Pommery's Winning Wintertime Champagne
Despite what seems like a marketing gimmick, Pommery's Wintertime champagne is a winner
I am constantly amazed at the extraordinarily expensive lengths the large champagne houses go to in order to promote their product. Hugely extravagant parties for the launch of the most dreary new cuveé, and deep-pocketed sponsorship of upmarket cultural and sporting events are par for the course in the make-believe world of Champagne.
The trouble is we drink so little of the stuff compared to still wine that we really don't remember what the different brands taste like. Consequently our purchasing decisions are based as much on image as what's in the bottle, hence the multimillion-dollar marketing campaigns. (Pommery, founded in 1858, is now owned by Vranken Pommery Monopole Group (VRKP.PA), which is based in Epernay, near Reims in France.)
A Splendid Season
So it was with this cynical eye well-primed for derisive dismissal that I approached the latest offering from the excellent house of Pommery: four different cuveés, each corresponding to one of the seasons. Just another marketing gimmick, thought I, and boy, was I proved wrong.
Pleasantly wrong. Because the Wintertime edition—in a bottle with a ghastly pink label—is an absolutely delicious Blanc de Noir, an extremely unusual champagne made entirely from dark grapes, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier, but no Chardonnay.
Bright gold in color, it has more weight and body than Pommery's traditional light and delicate nonvintage champagne, with a rich toastiness and subtle earthy elements that make it the perfect celebratory holiday fizz during this chilly season. It also boasts the added benefit of working extremely well with rich, festive foods.
So pop the cork on Pommery's Wintertime bubbly because for once the contents of the bottle more than justify the hype.
When to Drink: Now
Breathing/Decanting: Not necessary
Food Pairing: Almost anything but the richest, heartiest dishes
Grapes: 75% Pinot Noir, 25% Pinot Meunier
Web Site: www.vranken.net
See more wines at www.nickonwine.com.
Nick Passmore is an independent wine writer and consultant based in New York. For five years he contributed a widely read monthly wine column to Forbes.com, in addition to which his work has appeared in such publications as Forbes, Discover, Town & Country, the Robb Report, the Wine Enthusiast, Saveur, Sky, and Golf Connoisseur. He is currently Artisanal Editor for Four Seasons magazine and contributes a twice monthly column to BusinessWeek.com. He is also a judge at the widely respected annual Critics' Challenge wine competition.
length (TIME) Show phonetics
1 [C] the amount of time something takes:
the length of a film/speech/play
He is unable to concentrate on his work for any length of time (= for anything more than a short time).
2 [C or U] the amount of writing in a book or document:
He's written books of various lengths on the subject.
All of your essays will be about the same length.
-length Show phonetics
of the stated amount of time:
a full-length movie (= one which has not been shortened)
adj., -ri·er, -ri·est.
- Dismal; bleak.
- Boring; dull: dreary tasks.
[Middle English dreri, bloody, frightened, sad, from Old English drēorig, bloody, sad, from drēor, gore.]drearily drea'ri·ly adv.
dreariness drea'ri·ness n.
[koo-VAY] From the French cuve ("vat"), and referring to the "contents of a vat." In the champagne region of France, the word refers to a blended batch of wines. There, the large houses create their traditional house cuvées by blending several wines before the final sparkler is produced via méthode champenoise. A deluxe version is often referred to as cuvée speciale; a vin de cuvée is the wine from the first pressing. Outside Champagne, the term cuvée is also used for still wines (see wine), and may designate wines blended from different vineyards, or even different varieties.
A descriptor for wine that contains no carbon dioxide which would make it sparkling or effervescent.