Tag Archives: Champagne

Champagne: The lie of the land

by Neel Burton and James Flewellen Last week’s post gave a historical overview of champagne. In this article we cover the geographical nature of the Champagne region including grape varieties grown. Next week we will focus on the method of champagne production. … Continue reading

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A brief history of champagne

by Neel Burton and James Flewellen Early sparkling wines were produced by the méthode ancestrale, with the carbon dioxide gas arising from fermentation in the bottle. The méthode ancestrale is still used in certain parts of France such as in Gaillac and Limoux … Continue reading

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Oxford win 60th Varsity Blind Tasting Match

Last week an Oxford team of blind wine tasters successfully defended their title against Cambridge University in the annual Varsity Blind Tasting match. To add to the magnitude of the occasion, this year was the 60th anniversary of the competition, … Continue reading

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James Flewellen’s Top Wines of 2012

A recent post by my friend Tom Parker on his top wines of the last year inspired me to go through my notes to consider the same question. Wine tasting being the highly subjective and opinionated business that it is, … Continue reading

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New World Traditional Method Sparkling Wines

This post follows my summary of European non-champagne traditional method sparkling wines. Traditional method sparkling wines are also made in many New World wine-producing countries. Much of the initial catalysis for these wines came from Champagne houses setting up off-shoots … Continue reading

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Coates & Seely Sparkling Rosé NV

I recently tasted a sparkling rosé from relative newcomers on the English wine scene: Coates and Seely. This wine is using the traditional method (i.e. as per Champagne) and entirely from black-skinned grapes Pinot Noir (65%) and Pinot Meunier (35%). … Continue reading

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Blind Tasting Society’s Finale

You will struggle to find anything more typically ‘Oxford’ than a black tie dinner. Perhaps it is because of a small number of College- and University-sanctioned events that actually require this dress, which thus encourage various College and University societies … Continue reading

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Pol Roger bottling line

Thanks to the comment of a regular reader, I have succeeded in uploading a couple of videos of the Pol Roger bottling plant in action. My first post on the industrial champagne-making process can be read here. The first video … Continue reading

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The industrialisation of wine

As consumers, we often have a romanticised notion of wine. Slick marketing practices (such as the advertisement above) have no doubt contributed to our idea of wine as a ‘natural’ product as if, with a bit of sunshine and rainfall, … Continue reading

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Oxford Blind Tasting Team Victorious at SPIT Competition

The end of April saw Oxford University send a team of three blind tasters to compete in the Sciences Po International Tasting (SPIT) Competition held at Maison Bollinger in Aÿ, Champagne. The competition was perfectly timed for an escape from … Continue reading

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