This week sees the launch of our brand new set of wine promotions. Running until the start of September, there are plenty of great new deals and customer favourites that I will explore in the coming weeks. But this weekend sees one of our best deals of the year- a bottle of Granzamy Brut NV Champagne for only €20- a massive saving of €14.95! Stocks are limited and it is only available this Saturday and Sunday, 27/28 July.
What Is Champagne?
Although Champagne is often used as a generic term for any sparkling wine, it is a term protected by EU law for wines solely produced in the Champagne region of northern France. In this cool climate grapes often struggle to ripen enough to produce still wine, but conditions are perfect for producing the crisp and bright bubbles we know and love.
Champagne starts its wine journey as any other- fermented grape juice. The wine produced is low alcohol, tart, acidic and doesn't have any bubbles. The magic happens when this wine is put in a bottle with a little sugar and yeast (liquer de tirage). A closure (at this stage could be cork or cap) is put on the bottle and mother nature takes over- the yeast converts the sugar to alcohol and Carbon Dioxide. Trapped in the bottle, this CO2 is absorbed in to the liquid and gives us those famous bubbles.
And there are quite a few bubbles- a champagne bottle is thick and heavy because of the pressure of this Carbon Dioxide: up to 5kg of weight on every square centimetre of glass! The large mushroom cork is held in place with a wire cage to hold the pressure- so NEVER pop a cork at someone: it can very quickly end any celebrations you may be having!
There are three main grape varieties in the Champagne region: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. This wine is made by a small family producer from 100% Pinot Meunier in the heart of the Champagne region. It is bright and fresh with wonderful brioche and hazelnut notes complementing the zippy citrus acidity and fine bead of bubbles. A wonderful wine that can compete with brands twice its price. At €20 this is an absolute steal.
But don't just take my word for it, the Irish wine press are equally enamoured by this wine.
"This Champagne appeared out of the blue back in December as a new-to-Ireland delight from O'Briens Wines courtesy of director of wine Lynne Coyle. The estate itself, run by Raphael Lamiraux, has been a family affair for three generations and in full bubbly flow since 1907. There is always something new to find in the world of wine. The key thing here is that this wine is made entirely from Pinot Meunier, a very fashionable thing to do. The rush of baked red apples, a delicate hint of brioche and a fine cutting finish complete this new arrival's charm."
Tomás Clancy, The Sunday Business Post, 02/06/2019
"A stylish lightly creamy Champagne with subtle red cherries and strawberries. With lobster for a real splurge, but his would also go nicely with oysters and most seafood."
John Wilson, The Irish TImes, 01/09/2018
"Vegan-friendly, this 100pc Pinot Meunier Champagne is rich and toasty, has soft flavours of spice, apples and a touch of savoury cherry."
Corinna Hardgrave, The Irish Independent, 13/04/2019
"Unique and stylish bubbles made entirely with lesser-known Champagne grape, black-skinned Pinot Meunier.
It has an enticing, creamy and well-rounded palate, with notes of brioche, hazelnut and citrus, along with a great balance of acidity."
Matthew Nugent, The Irish Sun, 22/12/2018
*Weekend of Saturday 27th & Sunday 28th July 2019 only.