Ultimate Champagne Tasting part 2 Thursday March 21 at Wine Watch - Getting ready for my trip to Champagne!

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An artist is somebody who produces things that people don't need to have.

Andy Warhol


And you don’t need to have Champagne, but scientists have just proven that Champagne is good for your cognitive functions, IE your brain.  Check out the scientists’ evidence at the end of this e-mail and get your Champagne here!!

If this were the last night on earth these are some of the greatest Champagnes that you could have on the table for this occasion, if you love Champagne this is a tasting that you don't want to miss!

I said I was going to work really hard will I was 50 and I made it…I will be spending the rest of my days drinking the world’s greatest wines and traveling to new wine drinking destinations.  Check out the calendar of events to keep up as were going to speed up this “Drinking the good Stuff First” thing.

All sparkling wines are not created equal and Champagne along with some of the finer examples of sparkling wines made with this same method established over the last few hundred years in France's northernmost wine region are NOT the only examples of bubbly that you will find on the table tonight.

Champagne is the name of a region and therefore anything inside the boundaries of Champagne can use this name on their label, everything else is just sparkling wine.  The important thing to look for on the label when it comes to sparkling wines outside of the Champagne region is the method of production and if the words, methode champenoise are there were in business, this means that the sparkling wine in the bottle is made with the same standards that are used in the great wines from the Champagne region of France. 

Tonight we will be focusing on two great vintages from Champagne 2005 and the newly released 2008 vintage.  Just for fun we will be throwing in a few methode champenoise wines in the 2005 flight and we will be showing these wines blind to see if our “Wine Drinking People” can tell the difference between Champagne and everything else. 

This is a “Once in a Lifetime” Champagne tasting and is limited to 14 tasters, the fee for this tasting is $150 + tax and this includes dinner!   For reservations call 954-523-9463 or e-mail andy@winewatch.com.


Champagne all Stars Part 2 Champagne Tasting at Wine Watch
Thursday, March 21st, 2019 
7:30 PM

2008 Louis Roederer Cristal Brut Champagne
Price: $253.50    Your Price: $223.08

(100 points) This latest incarnation of the famous brand is a superb wine. It is on par with, maybe even better than, the already legendary 2002. Its balance is impeccable: Apple and citrus flavors working with the tight minerality to give a textured yet fruity wine. Produced from Roederer's own vineyards which are mainly biodynamic, the wine has its own intense purity and crispness. It has amazing potential and is likely to age for many years. Drink from 2020. Wine Enthusiast

2008 Paul Etienne Saint Germain Elixir de St Germain
(Last Bottle)
This is the newest creation from our good friends Jean Michel and Agnes from Epernay and this special bottle was brought back from Champagne for us to include in this tasting!  They will be here at Wine Watch on Saturday, April 13th, but you can only get this bottling in Champagne.


2008 Champagne Tribaut L'Authentique Brut
Price: $95.00   Sale $83.60

60% Pinot Noir • 40% Chardonnay  L’Authentique is full of character with a period of 2 years ageing in oak barrels and with a very low dosage of 5grs/liter, it gives to L’Authentique a generous nose with hints of wood and vanilla, notes of fresh butter, caramel and brioche. A great maturity mouth, well balanced, ample and fresh. L’Authentique is beautiful on its own, perfect with red meats and can surprise you with cheese....

2008 Henriot Brut Millesime Champagne
Price: $99.75   Sale $87.78

A blend comprising some ten Premier and Grand Cru Villages, this vintage celebrates what could only be described as a unique year. As soon as the first grapes were picked, we knew this was going to be a great harvest, which only became more apparent throughout the ageing and blending process. Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in perfect balance will transport Champagne lovers to a world of subtle sensations presenting springtime freshness, mineral character and a breadth of aromas spearheaded by fruit notes. This exceptional year, in pure Henriot style, brings great ageing potential to this elegant and generous Champagne, which will evolve resolutely over time.

2008 Marie Courtin Efflorescence Blanc de Noirs Extra Brut Champagne
Price: $150.00 Sale $132.00

Marie COURTIN Champagne is the product of a vineyeard of just 2.5 hectares which faces east-south-east. Planted in a mixed soil of clay and chalk, 90% of the vines are of the Pinot Noir variety, with Pinot Blanc and Chardonnay making up the remainder. Thanks to the careful attention and painstaking work of our predecessor, the grape varieties are derived exclusively from the process of massale selection carried out by the wine grower. We took over this vineyard in the year 2000 and for ethical reasons we immediately set in motion a programme of organic cultivation combined with bio-dynamic methods. The entire crop is made into Champagne. 4 Champagnes are produced : Résonance 100% Pinot Noir classical vinification ; Efflorescence 100% Pinot Noir maturing in oak barrels ; Eloquence 100% Chardonnay maturing in oak barrels; Concordance 100% Pinot Noir without sulphur added.

2008 Nicolas Feuillatte Blanc De Blanc Champagne
Price: $56.25   Sale $84.50

The 2008 Collection Vintage Blanc de Blancs is elegant, refined andgraceful. With aromatic complexity and great vivacity, this Champagne offers a wonderful blend of delicacy and full flavor.

2008 is regarded as a great vintage in Champagne. The coldest season of the century so far, it was conducive to producing the aromatic precursors which ultimately shaped the aromatic complexity of this Champagne. While a complicated year from a weather perspective, unseasonably dry and sunny conditions in the first two weeks of September ensured healthy and highly concentrated grapes, picked at perfect ripeness.

2008 Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Champagne Brut Vintage Gold Label
Price: $78.75   Sale $69.30

Its clear, brilliant, gold color lights up in the delicate tumult of fine bubbles produced by its persistent and remarkable effervescence. The nose is fresh, refined and elegant. Fragrances of citrus fruit and stone fruits (peach, apricot) appear first, which are then enriched by delicate, warm notes of sweet pastries, (almonds, Mirabelle plum tart): a subtle alliance of freshness and fullness. On the palate, the frank lively and pure attack moves into a powerful, structured palate, delicately chiseled from the minerality of Champagnes' chalky terroir. The generosity of the Pinot Noir's fruitiness resonates harmoniously with the freshness of the light candied citrus fruit aromas (lemon) which are embellished in the finish with delicate hints of toasted notes and dried fruit (apricots). Vintage 2008 is the perfect combination of power, freshness and finesse, and ends with an incredibly long finish.

2005 Gramona Cava Cellier Battle
Price: $78.00    Your Price: $68.64    Quantity in Stock: 10

La Plana is the mother land and source of III Lustros, Celler Batlle and now, La Enoteca. Four hectares of Xarel·lo grow in this area, accompanied by a hectare of Macabeo. They grow on clay soils with a sandy substratum over limestone rock. Bounded to the east by the River Noia, to the north, the vineyards are open to the air currents from the valley which runs down from the mountains. To the south they are exposed to the sun, which follows the path of the river while, to the west, a hill of pine trees dominates, its shadow protecting the vineyards in the afternoons. The land is worked with the same meticulous care that it has received for the last 150 years.

Aged in bottles stored on their sides (“sur lattes”) for over 100 months, which is more than double the time required for a Gran Reserva according to the D.O. regulations. 100% artisanal process. The bottles are sealed with a cork stopper throughout the time they spend resting in the silence of the cellars, which enables the longest ageing periods. We use “pupitre” racks, and riddling and disgorging are carried out by hand. Medium dosage of 6-8 grams/litre. The “expedition liqueur” comes from the family solera, which is well over a century old. A traditional art which has been handed down from generation to generation.

2005 Schramsberg Reserve Sparkling Napa
(Last Bottle)
(93 Points) The rich, nearly tannic, frothy 2005 Reserve (74% Pinot Noir and 26% Chardonnay) offers notes of apple pie, honeysuckle and earth. Made in a bigger, firmer, more structured style compared to the J. Schram, it is pure with persistent bubbles, and should drink nicely for 5-8 years.  Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

2005 Champagne Drappier Grand Sendree
Price: $139.00    Your Price: $122.32

This is the tete de Cuvee of this house and is a blend of 55% Pinot Noir and 45% Chardonnay aged for seven years en-tirage in the cellars of Drappier.  This wine has a rich golden color with aromas of quince, apricot and strawberry shortcake like aromas to the toasted nutty biscuit like aromas with light smoky notes, even more complex as the wine opens in the glass.  Thick and viscous on the tongue with a texture of cream, rich ripe fruit and tongue tingly acidity along with that textbook chalky sea shell like mineral nuance through the finish.  Finish 50+  Most Excellent +



Caviar stuffed potatoes

Siracha & wasabi deviled eggs
On the table

Truffle shoestring fries with Fresh shaved Reggiano parmesan
First course

tuna carpaccio with grapefruit segments and honey-cardamom aioli
Dinner course

Chicken Kiev served in Champagne Bearnaise Sauce and Foie Gras compound Butter

The fee for this tasting which includes dinner is $150 + tax, for reservations call 954-523-9463 or e-mail andy@winewatch.com.


Scientific proof that Champagne is good for your brain


New research shows that drinking one to three glasses of champagne a week may counteract the memory loss associated with ageing, and could help delay the onset of degenerative brain disorders, such as dementia.

Scientists at the University of Reading have shown that the phenolic compounds found in champagne can improve spatial memory, which is responsible for recording information about one's environment, and storing the information for future navigation.

The compounds work by modulating signals in the hippocampus and cortex, which control memory and learning. The compounds were found to favourably alter a number of proteins linked to the effective storage of memories in the brain.  Many of these are known to be depleted with age, making memory storage less efficient, and leading to poorer memory in old age and conditions such as dementia.  Champagne slows these loses and therefore may help prevent the cognitive losses that occur during typical and atypical brain ageing.

Champagne has relatively high levels of phenolics compared to white wine, deriving predominantly from the two red grapes, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, which are used in its production along with the white grape Chardonnay.  It is these phenolic compounds which are believed to be responsible for the beneficial effects of champagne on the brain.

Professor Jeremy Spencer, Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences, University of Reading, said: "These exciting results illustrate for the first time that the moderate consumption of champagne has the potential to influence cognitive functioning, such as memory.  Such observations have previously been reported with red wine, through the actions of flavonoids contained within it.

"However, our research shows that champagne, which lacks flavonoids, is also capable of influencing brain function through the actions of smaller phenolic compounds, previously thought to lack biological activity. We encourage a responsible approach to alcohol consumption, and our results suggest that a very low intake of one to two glasses a week can be effective."

Dr. David Vauzour, the researcher on the study, added: "in the near future we will be looking to translate these findings into humans.  This has been achieved successfully with other polyphenol-rich foods, such as blueberry and cocoa, and we predict similar outcomes for moderate Champagne intake on cognition in humans."  

Previous research from the University of Reading revealed that two glasses of champagne a day may be good for your heart and circulation and could reduce the risks of suffering from cardiovascular disease and stroke.

The paper is published in Antioxidants and Redox Signalling.

For all media enquiries please contact Alex Brannen 07834 006 243 or James Barr 07788 714376
Notes for editors:
The University of Reading is ranked among the top 1% of universities in the world (THE World University Rankings 2012) and is one of the UK's top research-intensive universities
The Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences is the largest University department of its kind in the UK, combining state of the art teaching facilities, clinical nutrition unit, labs and the largest pilot processing plant in the UK. The Department is internationally recognised for the quality of its research and enjoys a high public profile both domestically and internationally.

The department continues to work with the food industry over a wide range of industrially funded research projects and contracts under our Food Chain and Health research theme. This includes one-to-one funding from multi-national companies through to small and medium sized enterprises.


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