Wednesday, 18 March 2015


Is this even a question? Champagne of course! I know that I will be condemned for saying that Champagne is better and I will also be called a snob, but there is a reason why Champagne is Champagne. Yes Champagne is expensive. In fact it is more expensive than when I started drinking it but one can be very lucky to find a good deal here and there. I also said that if you want to learn to appreciate Champagne you have to drink a lot, often and not the same. I won't lie that I had always drunk Champagne, nor will I say that I have not tried Prosseco or other fizz.I will say though that Champagne is altogether a superior drink delivering wines that are at extremely reasonably prices if you consider them as expressions of the varieties from which it is made. For comparison, Burgundy a good bottle of burgundy fares around £300 and you can get a decent expression of Chardonnay from Champagne at around third of the price, for example Comptes de Champagne by Taittinger. I refer to Champagne as wine. Champagne is also the first letter in my drinking alphabeth 'C' and the second one is 'B' for Burgundy. When it comes to Prosecco I see as just a sparkling wine and not an artistic expression of the grape varieties it is made from. But then that is just me. Champagne as we know it now is a fairly new thing, only about 100 years old and who knows what Prosecco will be like in 100 years. As I am unlikely to experience that I will continue to drink the best drink in the world as it is. Sometimes 3 times as expensive as Prosecco but then I don't feel the need to nurture an alcohol addiction. May be just enjoyment addiction. So for me, Champagne is still the best drink in the world. :) Peter

Thursday, 12 March 2015


My gym was shut! But it was not some planned refurbishment but a police raid. I cycled back only to ponder the eternal question of drink and ab flab. Shall I indulge again? Did not take long to see that the mission of reducing the 15% of body fat to about 9% would this evening be a complete failure. I decided to have a date with my long time love affair, Champagne. Strangely, I was somehow set on a bottle anyway, and in fact on a bottle that I had not had before, but I was not sure what to have. Have you ever thought 'Oh Bollinger? Not again!'? I did! And I did it about an hour ago! I think the jaws of my friends have sunken in awe of uttering those words. Anyway, I chose something that has been looking at me for a while though I had seen in other shops. And strangely enough it was what I thought, and what I was happy to drink and in fact, how bloody rare, I actually felt like drinking, A straight Chardonnay. So what is it like (as I am still drinking it)? Clearly it is not a grande mousseux, as the bubbles are slowly popping out and the pearl threads are quite leisurely streaming through the wine. On the nose, I dare say, hint of cream (clearly an MLF except that it is toasty not brioche like; hmmm may be I can't smell well as I am at the end of a terrible cold or a clear example that I have not tasted anything interesting for while) and lemon juice. Now the lemon juice is a tertiary note I would comment on but on the palette the taste of lemons is accentuated. As a wine it is well rounded cuvee with citrus baseline structure so the acids drive the length of the wine. Hmmm, I would compare the wine to Ruinart's BdBs but at the begin more with Dom Ruinart rather than the standard version. The next balanced chardonnay from Champagne that comes to mind is Billercart and Salmon. Both however, do share similarities, but the nose here stands out. May be this is just a good wine with no identity. Will finish and try again, how soon I do not know. peter