Robin Leach from the old TV Show “Lifestyles of The Rich and Famous” used to sign off with “Champagne Wishes and Caviar Dreams”! To wine people like myself Champagne was not everything with bubbles in it like Korbel or Cooks from California but a term used to describe an elegant, food friendly, sparkling wine produced in the “Champagne” region of France. It wasn’t just a bottle of wine you would pop open a cork to bring in the New Year or if you won the World Series you could chug it out of the bottle in the locker room. It was a part of our regular rotation of wine selections but always considered something elegant to have. It was a must with real caviar. It was amazing with fresh shucked oysters and just about everything. You could find affordable, quality bottlings for $25 or spring for the Vintage Krug pictured up above. It smelled of fresh baked bread, had beautiful acidity and was even a special treat for a Sunday Brunch (Hold the Orange Juice).
Then along came Rick Ross and along came the product that forever has clubbers and Wannabe Rap Stars searching for all over the country by asking for “ROZAY” which is Moet’s Nectar Imperial Rose. A Demi Sec overpriced sweet Rose Champagne that almost every retailer in the country was out of because of the rap star now known as Ricky “Rozay” endorsing it. There are so many delicious, affordable, Rose Champagnes that you can find for half the price but you were considered uncool if you walked into a club or a friend’s house with anything but “Rozay”.
I remember when I was a Wine Buyer at a concept in Miami for 2 years and I used to get approached by wine distributors almost everyday of the week, trying to sell me a new product. The product above which “Clubbers” are now very familiar with and are willing to pay up to $500 a bottle for was presented to me. “Ace Of Spades”! The salesperson appoached me with the 3 bottles pictured above and offered them to me at a wholesale cost of $250 a bottle and said I could retail them for at least $350 and make $100 a bottle profit for the store. He said it was the most popular item in all the clubs because of the shiny bottle. I said “Let’s give it a whirl. Pop them open and let’s taste”. He replied ” We don’t open Ace Of Spades for anyone. The bottle sells itself”! I replied “This wine buyer doesn’t buy any wine, Ace of Spades, Yellow Tail any product without tasting it for the quality of the product no matter if there is a shiny bottle or ten kangaroos on the label”! He called his District Manager who gave him the go ahead to sample me on the Ace Of Spades Champagnes. Thank God I did because without holding back, I have never obviously tasted Cat Pee. but this had to be similar to what that would taste like. This was literally the poorest excuse for a Champagne I have ever tasted and all that for a wholesale cost of $250. It still till this day is a very popular item in clubs where owners can charge up to $500 just based on the false sense of prestige and the shiny bottles sitting on the table.
Just when I thought the image of my favorite sparkling wine couldn’t get destroyed any worse, along comes the creative marketing folks at Moet/Hennessy. They have released a new product pictured above called “Moet Ice”. As you can see it is in a Bright White bottle that looks like Snow. I have researched the product and I tell you it is no different than any other Non Vintage Champagne made with the basic grape varietals of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and a touch of Pinot Meunier”. They describe it as having a tropical fruit taste. The worst part is they are gonna have to convince the Clubbers, and the Wannabe Rap Stars that this is the new symbol of Prestige. They have a whole year before the next holiday season to do that. Sit down for this! They are suggesting the way you drink this Champagne is on the ROCKS (As in Moet “ICE”) in a wine glass and fill it with tropical fruit like a Sangria? Hi there, I would like to have 2 Cosmos, a Jack and Coke and 3 Moet Ice Champagnes On The Rocks with extra Peaches and Oranges! What happened to Champagne and Smoked Salmon and Caviar. What happened to Dom Perignon, Krug, and Tattinger? Next thing you know people will be drinking Champagne out of a Coconut Shell on a Cruise Ship with an Umbrella in the Glass*Let’s not give them any ideas). The MSRP for this Moet “Ice” $65.99 a bottle!! What’s next from Moet Hennessy? Maybe, Blueberry Or Whipped Cream flavored Cognacs? Wait a minute! Moet is going to need a Rap Star to represent this joke of a Champagne they want to serve on the Rocks so you will mentally think you are worthless unless you pay $200 for this product in a Club. Hmmmmmmmm…….
I CAN SEE THE TV COMMERCIALS NOW. RAP STAR VANILLA ICE WALKING INTO A CLUB SURROUNDED BY SEXY WOMEN SIPPING MOET ICE ON THE ROCKS WITH A SKINNY STRAW AND THE JINGLE BEING “ICE, ICE, BABY”! If Moet steals that I have all of my blog followers as witnesses, so we can file a copyright infringement class action suit!
2 thoughts on “Champagne’s Image is on the “Rocks”….Literally!”
Wanted to know what’s a great champagne to get
Thanks for writing. Send me a direct email of what part of the world you live in and I will check local retailers for you and give you a suggestion. One thing I can tell you is to avoid the mass produced name brands such as veive cliquot and Moët etc as the smaller family producers in champagne France are gonna give you the best quality for the best price. Cheers!!!