Hubert Burda Media

Five Bubbly Surprises – Champagne, anyone?

Before popping the latest MCIII, Moët & Chandon winemaker Marc Brévot would like to enlighten you about some interesting facts on what’s inside your champagne glass. 

The Holy Trinity in MCIII Champagne

We know that champagne is a blend of three type of grapes (Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Meunier) and varying the blend ratios can create unique flavours. For MCIII, Moët & Chandon has crafted a multi-vintage champagne from vintage wines matured in the three essential ageing environments.

  • First Stratum (Metal): 2003 vintage (50% Chardonnay and 50% Pinot Noir still wines)
  • Second Stratum (Wood): 1998/2000/2002 Grand Vintages still wines
  • Third Stratum (Glass): 1993/1998/1999 Grand Vintages champagnes

Fun Fact: The three assemblage philosophies can be seen on the bottle itself.

The best champagnes come from warm and dry harvests

To put it simply, the heat helps with the ripeness of the grapes, which then provides its sweetness. Dryness means that the fruits won’t be water-logged, resulting in a more concentrated flavour. During these good years, champagne houses will often release special vintages, after ageing them for 7 to 10 years (Think Moët & Chandon’s recent 2006 vintage).

Fun Fact: 2003 was also a year the Champagne region experienced a somewhat warm and extremely dry summer, which is why MCIII’s primary stratum is from its 2003 vintage.

MCIII Cuvée 001.14 is not a vintage blend

Contrary to popular belief, non-vintage doesn’t necessarily mean bad wine, while vintage is by no means old and better. In fact, vintage champagne only means that the grapes used in it are from the same year. But to create the best wine every year, winemaker would blend wine from past vintages and vineyards.

Fun Fact: The “001” denotes the first batch of the cuvée and “.14” references the disgorgement date.

You shouldn't store champagne in the refrigerator.

This might be shocking for those of you who always keep a bottle of champagne in the refrigerator, but truth be told, the refrigerator will actually do more damage than good to your MCIII, drying out and shrinking its cork while letting the carbonation and flavours in it to escape. Solution? Keep a bottle in the back of your closet (or cupboard). Briefly chill it in the refrigerator prior to consumption. The perfect temperature to enjoy a MCIII is 12°C (53.6 F).

Fun Fact: To maintain the champagne’s quality, keep the cork damp and ensure a tight seal.

Experiencing MCIII

Champagne flute and coupe glasses are all about presentation and decoration, but to really taste it and get the most out of MCIII is to drink it out of a Zalto Denk’Art Cristal Glass. Our sense of taste is connected to smell and the shape of the glass can drastically alter the tasting experience. While the saucer is aesthetically a vintage and timelessly stylish design, it is unable to capture the qualities of the champagne; the large surface area exposed to air means that both bubbles and aromas dissipate quickly. The flute, on the other hand, is an icon of luxury and class. However, the structure of the flute is created to retain carbonation, leaving very little room for the wine’s flavour and aroma to collect and develop. Thus, this champagne house has crafted the Zalto Denk’Art Cristal Glass to encapsulate both the coupe’s and flute’s finest qualities: a slim base opens to a widening bowl. Similar to the flute, the customised glass will develop and maintain lots of bubbles, while the wider bowl is beneficial as it allows a little more room for aeration of the wine, allowing greater development of flavours and aromatics.

Fun Fact: The fizz found in your champagne makes the alcohol enters your bloodstream quicker than any other alcoholic beverages. Thus, it is important to sip the champagne and don’t gulp.