Lifestyle

Champagnes to celebrate our athletes

Thursday, August 16, 2012    

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This past weekend, the curtains came down on a glorious two weeks of personal triumphs and achievements. The mere fact that our athletes qualified to represent our country on the world stage is commendable, regardless of whether they medalled or not.

Major celebrations will be in order on their return home, and no other wine is more synonymous with celebration than champagne.

Not every wine with bubbles can be called champagne. True champagne comes from a region in France about 90 miles north-east of Paris. In this special location, 300 years of tradition mixed with the grapes from the distinct geographic location, cool climatic conditions and chalky subsoil will produce a wine like no other in the world.

Champagne in Jamaica

I am still amused when I hear persons say that no good wines or champagnes are available in Jamaica. I find I have to bite my tongue, hear them out fully and then list out the top brands globally which are readily available here. In the champagne category, the major brands sold here via an official distribution channel include: Armand de Brignac (Ace of Spades), Billecart-Salmon, Bollinger, Drappier, Krug, Laurent Perrier, Moët & Chandon, Perrier-Jouet, Piper-Heidsieck, Ruinart, Taittinger, and Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin. I also see Louis Roederer on some shelves; however, I am not sure who the importer is.

New to our shores

New champagnes from Gosset, Henriot and Nicolas Feuillatte are now here in time for the celebration of our athletes' return.

Gosset Champagne

Gosset is the oldest wine house in the Champagne region with roots going back to 1584. Typical of this era in champagne, Gosset initially produced still wines, mainly reds, whilst his cellars adjoined those owned by King Francis I of France, who enjoyed these red Aÿ wines. Gosset champagnes are made from a blend of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier. The house is known for its slightly sweet Brut Excellence that is now available here along with its vintage prestige cuvée Célebris and Grand Millésime.

Henriot Champagne

Founded in 1808 in Reims, the House of Henriot is first and foremost a family business. Seven generations have been involved in the making of a champagne which corresponds to their idea of perfection. This family is one of the oldest families of the region, their ancestors, wine and wool merchants settling in Champagne in 1550. The two grapes selected by the House of Henriot are of the two finest varieties in Champagne: Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Henriot Brut Souverain and Henriot Rosé Brut are now available here.

Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte

Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte is an exception in a world where the leading brands have built their image and reputation on a history of more than a hundred years. The brand was started by Nicolas Feuillatte in 1976, after inheriting a vineyard near Reims, the Domaine de Bouleuse. In 1986 he sold the estate and brand to the Centre Vinicole de la Champagne. The brand has continued to grow and Nicolas Feuillatte remains the brand's ambassador in France and around the world. Their standard cuvée, the Nicolas Feuillatte Brut NV, is now available in Jamaica.

Congratulations to all the athletes who represented Jamaica and a special champagne toast to all our medallists!

Chris Reckord - Entrepreneur & Wine Enthusiast. Send your questions and comments to creckord@gmail.com. Follow us on twitter: @DeVineWines @Reckord

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