Monday, 21 March 2011


Virtually everybody wants a Champagne Life!

You return from work feeling you need something to boost your mood after a hard day's work where. Your boss shouted at you for no apparent reason. The ride on public transport seemed endless with all odours being involuntarily inhaled because there is no airconditioning and the efficacy of the deodorant has long diminished and it is not entirely excluded that some individual was kind enough to remind you of their lunch alternatively the dinner in one way or another.

This is where I shall continue with two options; One of Champagne Bliss and the other of Family Bliss.

They say that children are life farts because you can tolerate only your own. However, even that is often not true. Some can barely tolerate their own offspring. I don't blame them. A child, god forbid if you have many, is worse, more expensive, more demanding than a mistress. Unlike her, children need new clothes and shoes more often than every season. Sometimes it seems that even though you finish one job with an abusive boss, the work at home does not finish but you get a second helping which at some point involves dealing with somewhat similar odours than those on the public transport from which you just got off. To add to that, you have no money, because those small sods don't have an income yet so if you want to indulge in a glass of something lovely you a/don't have the money, b/by the time you sit down you won't have the energy to enjoy the 'something lovely'. I shall say no more!

Champagne life, is slightly different. Yes the chores of domestic cleanliness are a given. But, after the arduous return from work there is only one thing waiting for you; a bottle of something lovely which you can enjoy uninterrupted and it is still cheaper than an offspring. So you'll be smelling, honey, white flower, red berries, and taste pretty much the same no wonder that Champagne Bliss is so wanted. However, it does wear out.

Nevetheless, since we do have the privilege of choice we are responsible enough to make the right choice for us.

Bottoms up!

Tuesday, 8 March 2011


Once one utters the words 'check mate' a defeat is on the way. At least for me because I'm terrible at chess, but I am not quite sure I can play it.

In my understanding, it is a point at which there is no other choice but to resign on one's efforts and accept the situation for what it presented itself to be: a conclusion. Having said that, I am not convinced that a defeat is the only outcome but generally it may be seen as such.

One day, a day that was a day on which I would reward myself for working hard I went to my usual shop and thought 'I should buy a bottle' but I did not. According to the staff at the shop I surprised them, and subsequently, they declared 'we underestimated your will'; I went to the shop and bought nothing and that evening I drank nothing either.

The board was set on my first visit to the usual shop and for nearly 3 years I played my part with bottles of Champagne to my best ability, only to realise that all that time the wine was winning but that one evening I thought: 'let's just pop in and say hello' and felt no impulse to buy anything and none of the bottles spoke to me.

Was the game over? Who was the winner? I moved the last piece to say 'I am done here'.

p.s. thanks Majid.

Monday, 7 March 2011


Whatever money I earn I either spend on Champagne or travelling and often both. I cannot say that drinking Champagne and travelling is particularly exciting as my ideal flight drink is a good old G&T but I shan't deny that I have done it the noble way too. The fact is that in retrospect a flight to Sydney from London is about 25 hours long and being infused on Champagne is actually a little worse on landing then being infused on Gin. On the minus side, the good stuff is only served in the premium cabins and often it is not what I would like to drink anyway but gin is on tap in any cabin. So for me a Sydney trip is never too long as it is not 25 hours but 15 G&Ts that I have to deal with; more importantly, you don't want to be drinking Champagne you don't like just for the sake of it.

The point is that having visited a few places I could tell that the prices of Champagne wines do vary from place to place. Somehow I always settled on looking at Bollinger but, believe it or not, this is not available everywhere. Nevertheless, everytime I relocate the first shop I go to is a wine shop and I check the prices of Champagne wines. Of course I convert ever single one of them most of the prices are not that difficult to remember.

Classic example has become Bollinger Special Cuvee where the variable is pretty high. For instance a bottle of it costs in London is anywhere between GBP25.00 - GBP 44.00 mostly I buy it for GBP 30.00. In Sydney the same will go for AUD 100.00 which with the current rate of exchange amounts to GBP 76.92. In Dublin a bottle is at EUR 55.00 so with the horrendous rate of exchange again this translates into GBP 50.00. In Paris the prices are little bit more humane reflecting the higher end of Londons' shops. But the biggest surprise is where you would expect it the least: Scandinavia!

The Bollinger Index (1BLG = GBP 30.00) establishes how expensive certain places are to live in and subsequently whether or not I could/would live there. So Sydney and Dublin I am, for the given reasons, ruling out but Scandinavia here I come!

The other aspect of The Bollinger Index is related to prices but not necessarily of Champagne wines but more generally. Good example is rent. London or anywhere. For a studio in London you would cough up about GBP 250.00 which translates into BLG 8.33 meaning that you could get 8 bottles and 2 glasses of Bollinger for it. As another comparison is lets say a pair of cuban heeled boots from YSL priced at GBP 620.00. For that amount of cash you ll get 31 bottles of Bollinger Special Cuvee so The Bollinger Index would read BLG 31.

Just to be even  more peculiar I divided 1 BLG into 6 units as there are 6 glasses in each bottle and named it RDL as in 6 Riedels.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011


When I started with my intellectual immersion in Champagne, I was determined to try them all, but some, after tasting weren't as captivating as others. I have in mind Rose (pink) style.

It was too sweet, it was too plain, it was too pink and that was enough to make me dislike it. In the earlier days there weren't many Roses. The few I can recall were almost unattainable and my reasoning validated spending money on the white more premium wines; just as any sensible student would do!

Krug Rose, was so expensive I just thought it was a completely different virginal extract a tipple to dip a nipple in. Bollinger Rose was not really on the market in its NV option. Laurent Perrier had been already an icon but not really that famous to make it to the top shelves of posh shops in Sydney. Billercart et Salmon? Who the ..... was Billecart et Salmon? and many others.

Anyway, several years later, I had the pleasure of tasting quite a few; in fact, I did not just taste them, I actually drank them! Fyi I am Mr. Swallows.

So here follow the most memorable Rose Champagne and those that were so, hmmm, you will see...

Laurent Perrier Rose NV
- Superb aromas but restrained;

Ruinart Rose NV
- Raspberry Cheesecake

Dom Ruinart 1990 Rose
- (WOW!!!) Peach pie which has just been taken out of the oven overwhelming anyone with the sweet yet burnt juices of the peaches on the baking tray.

Krug Rose
- What the...?

Billercart et Salmon Rose
- Blood oranges

Bollinger Rose 1988
- Dead!

Bollinger Rose NV
- A basket full of freshly picked sun-kissed strawberries. (quite syrup like)

Gosset Rose
- Summer berries (mostly raspberries, and red currants) slightly restrained in taste.

Louis Roederer Rose 2002
- Yum! Slightly spicy and earthy.

Cuvee Dom Perignon 1992 Rose
- £300 a bottle, thank God I did not pay for it!

So this is it if you have any question feel free to ask.

If you want to invalidate my comments on the premise 'all depends on personal taste', unleash your passion with no restraint.