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If you’ve taken French in high school, the pronunciation “T” is suppose to be silent. After a visit to Moët Chandon, we learned the “T” in Moët is pronounced ‘Mo’wett’. Why the exception? The Moët family were originally from the Netherlands, having moved to France in the 1400s and kept the “T” pronunciation versus dropping the consonant sound.
The word Chandon was added in 1832 after Pierre-Gabriel Chandon’s daughter married into the Moët family. Side note, if you’ve visited Chandon USA in Napa Valley, the family was the first French producer to establish itself in Napa Valley. Another fun fact, the house of Moët & Chandon is part of the largest luxury conglomerate LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moët-Hennessy).
So how many bottles of wines does Moët Chandon produce annually? As the largest Champagne house in the world, they produce close to 30 million bottles including the Dom Pérignon brand, which officially launched in 1921 as a luxury vintage Champagne. However, the first vintage wasn’t released until 1936 as Dom Pérignon only produce during good vintages (vintage bottles sit in the cellar for at least 8 years before release).
Let’s talk about our visit to Moët Chandon! I've visited many wineries and this tour was by far the most fascinating and informative. Some highlights:
Let’s talk about numbers. California is the largest wine producer in the U.S. with close to 4,700 wineries located all over the state (that’s 50% of the wineries in the entire country). Sounds a lot, right? Depends on how you compare the numbers. It’s considered “small” when you learn there are 7,000 vineyards in Bordeaux! Bordeaux is divided into three main regions:
If you’re looking for bottles for aging potential, look for bottles that is specific on the geographical location. Wines labeled with the name of a specific commune (ie, Margaux) has more potential for price appreciation than bottles labeled with the region only (i.e. Médoc). We had a chance to visit several chateaus in the Médoc region and really enjoyed the wines from Chateau Du Tertre. With a history dating back to 1143, Chateau du Tertre is one of the oldest properties in the Left Bank of Bordeaux and one of the few estates that is the same in size today as it was at the time of the 1855 Bordeaux Classification (arguably the most influential classification).
Fun trivia for you: during the 1700s, Pierre Mitchell, the once owner of Chateau du Tertre and glassblower, is also the creator of the Jeroboam bottle.
Today is Friday, the 13th and if you’re curious when the next one is, it actually happens to be in October. Luckily, there are only Fridays the 13ths in 2023.
This photo was taken during our visit to @chateausiran inside the owner’s personal cellar. Behind me is the 1929 vintage of their Bordeaux blend, which currently has 57 bottles in existence. That same year, in October 29, marked the beginning of the Great Depression after the stock market crash in the U.S., which had a significant global financial impact. #1929vintage
From a winemaking standpoint, 1929 Bordeaux was a very hot, dry growing season, but did produce opulent, rich wines on the Left Bank. As a birthday gift to myself, I got the Bordeaux 1983 vintage, which was a great year for Margaux! In fact, the Margaux appellation has been considered the most consistent appellation 1983 Bordeaux wine. After my purchase, there are 16 bottles of that vintage left in the cellar.
While some wines do become more complex with age, most wines are intended to be enjoyed within a couple years of being released. In fact, over 90% are not meant to sit around and collect dust in your wine cellar. However, there are some things to look for when selecting a bottle with aging potential such as the right balance of: acidity, tannin, sweetness and alcohol. These components act as natural preservatives to keep the wine stable as the years go by. If you've got a nice bottle, you’d like to keep in the cellar for 10+ years:
Fun fact: before there were glass bottles and cork, the Romans stored wine in the catacombs.
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After a night of drinking and the dreaded walk of shame Katie needs a road trip and an intervention with her girlfriends. Four attractive, successful women yet they can’t find and keep good men. The high school boyfriend that wasn’t going anywhere opens up like a well-aged wine after it is decanted. Magic in the Napa air may lead to a second chance at true love. A humorous and heartwarming story about friendships, frenemies and understanding men. Sex in the City meets Crazy Rich Asians in this page turner.
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