Champagne, Cigars & (Ratafia) Champenois!


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Interesting article in that I have never tried Ratafia Champenois. I will arrange a friday deck tasting with a bottle or two.

Ratafia Champenois - Jean Goyard

 

Ratafia Champenois is a sweet (fortified style) wine with a minimum of 110 grams of sugar per litre and alcohol that can range from 16-22% and aged at least 10 months in tanks or oak barrels.

“Terroir plays an important part in all three (cigars, Champagne and Ratafia Champenois) including the likes of seasons, harvest, production methods, irrigation, blends and much more. Just like Champagne, cigars can be made to perform with different aromas and flavours such as lighter and floral styles which are suited better to Chardonnay wines (and Champagne). Heavy Champagnes can overpower the cigars and likewise for stronger cigars that are paired with lighter style Champagne – you must look to match as best as you can in order for both to complement each other.” Quotes from Roy Sommer FIH (Managing Director UK at Oettinger Davidoff).

“Ratafia Champenois styles vary. You can have a very light and floral style (most likely Chardonnay) though you can have the complete opposite and experience deeper and more intense flavours showing oak, caramel, prunes and more. Just like Champagne, the variations enables you to pair well with a host of accompaniments such as food (cheeses are amazing) and cigars. When paired, and at the same intensity level within each, then the match is perfect and a delight to the palate.” Christopher Walkey

https://glassofbubbly.com/champagne-cigars-ratafia-champenois/

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2 hours ago, El Presidente said:

 

Interesting article in that I have never tried Ratafia Champenois. I will arrange a friday deck tasting with a bottle or two.

Ratafia Champenois - Jean Goyard

 

Ratafia Champenois is a sweet (fortified style) wine with a minimum of 110 grams of sugar per litre and alcohol that can range from 16-22% and aged at least 10 months in tanks or oak barrels.

“Terroir plays an important part in all three (cigars, Champagne and Ratafia Champenois) including the likes of seasons, harvest, production methods, irrigation, blends and much more. Just like Champagne, cigars can be made to perform with different aromas and flavours such as lighter and floral styles which are suited better to Chardonnay wines (and Champagne). Heavy Champagnes can overpower the cigars and likewise for stronger cigars that are paired with lighter style Champagne – you must look to match as best as you can in order for both to complement each other.” Quotes from Roy Sommer FIH (Managing Director UK at Oettinger Davidoff).

“Ratafia Champenois styles vary. You can have a very light and floral style (most likely Chardonnay) though you can have the complete opposite and experience deeper and more intense flavours showing oak, caramel, prunes and more. Just like Champagne, the variations enables you to pair well with a host of accompaniments such as food (cheeses are amazing) and cigars. When paired, and at the same intensity level within each, then the match is perfect and a delight to the palate.” Christopher Walkey

https://glassofbubbly.com/champagne-cigars-ratafia-champenois/

good luck with that. almost never seen here. i think Nicks in Melbourne have an Italian one and Dans used to have one or two, think one was from Champagne but not a well known producer. the stuff is basically a curiosity that some places offer or make so they can use it at the end of the dinners in champagne. if you are travelling the region, you could probably pick up a few. but why not go vin santo or a good rich and sweet sherry or tawny port, or even better, the Rutherglen fortifieds. way better idea. 

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4 hours ago, Ken Gargett said:

but why not go vin santo or a good rich and sweet sherry or tawny port, or even better, the Rutherglen fortifieds. way better idea. 

...because I have never tried Ratafia

Doofus :D

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11 minutes ago, El Presidente said:

...because I have never tried Ratafia

Doofus :D

and with what is available here, you probably never will. 

trust me, your life will not be that much worse off. 

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Purchased a bottle of Ratafia (Champagne)  last week in Epernay, did not taste yet but will let you know.

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Just about every French wine region produces something sweet, or fortified, or they turn leftover grapes into some kind of spirit. It’s fun to try these things… but they are not usually great. There are exceptions: someone gave me an incredible bottle of apricot liqueur fron a Burgundy producer once. Now that would have been good with a smoke…

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“…not usually great”. 
 

I think you may be trying the wrong examples.  Dessert (sweet) wines are an acquired taste but, once you come to know the best of them, they are some of the greatest wines in the world and incredible values at that.  
 

The issue is that many of these wines tend to lack balance and are simple sweet, one-dimensional and fatiguing on the palate but, a great botrytis laced Sauternes or Berenauslese or a fabulous Quartz du Chaume (there are many more) are incredible experiences. 

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2 hours ago, Araffle said:

 but, a great botrytis laced Sauternes or Berenauslese or a fabulous Quartz du Chaume (there are many more) are incredible experiences. 

Yes - very good selection there, especially with Sauternes. I would include a good Eiswein into the game.

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2 hours ago, Araffle said:

I think you may be trying the wrong examples.  Dessert (sweet) wines are an acquired taste but, once you come to know the best of them, they are some of the greatest wines in the world and incredible values at that.  

Just to be clear, I’m a big fan of sweet wines, I have been for decades, and I’m very familiar (my liver will think too familiar) with them. I’m distinguishing between the great sweet wines such as the ones you mention, and the category of ‘and this is our sweet wine’. 

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2 hours ago, Nino said:

Yes - very good selection there, especially with Sauternes.

Sautrenes has been in out of style for almost 20 years and the deals are out there!  It will be back in style some day.  Great for the buyer, not so great for the Chateau. 

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58 minutes ago, BrightonCorgi said:

Sautrenes has been in out of style for almost 20 years and the deals are out there!

Totally agree. Lots of the best value fine wine is sweet, because people have been conditioned not to like it. 

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35 minutes ago, RDB said:

Totally agree. Lots of the best value fine wine is sweet, because people have been conditioned not to like it. 

The 6 hour British dinner of the past has past.  Sauternes was popular before dinner back in the day.  Good appetizer wine with the right courses.

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4 hours ago, BrightonCorgi said:

Sautrenes has been in out of style for almost 20 years and the deals are out there!  It will be back in style some day.  Great for the buyer, not so great for the Chateau. 

staggering to me how it has dipped in popularlity but i wonder, given the faster lifestyle and as you say, the death of the long lunch (mostly), as well as drink driving laws, whether if it will ever come back to the extent it deserves. yquem (and the top germans) aside, there really are some bargains, even here! 

there was a time when not finishing a good lunch or dinner (with friends, not family, for me) with a sauternes adn then a top vintage port was unthinkable. 

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1 hour ago, Ken Gargett said:

staggering to me how it has dipped in popularlity

I think it’s also partly due to consumer tastes moving away from anything perceived to be sugary or sweet. Many people (mistakenly) see high quality sweet wines as sugary junk. I’ve practically stopped bringing Sauternes or Auslese to dinners since nobody wants them with anything but dessert and, as you correctly point out, that’s the point at which most people have stopped drinking entirely. 

I would also attribute some of the decline to changing cuisine. 

I can’t say I’m unhappy with the situation though - hard to beat world class wines from the duoro for under $100 a bottle that will evolve for decades.

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15 minutes ago, MrBirdman said:

I think it’s also partly due to consumer tastes moving away from anything perceived to be sugary or sweet. Many people (mistakenly) see high quality sweet wines as sugary junk. I’ve practically stopped bringing Sauternes or Auslese to dinners since nobody wants them with anything but dessert and, as you correctly point out, that’s the point at which most people have stopped drinking entirely. 

I would also attribute some of the decline to changing cuisine. 

I can’t say I’m unhappy with the situation though - hard to beat world class wines from the duoro for under $100 a bottle that will evolve for decades.

agree with that, although the matching cuisine thing is odd as they can be amazingly versatile. as well as the right desserts, they can do various pates at the start - foie gras and Yquem will do me any day. and then certain cheeses - runny blues for example. fortunately, the cast for the remake of cocoon which is basically my winedrinking friends these days, still insist on a good sauternes or sticky at the end of our lunches. and despite being as opinionated a group as one could envisage, none of us would be brave enough to front with a ratafia. 

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Looks cool, I've never heard of this! Don't think much makes it to the states.

My fave stickies are true ice wines from Canada & Germany. They are super expensive, but are so complex they'll make smoke come out of your ears.

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