vintage champagne

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Trillipse | 01:08 Wed 24th Aug 2005 | Food & Drink
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In general, you'll probably agree, people use the prefix "Vintage" when talking about cars, wine, music, etc etc etc in order to convey a sense that the thing to which they refer is in some way superior to a "freshly made version of the same/similar item. (See "Vintage Aston Martin", "Vintage Rolling Stones" etc.) Now, normally the literally meaning of vintage has little do with the expressed emphasis. However, when it comes to wine, clearly this is not the case. (no pun intended). Now. I know pitifully little about wine of any sort, but I have a dreadful habit of latching onto things that so called experts come out with, and regurgitating them. (not so good in a literal, food, sense). I recall an "expert" saying that "Vintage Champagne" is a pointless thing to flaunt, as it doesn't mean the champagne will be any the better or deserves to cost more. Something to do with the blending. I would like to believe this, as the amount of mewling idiots who bleat on about drinking Vintage Champagne, really winds me up. And another thing. I don't rate Dom Perignon, but I think Crystal is splendid. Maybe because it reminds me of lucozade when a poorly child, with its orange cellophane. Bit more expensive though.

Who can tell me the truth?


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whether or not you like it, here is why its called vintage

the original meaning has nothing to do with great age!

My fave is still moet

No, Bollinger or Ayala as far as I'm concerned!  I've never been able to afford Dom Perignon or Krug........

The word vintage on a bottle of wine merely means the year that the grapes were grown in. Thus much of the wine on supermarket shelves at the moment is 2003 or 2004 vintage. The wine will taste slightly different in different years dependingon how much sun/rain etc there was in that year. Winelovers know which are good and not so good years for particular wine areas and buy accordingly.

Champagne though is a bit different. Most Champage is non-vintage, its made from a blend of years and wines in order to have a consistent taste. When you buy Moet et Chandon this year it should taste the same as last year and the year before, and when you buy it next year also.

The Champagne region (near Paris) is at the northern edge of winemaking, its cold and wet. But some years are good and in those good years some Champagne makers decide to make a wine from grapes grown just in that year. That is vintage Champagne. It has the vintage year on the bottle. It is supposed to be superior -- its certainly rarer and more expensive than non-vintage. And different vintages will taste different.

For everyday drinking, most people are happy with an nv.  There are over 3000 champagne producers - some very much better value than the big names, where much of what you pay for in nv champagne is packaging, marketing and hype.  However some of the big names do produce some very good vintage champagne (at a price)  Years to look out for are 1990, 1995 and 1996.There are aloo some great vintages from less known producers like Gosset, Billecart-Salmon and Vilmart.

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