The big and small of Champagne

Paul-Eteinne Saint Germain

An easy weekend from London, the Champagne region has countless welcoming cellars to visit, both big and small. We pottered our way through the picturesque grand cru villages of the Côte des Blancs, the Montagne de Reims and the Vallée de la Marne. All three areas are unique both in terms of geography and the

Bollinger Madness

WCVR Champagne - 24

This New Year’s Eve, when you are looking for a bottle of bubbly to share with your loved ones, spend the couple of extra bucks and get a bottle of Bolly… you won’t be disappointed!

Cava – a crisis of identity

The height of Cava's brand image?

There is a crisis amongst Cava producers who have a unique story to tell, in a sector dominated by the marketing giants of Freixenet and Cordoniu who thrive on €2/bottle supermarket volume.

Bruno Gobillard Champagne Brut Rosé – Mille Sophie Cuvee

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He says: I can’t really say I’d ever buy this for the price as I find it to be a very bad value proposition.

She says: It was not as balanced as the other wines…

2002 Paul Bara Champagne Special Club

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He says: This is good, well-made Champagne, however, I’m not so sure I’d recommend it at the price, and at this age

She says: This is definitely not a champagne for the faint hearted.

Paul Bara Champagne Brut Reserve Grand Cru

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He says: A top-notch bubbly, and one I’ll definitely buy again.

She says: Rich, lush and lovely.

2007 Albert Mann Crémant d’Alsace

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He says: This is a great value sparkler that doesn’t have the word “Champagne” in its name, and thus, stays affordable.

She says: This was definitely a step up from a Cava or Prosecco.

Wine truths

“Wine is the most civilized thing in the world.”
by Ernest Hemingway

Wine Ratings

★☆☆☆☆ - Poor quality. Avoid. Save your money. Between 80-84 points.

★★☆☆☆ - Average quality or poor value. Between 84-88 points. Some expensive wines are downgraded for bad value.

★★★☆☆ - Good. Between 88-92 points. Or a good value on the lower end of the point scale.

★★★☆☆ - Excellent quality. Between 92-96 points. Or a cheap yet good quality wine which is excellent value.

★★★☆☆ - Outstanding, best examples in the world. Between 96 and 100 points. A perfect wine.