call it bubbles now - whether it's champagne or sparkling wine, this keeps everyone happy and myself out of trouble.

Since then, I have been fortunate enough to sample many fine French champagnes and it kicks sparkling wine's buttox from here to the London post office.

I won't lie, I cannot always afford French champagne and I have to make do with Yellowglen or Omni most of the time. But I do treat myself to the real stuff more often these days. (At least I've moved on from Passionpop - isn't being a teen wonderful?)

The following are some champagnes I suggest you try if and when you have the dosh. They are simply gorgeous.

Moët & Chandon
I usually buy a bottle of Moet when I come into money (which means when I get a gig - sporadically.) I also grab a bottle if I'm catching up with friends I haven't seen in centuries or moving to a new abode. The last time I had it was Christmas morning, for our champagne breakfast. It's such a nice drop and well worth the $80 if you can afford it. Treat yourself.

G. H. Mumm
I first tasted MUMM champagne at a French Restaurant in Akaroa in New Zealand. Crisp. Probably my least favourite out of the four mentioned here.

Dom Pérignon
It was the great Dom Perignon who said "Come quickly, I'm drinking stars." I love that quote. I am a huge Marilyn Monroe Fan (like obsessive collector) and Dom was Maz's favourite drink. I drank Dom for the first time in Kyoto, Japan. Its $300 a bottle. So best left for a special occasion. Travelling in Japan was my top travel experience of my life. So I would have paid twice that (if I had the money, which I didn't)!

Louis Roederer Brut Premier
I only discovered this gem in a bottleshop in Richmond last week when I was looking for something special to take to my friend's 30th dinner. I paid $55, perhaps it was on special? But I have looked online and you are looking at around the $66 mark to buy at most liquor stores. his champagne is beautiful, so smooth. I will definitely be trying to find an excuse soon to purchase another bottle. Louis Roederer is the maker of luxury champagne Cristal. That's next on my hit list, when I have a spare $1000 smackeroonies.

So there you go, time to break out the bubbly. Time to celebrate or put yourself in a better mood. Champers tends to do that, perhaps its the 49 million bubbles in the average bottle? Makes the brain cells tap dance.
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Why? You need me to give you a 'why' for drinking French champagne? You need a smack.
When: Now is a perfect time. Call me after you've purchased it, if you need a drinking buddy.
Where: In a glass, out of the bottle, in a bath, with strawberries, with friends
Cost: $66 - $1000
Your Comment
Fantastic article, I also have a love for all thing champagne. Was interested to hear about these types as have not tried any of them since just starting to discovering champagne (previously thought wine was gross - give me bourbon anyday) s#Since trying Piper Heidsieck and Veuve Cliquot in the last couple of months have IMMENSELY enjoyed the stuff and am keen on trying these. Will most likely stay away from MuMM champers!
by Julian Groneberg (score: 3|1806) 3360 days ago
Thanks Julian! Yes I was once a bourbon girl :) But now a wine/bubbly girl. Will be interested to hear what you think. What a great task - tasting alcoholic beverages -poor you! :P
by Vanessa de Largie (score: 3|1343) 3360 days ago
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