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08 December 2006


Ccork_1 Time for an episode of, "Let's dispel some wine dogma."

I recall in the early days of my oenological oeducation there was always one exception to the following article of faith:  There isn't necessarily any relationship between wine quality and price."  In other words, pricey wine isn't always tasty wine.

But then, nearly every wine guru would add the 'Champagne exception'.  The Champagne exception goes something like this:  Champagne is a labor-intensive wine; each house can blend dozens of reserve wines to produce a consistent style, and thus, even though it's pricey, Champagne quality is reflected in its price.  Put another way: Champagne is good, and you get what you pay for.

Really?  I think not.

Over the past couple of weeks, I've been experimenting with entry level bubbly from some of the major Champagne houses.  And I'm here to testify that the aforementioned little chunk of wine dogma w/r/t Champagne & price is total hooey.  Why should one pay thirty or forty bucks for mediocre, one-dimensional sparkling wine?  While I think some Champagne in this price range is definitely worth the money (e.g. see: J. Lallement & Fils), There is no steadfast rule of relationship between price and Champagne quality.  It pays to do your Champagne homework, and ask questions at your friendly neighborhood wine shop.

Do you know of any wine dogma, which needs to be dispelled?


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Oenological oeducation. Hehe, good one!

Garry Clark

Moet & Chandon apparently sells a bottle of champagne every minute. Their marketing budget is astronomical!!, probably bigger than some small countries health budget!! Who pays for that? The mug that buys moet of course. This pretty much applies to all the big brand champagnes. Add this to the fact that the majority of the grapes are bought in and the appeal of the smaller grower producers suddenly looks a lot more attractive. Personally I wouldnt drink any of the big brands anymore, I prefer smaller grower-producers such as Aubry, Jacquess Selosse, Moutard, Egly-Ouriet. They may be a bit more expensive, but the quality knocks the socks off the prestige brands!! I believe these wines are imported into the US by Thierry Thiese. Check them out, you wont be disappointed.



GC - Egly-Ouriet rose is one of my fave bubblies.

And Moutard is high on the list to try.



I recently tried a bottle of Kenwood Vineyards Brut Sprklg Wine Yalupa and was pretty impressed, not super expense, not super cheap either, but tasty.

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