Friday, 7 August 2009

A Sulphur Free Champagne

Having been asked numerous to times for a wine without sulphites, and only being able to recommend one, an organic Shiraz, I was pleased to read in Decanter that Drappier Champagne are bucking the trend.

The Drappier family, who are all allergic to the preservative, has just announced its latest champagne, Brut Nature Zero Dosage Sans Souffre NV, a Blanc de Noirs (white Champagne made from black grapes).

Despite centuries of use, the Drappier family believe that if the fruit is of high quality, and certain vinification techniques are used, then there’s absolutely no need to use sulphites. Great news for everyone, who, like them, hasn’t really had much option before! The process, though, hasn’t been without pitfalls. The first vinifications were unsuccessful, due to uneven levels of oxidation during the process and an uneven quality of the grapes.

The cost of making the champagne this way is also significantly greater, and the wine itself doesn’t even last as long as its sulphured counterparts, questioning its viability. However, Drappier do not seem concerned about this, claiming demand is far outstripping supply, suggesting it could sell three or four times as much!

Let’s hope that if this is the case that they can increase their supply, and that the quality is there!

Thursday, 6 August 2009

New Wine Bottle Formats

Firstly, let me apologise for the lack of posts lately, I’ve had a busy couple of weeks at work! So, on my first day off, in what feels like forever, I’ve been trawling through my inbox, deleting all the rubbish you get sent these days, and trying to catch up on the news. That’s where I came across several articles’s in Harpers and Decanter about new product launches for wines in smaller bottles.

The first new product comes from Lanchester Wine Cellars. The new Inspiral range of red, white and rose varietals will all come in a 187ml spiral shaped plastic bottle, which are supposed to have been designed to attract your attention. The bottle also has excellent green credentials, being fully recyclable, reduced in weight, emissions and carbon footprint. Let’s just hope the wine lives up to expectations after seeing the packaging.

The other comes in the form of a 100ml screw cap test tube. Not a new design, however, a new concept of packaging for Sauternes! Grand Cru Classe property, Chateau d’Arche, is planning to launch its second wine, La Perle d’Ardech, in this form in nightclubs across Bordeaux and Singapore in September. Supposedly aimed at the younger generation who don’t know about it, or who think it’s too expensive, the aim is to offer an alternative to Vodka. They are also looking at creating vintage box sets for tourists.

Will these take off? Honestly, I’m not sure of the Inspiral range; it will all depend on the price. As for the test tubes of Sauternes, in the right location (probably very exclusive nightclubs), then yes, yes I do! I’d certainly give it a go!