Champagne on ice!

Champagne on ice!

By Tom Brushfield

Champagne on ice!

Spring has sprung, time to get some Champagne on ice.

We love bubbles here at Union Cellars, and more people should too.

There is something about the pop of a cork that brings a smile to people’s faces.

Sadly, sparkling wine is often poured into pencil-thin flutes and served icy cold, with people looking at the label more than paying attention to what is in the glass.

With the kind of quality champagne we adore, the best advice is to use white wine glasses or universal glasses, so you can smell, taste, and appreciate the quality rather than worry about how long you can make the wine stay bubbly in the glass. 

A category of producer we like to talk about is what is known as Grower Champagne or ‘Récoltant Manipulant’, noted by a simple ‘RM’ label on the bottle. Why does that matter? Well, if they are an RM, this indicates that 95% (or more) of the fruit within the bottle was estate-grown and not purchased. E.g. They grow their own grapes and have quality control over the whole process. Now, not every grower is great, and there are some exquisite champagnes that are ‘Négociant Manipulant’ or NM. This is the most common category, which indicates that 94% or more of the fruit was purchased from external growers. Most of the Champagnes familiar to you will likely show ‘NM’ on the label. 

Why am I telling you this? Well, it is because we champion these little producers, to us they represent value for money, tell a unique story, and bring something to the table that can be as memorably thought-provoking as Grand Cru Burgundy, GG Riesling, Cru Barolo et al. You may not have heard of every producer in this list, but they are all highly recommended by us and we think you should give them a go. You may even just find your new favourite fizz for the season.