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Tag Archives: champagne


The whole wine writing world seems to be running articles on the best alternative sparkling wines for a credit crunch New Year. Why?

Yes, there may be better value sparkling wines and maybe even better quality sparkling wines on the market (parochially Pelorus from Cloudy Bay is a favourite) but champagne is champagne. It’s made for celebrations. Don’t dilly dally with Cava and “Methode-whatever”, get some bottles of the real stuff and enjoy the moment.

 “In victory we deserve it, and in defeat we need it,” as Churchill said of his customary Pol Roger.

Note also that the latest figures from France’s champagne wine board, the CIVC, show a 23 per cent fall in the number of bottles leaving the main cellars in October compared with the same month a year earlier. So there may be some bargains floating around.

Update: Here’s a writer who is of the same mind as me – “Champagne: Bottles to toast a New Year” <link>

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cork explosion

From Decanter.

“A German scientist has managed to register the speed of a Champagne cork as it leaves the bottle.

Friedrich Balck of Clausthal Technical University in northwest Germany found that a vigorously shaken bottle of Champagne, with a pressure of 2.5 bars, expelled its cork at 40 kilometres per hour (km/h) – 24.8 miles per hour.”

Here’s the university’s website. link

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Dom Pérignon is releasing a glass modelled on supermodel Claudia Schiffer’s breasts. The Lagerfeld-designed bowl is a reinterpretation of an iconic 1787 dining service made especially for Queen Marie Antoinette. Reportedly, that bowl was the exact size of Antoinette’s breast. Decanter coverage here <link>. The glass, which is sold as a package with a bottle of 1995 Oenothèque, costs US$3,150 (£2123).

I suspect most of us know what Ms Schiffer looks like, here is how Queen Marie appeared in a state portrait.


Maybe Dom Perignon could have asked Carla Bruni. Isn’t she the modern Queen of France rather than a German supermodel? I’ll leave you to find your own images of Mrs Sarkozy. I’m told they’re widely available.

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Here’s the list. My HTML isn’t up to a table.

  • Quarter 18.75 cl  1/4 bottle
  • Half-Bottle 37.5cl 1/2 bottle
  • Bottle 75cl 1 bottle
  • Magnum 1.5l 2 bottles
  • Jeroboam 3l 4 bottles
  • Rehoboam 4.5l 6 bottles
  • Methuselah 6l 8 bottles
  • Salmanazar 9l 12 bottles
  • Balthazar 12l 16 bottles
  • Nebuchadnezzar 15l 20 bottles

Champagne Magic <link> also has a mnemonic for remembering these big bottle sizes is:

My Judy Really Makes Splendid Belching Noises

Updated: And here’s an explanation of where the names come from. <link>

In summary, we know a very little about the “how” and the “why”, and nothing at all about the “who”; just a hint to explain why the various names were chosen for the different sizes.”

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