Champagne tasting, while pleasurable, can be really hard work and quite overwhelming – especially if you do it seriously and take notes along the way.
There are years and weather conditions to take into consideration. There are percentages of different grapes, the date of disgorgement, the eye, the bubbles, the nose, the mouth…..the list goes on. If you are really serious, there is even an aroma wheel helping to distinguish the principal aromas found in champagne. All of this before you’ve even downed your first flute!
Not surprisingly, this can turn a lot of people off. While personally I do like taking notes and tasting a champagne seriously the first time I try a new one, a lot of the time I just want to enjoy sharing a glass with friends. I get a buzz out of serving a non-vintage champagne to the uninitiated, and see their eyes light up as they exclaim “Hey, this is good!”. “That,” I always say, “is because it is Champagne”. I can’t imagine what these people would think if I started waffling on about blends and vintages and terroir. I think we need to take baby steps getting people to the point of doing serious tastings. First we need to start to get them drinking champagne and to stop calling anything with bubbles in it champagne.
So I have been thinking. I need to come up with a champagne rating for beginners. And I think I’ve got it!
It’s just one step up from buying a bottle because you like the label. If people know that the bottle has a collectable cap, then it will make the choice easier. Similarly, even if they don’t know if the cap is really pretty, there is added excitement in removing the foil to unveil the surprise beneath.
In fact, I might start giving all the champagnes I taste a Cap Collectability Rating (CCR):
There are so many lovely ways to display collectable caps – champagne cap frames, the beautiful Wearing Memories jewellery line, the Waterford crystal bowl you inherited from your Gran that is gathering dust on your sideboard.
What do you think? Could this catch on?
On the other hand, there is always the Sabrablity Rating …..