Vintage promotional booklet ‘Champagne Vine Country and Champagne Wine’, published by Charles Heidsieck, early 20th century

Ever wonder what exactly is champagne?

This vintage booklet, though published a century ago, still could give you answers to your two basic questions – where it is produced and how it is made. If you however are one of those who already knows this, there are also some interesting information to fill the gaps in your knowledge. For example, that the total stock of a champagne house corresponded to about 5 years shipment, that no cellar was damaged during the World War I or that pruning was generally performed by women that period.

Illustrated, with maps and photographs, the booklet is quite educational. Due to the absence of a publishing date, we can only make guesses that it was probably in 1921, since as last vintage is pointed the previous year. And though it was created for the promotion of Charles Heidsieck & Co champagnes presumably for the USA market, nowhere in the text is mentioned the house as advertisement. In an imaginary conversation with a visitor, a champagne merchant and a wine-grower explain him how this delicious drink was made starting with the history and finishing with advice how to store, serve and drink it in moderation.

I liked it and definitely learned something new.

If you want to download it, go to the source where I found it. It is free.

Source –

post 5 – aromas and flavours in Sparkling Wine

Let’s celebrate the holidays with Sparkling Wine and to appreciate completely its bouquet of fragrances, a few words about its aromas and flavours.

What you smell on the nose are called AROMAS and what you taste on the palate – FLAVOURS., pages 27-28, image of aromas and flavours in sparkling wine – sparkling wine aromas

The following are the most common aromas/flavours that could be easily detected in White Sparkling Wines:

Citrus – lemon, lime, tangerine; orange and lemon peel

Green fruits – green melon, green and yellow apple,

Stone fruits – peach, apricot

Tropical fruits – lychee, pineapple, mango

Dried fruits – raisin, prune, apple pie

Floral – rose petals, iris, violets, honey-suckle

Spices – ginger, vanilla

Kernel – coffee, chocolate, cashew, almond, hazelnut

Autolysis – toasted bread, fresh dough, croissant, honey, rye bread, butter, biscuits

Diary – cream

Vegetal – truffle

Oak – caramel, pages 27a-28a, image of aromas and flavours in sparkling wine – sparkling wine aromas

Keep in mind two important notes:

1. They have also intensity that varies from light to pronounced. The green apple, for example, could be sensed right away than the chocolate, which might reveal at the 2nd sniff (if it is there, of course).

2. Not all aromas could be found as flavours, and vice versa. If you have smelled rose petals, this doesn’t mean that you will surely taste them on the palate too. However as a rule of thumb, if most of the aromas are also present as flavours, it is one of the good signs you are drinking a quality sparkling wine.

So, with such a delicious bouquet of fragrances, wouldn’t you feel like singing Frank Sinatra’s song “Fly me to the moon, let me play among the stars…”

post 4 – who invented the sparkling wine, pages 23-24, who inveted sparkling wine – pages 23-24

The most famous story is that the French monk Dom Perignon invented the champagne in 1697, which is considered as the first sparkling wine. However, contrary to the popular belief, though a very capable person with a natural talent for wines, Dom Perignon did not invent the champagne. He surely contributed to the sparking style with a lot of improvements like for example the blending of different vintages but could not be credited as the sole inventor of this style. Recently was discovered a paper dated 1662 , where the Gloucester doctor Christopher Merret described in details the experiments of English coopers who added sugar to still wine to make them sparkle. 35 years earlier plus with a written evidence – hard to contest it.

Even if we assume that Dom Perignon created the style in a natural way, whilst doctor Merret documented its artificial production still there are a lot of other factors which like the butterfly effect one by one led to its appearance as a final product on the global market. And what a product! A Fine Art! So, with all our respect to whoever was its creator, let’s welcome it at our table and simply enjoy it., pages 25-26, who invented sparkling wine – pages 25-26

The illustrations on page 25 are from the book “A History of Champagne”by Henry Vizetelly, part of the Project Gutenberg Free Online Library.