31 December, 2000

News December 2005

  • 01.12.2005: A new book on champagne has been published. It is about the martial past of this region, and how the wine - despite the bullets - still survived. A few examples:

  • 30 kilometres from here - outside todays Chalons-en-Champagne - Attilla the hun met his Waterloo at the Catalaunic Fields.
  • From the hill Mont-Aimé on the plains on the other side of Vertus in the Côte des Blancs - we see it from the yard of my mother-in-law - Russian Czar Nicholas II made his huge forces parade following the defeat of Napoleon.
  • Women, children and pensioners continued a limited production of grapes during World War I. Most of the men were in the trenches. Some of the more famous ones - Chemin des Dames and Bar-le-Duc - are not far from here.
  • World War II ended in Rheims, as German generals signed their surrender in what is now the Musée de la Reddition.

    I have not yet bought the book by American journalists, Don and Petie Kladstrup,: "Champagne: How War and Hard Times Gave Rise to the World's Most Glamorous Wine". But I will.

  • 05.12.2005: 1.000 bottles of Veuve Clicquot must have made the party cheerful as the 20 year old heiress of one of the biggest private fortunes in the world, Greek Athina Roussel Onassis, married her Brasilian champion rider Alvaro Affonso de Miranda, in Sao Paulo.

  • 08.12.2005: Remy Cointreau will concentrate on its two grande marques Piper Heidsieck and Charles Heidsieck, both amongst the most wellknown brands of champagne. Because of this the group wants to sell its lesser known champagnes. In fact they are so unknown, that they are not even mentioned in the companys website. Up for sale is also the brand Bols.

  • 14.12.2005: The success of champagne seems to continue in 2005. The number of bottles sold is expected to rise 1,5 percent. The value of the bottles sold is expected to rise between three and four percent. Or to put it in another way, big and small champagnehouses and winegrowers have managed to sell more expensive bottles in 2005 than the year before. The numbers originates from the chairman of the Association of Champagnehouses (l'Union des Maisons de Champagne), Yves Bénard.

  • 16.12.2005: Even the Italians make their own sparkling Spumante as well as Prosecco, it does not prevent them from buying champagne too. Italy is now the thirdbiggest exportmarket following Great Britain and the United States. In the first nine months of 2005 about five million bottles of champagne made the way to Italy, which according to the Italian office of the CIVC (Comité Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne) represent a growth of 14,9 percent. It will be interesting to see how much growth the period of the most important sales of the year - Christmas and News Year - will contribute with.

  • 28.12.2005: A group of French winegrowers has joined forces against the alcoholpolicy of the government. The name is "Les 4 Vérités sur le Vin" (the four truths about wine). The vintners want to see the blood alcohol level currently at 0,5 per mille raised according to Decanter.com. In a leaflet they argue that statistics show, that three glasses of wine does not interfer with your ability to drive a car. The group says, that in Great Britain there is only half as many deaths on the roads as in France even the UK-limit is at 0,8 per mille. According to the French authorities the number of deaths on the roads have declined 20 percent since the law came into force in 2002. Meanwhile the sales of wine in restaurants has taken a dramatic dip, even the customers today are allowed to bring what is left in their bottles back home. The American doggy bag way, however I have never seen anybody actually do it. The statistics do not separate between different types of alcohol when it comes to accidents.

  • 31.12.2005: Nicky Hilton - sister of Paris - celebrates New Years Eve with style and a bottle of Cristal (prestige blend of Roederer) in the size of Nebuchadnezzar. The content of this huge bottle is the equivalent of 20 ordinary bottles og 0,75 litres. It costs 100.000 dollar. But then you are mentioned here and there and everywhere in gossip mags around the world. Already from size Jeroboam - four ordinary bottles (three litres) - the cork is said to be rather difficult to remove. But when you buy a Nebuchadnezzar you probably get a helping hand or two, at least to tip the bottle.

    På dansk

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