For the last five centuries Champagne has been the most talked about but least consumed wine in the world, forever associated with celebrations and perceived in any company as a sign of sophistication and social status. No wonder so many of champagne’s legions of admirers around the world now clamour for any gorgeous trinket associated with their favourite luxury brand.
Devotees of Champagne Krug actually call themselves “Krugistes”, whilst fans of “the Widow” can adorn themselves with everything “yellow” from a Karim Rashid designed one of a kind “globalight” (table lamp with built in bottle chiller) to a handy “traveller”(orange hard case bag containing a chilled bottle of champagne + 2 flutes). I can still remember the orange frogmen who launched the “ice-jacket” champagne cooler in Sydney several years ago. Thanks to Australia’s beachside culture and our regional cuisine’s natural compatibility with champagne, Veuve Clicquot’s latest release “Le Fridge” (a retro 50s style plastic wine cooler)has also literally flown out of bottleshops around the country at the start of this silly season.
Roger Moore was the first Bond to ask for a bottle of Bollinger “slightly chilled” in the 1973 movie release “Live and Let Die”. To celebrate Daniel Craig’s second outing as 21st century James Bond “Quantum of Solace” three decades later, Champagne Bollinger released a limited edition uber cool collectors 007 bullet shaped cooler containing a chilled bottle of Bollinger. A celebrity champagne match indeed! (More on this is my new book “Champagne Behind the Bubbles” out April 2011).
Champagne Fascinator Fashions
Given its strong female biais, perhaps its no surprise that Veuve Clicquot still leads the pack in terms of constant brand innovation and high levels of consumer engagement, but really most of today’s champagne makers offer branded chilling devices or crystal stemware and such like as “value adds” during the peak sales period.
In Australia, whilst sales of sparkling dipped slightly in 2009, due to the after shock of the GFC, sales of champagne actually rose again making we Australians Champagne’s 9th biggest customer. In fact, given recent market forces putting pressure on global sales, from the consumers’ point of view, champagne prices down under have never been so good.
However ‘conspicuous conservation’ is the new black and so the field of battle for the hearts and minds (and therefore wallets) of bubbly lovers has now moved from packaging to preservation. Today for champagne connoisseurs its all about the bottle closure – with prestige brands like Ruinart and Dom Perignon having just released the latest fashions in champagne preserver devices.
As seen live on Channel 7 on Melbourne Cup day, new official champagne sponsor G.H.Mumm is showing Australia the proper way to open a bottle of champagne, with a sabre, of course.
Presenting a limited edition work: the Sabre G.H. Mumm by Patrick Jouin: a design object that cleverly morphs the Cordon Rouge brand motif into a surprising champagne sword! A unique item that combines the sensuality of a red leather handle with the resistance of a steel blade but with a square end that won’t cut! This special collector’s edition is presented in a box of pure white, of lacquered wood and leather, which incorporates a tray, specially designed to hold ice and keep a bottle of Cordon Rouge at the ideal temperature. (Mumm story details via @eventedge)
This season its easy to acquire all the goodies needed to keep your champagne chilled and bubbly – ever ready for action just like the Absolutely Fabulous tag team Eddie and Patsy..
Here’s comes summer…Vive le champagne!
PS. Dear reader if you discover a great new champagne gadget along the way please share the love and post a comment here.
Uncover Sydney’s champagne shopping bargains on Champagne Jayne TV
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