When is there never a special, or non-special, time for Champagne?

Winesellars Ltd. just sent this to me, “It’s time to start drinking Champagne—all the time.”  I left them in the dust on this one a l-o-n-g time ago, like any of our 365 days in the year, I’m on it. But, I do know that I’m not the usual wine enjoyer, so let’s have a go at it, Winesellars Ltd. style.

In their words: “With more than 16,000 growers spread out over three towns divided into five regions (Montagne de Reims, Vallée de la Marne, Côte des Blancs, Côte de Sézanne, and the Aube in the Côte des Bar), in a region 90 miles northeast of Paris, some 320 Champagne houses are producing a mesmerizing array of styles and formats from relatively cheap to the preposterously high-priced.”

And, some Champagne history : “For centuries, Champagne has been synonymous with celebration. It was Christmas Day, 496 CE, when Clovis, King of the Franks, was baptized in the Reims Cathedral using consecrated wine from Champagne, to celebrate the Eucharist; thus securing its position as the wine of celebration among French royalty. By 1790, Champagne was served at the Fête de la Fédération to toast the outcome of the French Revolution, solidifying its place in history as the celebratory wine of all people.

The wine they’re representing: Besserat de Bellefon Champagne

“Besserat de Bellefon, based in Epernay, is most known for its “Cuvee des Moines” line of Champagne Brut. These carefully crafted Champagnes are produced with less atmospheric pressure than more traditional styles. The result is a Champagne with a softer creamy mouse and ideal for consumption with food. The current offering of Besserat de Bellefon includes Brut, Brut Rose, Blancs de Blanc, and Vintage 2002.”

Sounds delicious, let’s look at this map of the Champagne region and their winery.

Paris and Champagne


[IMAGE: Wikipedia]

In the small insert, notice how close Paris is to the Champagne Region. It makes sense that the two are symbiotic, isn’t it?

Winesellers was reminding me about Besserat de Bellefon, so I took a tour on Winesellers’ Website, because each wine has and is its own character, and I want to get to know more. From the winery:

  • Edmond Besserat founded Besserat Champagne in 1843. After Edmond, his grandsons continued to build the reputation of the house. In 1927, Edmond Besserat, a grandson of the founder, married Yvonne de Meric de Bellefon, who came from another prestigious Champagne family, and the house of Besserat de Bellefon Champagne was born. The historic Bellefon Château is world-renowned, in Épernay, in the heart of the Champagne region. Besserat de Bellefon has continued to be a leading European Champagne brand for over 150 years. Today, Besserat de Bellefon is part of the Lanson-BCC Group’s portfolio of prestigious Champagnes and produces about 40,000 cases of the Cuvée des Moines range.
  • Cuvée des Moines or “Blend of the Monks,” was named in honor of the early Benedictine monks who were instrumental in developing the Champagne method. The crémant winemaking technique employs a reduced dosage, which lowers the bottle pressure about one atmosphere, so that the Champagne is soft, creamy, and packed with tiny bubbles. Unlike most traditional brut non-vintage Champagne, Cuvée des Moines is designed to be enjoyed throughout a meal. This classic (non-vintage) Champagne is produced from wines from a combination of the current vintage and previous vintages (reserve wines), rather than a single year. The art of blending wines from several vintage years ensures that there is consistently a high-quality, elegant wine in every bottle. Cuvée des Moines is skillfully blended by Besserat de Bellefon’s Wine Maker Cedric Thiebault. Besserat de Bellefon is available in several expressions of the crémant style: Brut, Brut Rosé, Blanc de Blancs Gran Cru, Blanc de Noir Gran Cru, Extra Brut and Vintage Brut.

That must have been some spectacular wedding, seriously, with all of the bubbles. One can only imagine…