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Hello, all.  I trust you had a great weekend – watching the Superbowl and Lady Gaga absolutely nailing the halftime show…

I, on the other hand, was buried deep in my study books for my Master Level of Champagne exam that is, at the time of publishing this post, complete.  I did take a wee break to watch the halftime show on YouTube – I didn’t give a flying hoot about the actual football game – not my jam.

I wrote from 8 AM until 9:30 AM via Skype – not something I have done before but it all went smoothly.  I studied my ass off and I can now only wait for the results in the mail.


To celebrate, I opened up a mini-bottle of Veuve Clicquot (375ml) when my exam was complete and savoured the Pinot Noir dominant wine that I now have a much greater appreciation for.

At Veuve Clicquot, they use a considerable amount of reserve wine from their cellar that goes back to 1988.  As stated, it is Pinot Noir dominant making up over 50% of the blend that is added to 30% Chardonnay and the remaining is Pinot Meunier.  Their NV Brut (Yellow Label) is their biggest seller and is the second most popular champagne in the world based on sales.  They use an unnoticeable amount of oak and a considerable amount of aged reserve wines – 35% of the blend is reserve wine made up of wines that range from 2 – 12 years old.

Sugar is on everyone’s’ minds these days, understandably.  Champagne houses can legally have up to 12 grams of residual sugar/litre in a ‘Brut’ style wine – Veuve Clicquot comes in at 10 g/l RS.  Their approach to winemaking is not cheap – they do everything well and purposefully.  I enjoy the fuller, more oxidative style of this wine – it has power, structure and finesse … much like the very talented performer, Lady Gaga.