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Anyone else not like Champagne?


#1

Hi all,

Just wanted to see if anyone else on the community wasn’t particularly enamored with Champagne, I have tried a fair few different house styles and price points but for me I don’t really get what all the fuss is about. If I wanted to get a sparkling wine of some sort I would probably head towards a Cava which not only uses the same method as Champagne but is usually cheaper (undervalued) and I find rounder and deeper in flavour.

Just wondering if I was the only one who thought this?


#2

Nope.

I really don’t like the stuff.

Nor any sparkling wine.

I even had a glass of Cristal at a function a few years ago. That didn’t do anything for me either.


#3

As @MrNXM I’ve always been pretty ‘meh’ about Champagne and any sparkling wine.


#4

You just haven’t found the right one :wink:! I’ve tasted some terrible Champagne and sparkling wine and had some fantastic grower producer Champagne and the difference and depth of flavour is astonishing!there are also some exceptional ESW around too . Keep trying until you find one you like :+1:!


#5

You provocateur you ! I am not carried away with Champagne or its derivatives, but I do enjoy the odd cold glass when appropriate, having said that I repeat the tale of the '59 Krug I was lucky to get a glass of and that was in another world, but how often does that chance happen.


#6

I know where you are coming from.

I like it - but I do expect it to taste like any expensive bottle of wine, and many do not. If I’m paying £20+ for a still wine I expect it to be really good. ‘Standard’ champagne at £20+ needs to work in its price bracket.


#7

I’ve tried loads. Over the years through work I have been to countless functions where there has been a champagne reception.

Many of them, especially pre financial crash, with very good quality champagne (e.g. the one serving Cristal).

Every time I stand there with a glass of champagne thinking I’m really not enjoying this.

The best that I have found is Laurent Perrier Rose Champagne. I can quaff that quite happily but I’d still rather be holding a beer or a glass of wine.:beer::wine_glass:


#8

I LOVE IT!!! Champagne, English Sparkling, Cava. Yes please. Must confess I haven’t really ventured further afield…
Agree with @Leah, it takes some exploration. I’ve had stuff that’s just fizzy acid, and inutterably horrid, but I’ve also had some absolutely amazing bubbles.
So there will always be a time and a place for it in my collection.


#9

I love it too. There is a lot of sharp acidic stuff on the market, I prefer a more toasty one. Of the big boys Charles Heidsieck is the one for me.

For Growers champagne the society stock Vilmart and Chartogne-Taillet which are both fantastic and offer differing styles.

I love Nyetimber too, although not a champage!

You should be able to taste the difference from a cava even though they’re made in the same way.


#10

Not an aficionado by any means and a lot of it I agree is overpriced in comparison with quality still wine, but it does take quite a bit more effort to make so not surprised it is expensive for what it is.

The most expensive I have tasted is DomPerignon Rose vintage and it was wasted on me. I have enjoyed Ruinart blanc de blancs very much but it was quite a few years ago now. Laurent Perrier I like, and Harrods champagne is lovely - the moussiest (!) mouthful I have ever tasted and I really enjoyed it. Again not for a few years now. My favourite is TWS own label NV. Lovely depth of flavour. Sometimes a bottle of fizz just hits the spot, usually when we are in celebratory mood.

And I do very much enjoy a Kir Royale. But I would never make it at home with champagne! For that I try to be authentic and get a Cremant de Bourgogne or make do with a Cava. Both are nice for this purpose.


#11

Nothing says you have to like Champagne or any wine, sparkling or otherwise.

In fact, if you have a palate that likes certain wines then by definition you’ll dislike others.

I love Champagne. But I’ll admit that is partly the name and heritage and that in my youth it was a drink only the very rich drank or one you saved up for special occasions. So when I open a Champagne as an aperitif on Sunday as I take the joint out the owvn, the wine is especially enjoyable.

There are a great many Champagnes and their composition influences the taste. So does the amount of bottle age. I prefer made with all or a maximum of black grapes.

Although most Champagne sold in the UK is ‘Brut’, that may be too austere for some and they might prefer an ‘Extra Dry’ (which is sweeter).

I am also in a minority in that I harbour the heretical thought that the Pinot grapes (PN, PM and Chardonnay) might not be the best for sparkling wine. They are used for Champagne for purely historical and pragmatic reasons.

Chenin Blanc makes a wonderful sparkling wine, can be Brut yet without an acidic edge, fuller bodies and fruitier.

My tip for improving even the cheapest Champagne or similarly made fizz is to give it some bottle age. Keep it for a year or more and notice the improvement.


#12

That book called Bursting Bubbles I found to be interesting talking about this topic. The author loves champagne but dispelled myths and described a lot of Champagne’s faults. I think, although I do appreciate and enjoy a nice champagne, it’s not a wine I take very seriously. I would certainly never consider collecting it and on the whole, the majority of it is overpriced, mass produced and mediocre. English sparking wine can and will increase in its competition to it. I’d rather drink the magnificent Camel Valley Rose Brut than a ‘supermarket’ Moët any day. Big champagne houses are about marketing and image. There’s no little farmer producing love in a bottle in small volumes of low yielding bliss. It’s industrial. But it has to be - it has that demand.

…and we must all remember it was not the Champenois who discovered the second fermentation ‘miracle’ - it was the British with Cider !


#13

I don’t, nor any other sparkling wine. When did the custom of offering it instead of sherry before a meal spread to the Wine Society?


#14

My girlfriend drinks little else. I wish she would learn not to like it, it would save me a fortune…

Although I must admit she has taught me to appreciate Champagne generally, and the huge diversity of styles available. It is the only wine I keep tasting notes for, and in the last three years I’ve tasted over 250 different wines, covering the full range of styles, regions, price - and drinkability. Some rubbish, some sublime. (And some really are produced by “little farmers producing love in a bottle” - honest!)

And I must endorse peterm’s point above about bottle age, it really can make a huge difference. So if you only drink Champagne at Christmas/New Year, buy your 2019 stocks now!


#15

I’ve always figured that when a big Champagne house sponsors a yacht race or suchlike, the cost of such marketing wheezes surely has to be offset by the price of the bottle, the quality of the contents, or a bit of both. I’m sure it’s more complicated than that but it has to come from somewhere…


#16

To quote Meatloaf - you took the words right out of my mouth :wink:
I can’t get excited about it, and the image associated with it and the marketing involved put me right off.
I do enjoy the odd one, but my go-to sparkling are ESWs and Cremants, as well as sparkling Vouvray (I totally agree with @peterm about the delicious nature of sparkling Chenin!). I love Sekt too, and always have some when I’m in Germany, but they’re not easy to get hold of here.

As it’s not a style of wine I in all honesty ever seriously engage with or take notes about, drinking alternatives, which can offer the same sort of light-hearted enjoyment without breaking the bank, makes more sense to me.

Similarly to you, Bursting Bubbles really opened my eyes to some of the myths about Champagne and its production. A fascinating book!


#17

Ah but there is. I buy 90% of the Champagne I consume direct from the growers I visit or from small tasting houses in Champagne, To find these little gems you really do need to go and actually see their small production, the story of the family, nieces and nephews who help with the harvest and taste their best cuvées . The quality of some of these small “farmers” Champagne is really something and a large Champagne houses standard cuvee just doesn’t come close. @Ghost-of-Mr-Tallis will I’m sure agree a his experiences of the region and its smaller producers is a lot better than mine. But I will keep going back, year after year and discovering absolute gems at a fraction of the cost of a large house.


#18

Sorry - just for clarification - I was referring to the ‘supermarket’ Moet type champagnes. There’s no love in there. There’s just demand and supply - still impressive they manage to pump out so much wine. We’ve had some lovely grower Champagnes over the years - nothing that’s blown my socks off but really pleasant wine.


#19

Champagne is not to my taste, but I did thoroughly enjoy it on one occasion. I was staying with friends in St.Petersburg and we took the train out to Repino to visit the museum house of Repin, the great 19th century painter of scenes from Russian history. Afterwards we took a ‘short cut’ back to the station through some woods and got lost. It was midwinter, with deep snow, already dark, and we were cold and hungry… Eventually we emerged into a lane and found a small shop. There wasn’t much on display (it was the 1980’s) but they did have a loaf of bread, some smoked salmon - and a bottle of Russian champagne! We sat round a small table in the and tucked in. It was a meal to remember.


#20

…is that Vodka?