Champagne trends of 2013: Reinstating rituals

Thursday, 30 May, 2013
Patrick Schmitt, the drinks business
Among the 10 current developments db has identified in Champagne is the growing promotion of pouring rituals.
Following on from yesterday's piece on the increasing number of sweeter Champagnes, today we consider a further new trend from Champagne – the development of a little more ceremony around the serve.

In particular, there appears to be increasingly novel treatment of the product in bars and restaurants using decanters, special glassware, ice or even fruit in an attempt to make the drinker feel a bit more special, and invite curiosity from onlookers.

Moët Ice Imperial is one notable product created for this purpose. Launched in 2011, it’s the first Champagne specifically created to be drunk over ice, preferably in special Moët Ice Imperial glasses.

“It’s doing very well,” says Arnaud de Saignes, Moet’s international director of marketing and communications, although he adds that Moët “wants to keep a certain exclusivity and seasonality to it”.

As a result, sales of the unique Champagne are focused on coastal areas or places with “a summer mindset”, and de Saignes cites for example, Sylt, an island in northern Germany that’s popular with celebrities.

Others are pushing for their Champagne to be decanted in front of the diner. Henriot in particular is a strong advocate of this approach for its blanc de blancs, and late last year launched a special package called “La Sphere” containing a decanter to encourage such a serve. “Henriot as a brand is a little serious… so we wanted to create something to lighten its image,” explains Henriot managing director, Thierry Mure, referring to the white plastic spherical container created to house the decanter and blanc de blancs Champagne.

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