“ Brand: Taittinger „
This was given to me as a gift at the end of a job so I'm not sure how much a bottle costs to purchase and I have to be honest while I enjoy the occasional glass of champagne it is not a drink that I particularly rave about, I find it is one of those showy drinks that people in clubs like to consume to flaunt the fact that they have money and I have never particularly enjoyed it.
We saved this bottle up to drink when my other half celebrated his 30th birthday (the old man) as a pre drink starter to the evening and I must say that I was pleasantly surprised as I found this champagne to not be as dry as some others as I find they almost dry out my mouth and leave me desperate for something more refreshing. With this champagne it had more of a light fruity taste to it that while not being totally moorish was still very nice and I had no qualms about quaffing down a second glass.
It is a blended champagne which means it cannot carry the label as a vintage champagne as the blend of grape used is not from a single year, it also has a higher percentage of chardonnay than some champagnes and these grapes are combined with Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. Best served chilled it has a nice pale yellow colour to it when poured into the glass and a nice bit of fizz going on as well.
I like the fact that this is not as dry as other more expensive champagnes that I have had in the past and while it may not have the same amount of brand recognition that some more famous names have it is a brand that I had heard of before and is a very enjoyable drink and one that I would purchase if buying champagne for a celebration.
Me and my best friend (Amanda-Jayne) like the finer things in life... when we were younger we used to joke that one day we will be meeting for working lunches wearing Jimmy Choos and sipping champagne... unfortunately this is yet to happen, but each Christmas we make a point of sipping the champers!
As I've explained in previous review, me and Amanda both got into a mess with money (£70 bottles of champagne didn't help) and this year things have been a struggle. But instead of abandoning the Christmas champagne idea all together we decided to purchase a bottle in the supermarket and enjoy a night in with a bottle of bubbles.
I have heard of Tattinger before but I had never drank it. Personally I'd be more inclined to go for a bottle of Moet or Piper Heidsieck. However Tattinger was on offer in Asda and instead of costing £30 for a 75cl bottle, it was only £15 - bargain!
When we got home the bottle went into the fridge and a few hours later we put the bottle into a bucket of ice.
My friend opened this and the cork went flying across the room, however I caught most of the escaping champagne with two champagne flutes.
There were lot of bubbles and it was a nice yellow colour. It had a gorgeous, smooth taste and there were fruity undertones. I could definitely taste peach and there was also a hint of vanilla. I could also taste Chardonnay (which isn't surprising because it contains 40% Chardonnay).
It was a gorgeous bottle of fizz and I think it had a more complex taste than the brands I would usually purchase (such as Moet).
********************* Typical prices *************************
* Half bottle (37.50cl) - Approximately £14.00
* Standard bottle (75cl) - Approximately £27.00
* Magnum (equivalent of two bottles) - Approximately £64.00
* Jeroboam (equivalent of four bottles) - Approximately £165.00
* Methuselah (equivalent of six bottles) - Approximately £350.00
* Salmanzar (equivalent of twelve bottles) - Approximately £560.00
* Balthazar (equivalent of sixteen bottles) - Approximately £745.00
* Nebuchadnezzer (equivalent of twenty bottles) - Approximately £1,150.00.
*********************** Overall **************************
I thought that this champagne was lovely and I would definitely purchase it in the future. It is a really nice drink, perfect for celebrating a special occasion and I would consider buying it at full price because I think it is worth the price tag.
I was also impressed with the bottle, it looks expensive and the name makes this champagne sound very luxurious. I'd definitely consider buying it as a gift.
Five out of five stars from me. Give this a try the next time you are celebrating... it might become you champagne of choice!
For the last few years my best friend and I have had the tradition of celebrating Christmas with a girly day of lunch, followed by an evening of drinking champagne. However, this year like many we have been hit by the credit crunch and spending a few hundred pounds on a night out is not an option. But being women, there was still that small part of us that was determined to get what we wanted-which was a night drinking champagne. We decided we would opt for a girly night in and a bottle at home, so off to the supermarket we went.
There are quite a few offers on at the minute, but the best deal we found was in Asda where we got a bottle of Taittinger half price at £15. Bargain!. We put it in the fridge for a few hours and also filled a bucket of ice for it to sit on. Usually, drinking champagne in bars means I have never had to open a bottle myself and I was quite nervous. Apparently you have more chance of being killed by a champagne cork than winning the lottery. The cork made quite a loud pop and shot right across the room, the champagne immediately started fizzing but my friend was there with the flutes ready to catch it.
My immediate observation was that there were a lot of bubbles in this champagne and the vibrant yellow colour. It is very smooth tasting and there is no harsh kick during of after each mouthful. The taste is slightly fruity, but not obvious. It has a slight peachy and vanilla aroma. This is achieved through the blend of Chardonnay and Pinot wines. The percentage of Chardonnay is actually quite high at 40%. I usually prefer Rose Champagne but I would definitely recommend and drink this myself again. I would recommend a well lined stomach, I found this champagne to be quite strong and felt a bit tipsy after a few glasses.
Our household recently celebrated the arrival of a small Golden Retriever puppy dog. To help us celebrate our new addition, some friends very kindly gave us with a bottle of Taittinger Champagne. This was no coincidence, as we had already christened our new pup with the name Taittinger (Tattie, Tatters or Tatts for ease of bellowing...). It was, therefore, an extremely apt and well thought out gift, and it certainly went down a treat.
Having worked in the catering industry for a good few years, I am certainly no stranger to the brand, but I'd say Taittinger can be regarded as one of less well known marques of champagne. Brands like Moet & Chandon, Krug, Veuve Clicquot and Lanson are more likely to be described as household names, and you'll often find one or two of these brands for sale in your local corner shop. However, if you're after a bottle of Taittinger, you may have to look a little harder, and source it at one of the larger supermarkets (or websites).
However, if you like champagne, then you'll certainly love Taittinger Champagne. It has a higher proportion of Chardonnay in its blend than a lot of other brands, and this makes for a lighter, fruitier and thus more elegant glass of fizz. Indeed, for me, the name Taittinger conjures up a very feminine image - of ballet dancers being wooed by Russian princes and Tsars. In keeping with this image, Grace Kelly, once posed in a long black dress for a very fetching Art Decoesque poster for the brand.
~*~ THE HOUSE OF TAITTINGER ~*~
Like many other champagne houses, the House of Taittinger is located in Reims in France. The House is fairly unique in that it is still owned and managed by the family whose name appears on the label. However, even though la famille Taittinger have been making their champagne since the early 1930's, the origins of the House can be traced all the way back to early 18th century. The cellars at the current home of Champagne Taittinger were founded in 1734 by a gentleman called Jacques Fourneaux, and they are still in use today.
The firm became Ets Taittinger Mailly and Cie when it was purchased by Pierre Taittinger just before the Second World War in 1932. The current Taittingers at the helm are Claude, who has run the family firm since 1960, and the more recently appointed Pierre-Emmanuel Taittinger, his nephew. It hasn't all been plain sailing and happy families chez Taittinger though; 2005 saw a massive dispute and a partial carving up of the Taittinger empire. Because French inheritance laws are so strict, everyone and their uncle's cousin (38 to be precise), seemed to have a small stake in the House of Taittinger and the business was sold off to an American investment group...allegedly for tax reasons. Thus for a brief period Taittinger became an American brand....but not for long. In 2007, Starwood (the American investment company) broke the company up into smaller pieces and Pierre-Emmanuel Taittinger (grandson of the original founder Pierre), managed to buy back the business (with the help of a massive stake from French bank Crédit Agricole), and thus return Champagne Taittinger back into French ownership, as well as back under the aegis of la famille Taittinger.
Today, Champagne Taittinger is a world renowned name, but it only actually accounts for approximately 1% of all champagne sold worldwide. It markets itself as a quality and luxurious brand and thus tends to link itself with other prestigious brands, such as sponsoring Aston Martin motor racing.
~*~ SANTÉ ~*~
Taittinger Brut Reserve is a non-vintage, dry champagne. Non vintage means that the champagne blend is not from a single specific year, but a blend from several different years (vintage champagne is always champagne from one specific year - usually when the crop is of a particularly high quality).
Taittinger is made with the three classic champagne grapes - Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir. However, Taittinger has a higher proportion of Chardonnay grapes than most other marques, resulting in a fruitier, more honeyed drink. Taittinger Brut Réserve is made up of a blend of Chardonnay grapes (38%) Pinot Noir grapes (42%) and Pinot Meunier grapes (20%), all harvested from anything up 40 different vineyards. Some other Taittinger blends such as Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs contain 100% of Chardonnay grapes, thus making a very refined (and expensive) beverage.
Taittinger is a very fruity champagne which can be drunk solely as an aperitif, or as a perfect accompaniment to food. It goes well with white meat, seafood or a selection of hors d'oeuvres.
Once poured, Taittinger is a delicate pale straw coloured liquid, with a lovely lively mousse lacing the top of the glass. It smells extremely fruity, not just of grapes, but with subtle nuances of peach, apple and pear. You can almost detect a teasing hint of vanilla pod in there too.
Taking your first small sip, the bubbles will immediately start to dance on your palate. Again, you can taste grapes, particularly the Chardonnay, but there are other more subtle flavours jostling to be heard - orchard fruits, peaches and strawberries, balanced out with more acidic lemony flavours and yeasty hints of toast and biscuit. All in all, this is a lovely fruity blend that goes down a treat and is an instant pick-you-up.
~*~ COST & AVAILABILITY ~*~
Standard bottles of Taittinger Brut Réserve NV are readily available from most good off licenses and larger supermarkets, though you will have to hunt a bit harder for different sized bottles.
~ Half Bottle (37.50cl) = £14.00
~ Standard Bottle (75cl) = £25.84 to £30.69
~ Magnum (equivalent of 2 bottles) = £63.00 to £64.95
~ Jeroboam (double magnum or equivalent of 4 bottles) = £165.00
~ Methuselah (triple magnum or equivalent of 6 bottles) = £350.00
~ Salmanzar (equivalent of 12 bottles) = £560.00
~ Balthazar (equivalent of 16 bottles) = £745.00
~ Nebuchadnezzer (equivalent of 20 bottles) = £1,150.00
A good website to source the more unusual sized bottles is Whisk Hampers (website at http://www.whiskhampers.co.uk).
If you're looking for something a little more exclusive, the House of Taittinger have various other non-vintage brands on offer from rosé champagne through to special marques and limited addition variants such as Taittinger Demi-Sec (£28.99), Taittinger Nocturne NV (£36.99), Taittinger Prélude NV (£34.99), Taittinger Les Folies de la Marquetterie (£45.00) and Taittinger Brut Prestige Rosé NV (£39.50).
And if you want to push the boat out even further, vintage Taittinger will see you digging even deeper into your pockets. For example you can buy a Taittinger Brut Millésimé 2002 for £45.00 or a Taittinger Comtes Blanc 1996 for £130.00. At those prices, I'm more than happy to stick to the non-vintage stuff though...
~*~ SERVING TIPS ~*~
Champagne should always be served chilled (ideally between 6°C to 8°C) but not so cold that the delicate flavours will be marred. Refrigerating the bottle for at least 3½ to 4 hours before you serve it should do the trick.
Care always needs to be taken when you open a bottle of champagne, and handling the bottle with infinite care is recommended. I hate it when you remove the foil and wire casing and the cork shoots straight out and almost takes your eye out. Not only does it make you jump out of your skin, it can, potentially cause a nasty accident. In an ideal world, you can easily remove the foil and the wire, and then gently ease the cork out of the bottle by twisting and pulling. Always point the bottle away from your face (and never, ever shake it) in case the cork does ricochet out of the bottle and into your eye. Having a tea-towel to hand is always a good idea as it not only gives you a bit of grip and leverage on the slippery, cold bottle, it's also on hand should you need to mop up any spillages or leaks.
You should always have your glasses clean and ready to go. Thus once you've removed the cork, you've got the ideal nearby receptacles into which you can pour the fizz. Connoisseurs always splash a tiny bit of liquid into each glass, leave it to well up and then settle, before topping the glasses up.
The cork should emerge with a gentle hissing noise or plop. Sometimes the liquid can emerge rather too quickly, but keeping the bottle at a 45° angle can help reduce the speed. When you think that the average bottle of champagne contains some 49 million bubbles, it's not so surprising they're in such a rush to come out!
Champagne is ideally served in flute (a tulip shaped glass) with a long stem. The tulip shaped top enhances the bouquet and the bubbles, and the long stem is to stop your sweaty hands from overheating your drink and making it go flat.
~*~ THE CHAMPAGNE INDUSTRY ~*~
Real champagne must be made in the Champagne region of France; otherwise the producer has to describe their product as Méthode Champenoise rather than Champagne. All the famous champagne houses are located between around Epernay and Reims, some 90 miles north of Paris. The slightly damp and cold climate of this region is ideal for champagne grapes. The weather prevents the grapes from fully ripening and they remain relatively acidic - which is ideal for champagne making.
All champagnes are made from black grapes (Pinot Noir or Pinot Meunier) and white grapes (Chardonnay). The grapes are carefully pressed to avoid damaging their skins, hence the lack of red colouring in champagne. Taittinger Brut Réserve is made with 42% Pinot Noir, 38% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Meunier grapes.
All in all making champagne is a rather long winded and involved process, which can take anything from fifteen months to three years and longer (Taittinger Champagne takes from 3 to 4 years to make). Once harvested, the grapes are quickly pressed and then left to ferment for around 10 days in huge stainless steel vats. The mixture is then put into bottles and a blend of yeast, sugar and wine (liqueur de tirage) is added. This causes a second fermentation to take place inside the bottle, and that's how the champagne gets its fizz.
Next, the bottles are then loaded into racks in cellars and so begins the turning and taping process (remuage) , whereby the bottles are turned so that any dead yeast cells from the second fermentation fall into the neck of the bottle. The bottle necks are then placed in frozen brine, which freezes the dead yeast cells. The bottles are then turned upright and sludge/dead yeast cells can be removed (degorgement).
Finally, some sweetened wine (dosage) is added to the champagne, which will determine the sweetness level of the final beverage. For example you can have sweet (Demi Sec) champagne, medium champagne (Sec) or dry champagne (Brut).
~*~ RECOMMENDATION ~*~
Taittinger is definitely a full, fruity and frothy little concoction (which is just how I'd describe my new puppy too...), and it certainly went down a treat. It's extremely moorish, and a most enjoyable drink. I found it a lot fruitier and less dry than a lot of champagnes I've tasted in the past. I always find Moet & Chandon almost vinegary in taste, but Taittinger is definitely very much more pleasing to my palate.
Sadly at over £25.00 a bottle, it's too expensive to become a regular habit... other than for very special occasions (especially in these trying times of credit crunchiness and Icelandic meltdowns). However, it's certainly one worth popping in your trolley should you be feeling flush, wanting to celebrate or just thinking "what the heck...that's what credit cards are there for"....
P.S. My review title is a sort of tribute to the "inventor" of champagne, Dom Perignon, who once famously said of his discovery, "Come quickly, I am tasting the stars!"....a most apt description if ever I heard one.
~*~ OTHER INFORMATION ~*~
Taittinger S A
9 Place Saint-Nicaise
Tel: 33 3 26 85 45 35
Fax: 33 3 26 50 14 30
This site can be viewed in either French or English, though the French side looks remarkably less cluttered and more defined than the English version.
You can visit the House of Taittinger, view their cellars and take a guided tour throughout the year. Tours take approximately one hour.
Champagne - France / This is a is a blend of Chardonnay wines (40%) and Pinot wines (60%) from 40 different vineyards and matured to perfection. It is a delicate wine with flavours of fresh fruit and honey.