The eyes of the Champenois are turning increasingly towards their Burgundian neighbors. As a result of the increase in focus on terroir winemaking and rise of new-wave grower champagnes, still wine making is on the rise. Climate change is contributing, and especially the 2018-2020 trilogy of warm vintages has ignited excitement amongst both growers and houses. Master of Wine Essi Avellan gives an introduction to the still wines of Champagne. In addition to red and white Coteaux Champenois, she will also cover the historical rosé style from the south of Champagne, Rosé des Riceys. Join in to learn what is happening on the superbly dynamic Coteaux Champenois scene!
Champagne and sparkling wine specialist Essi Avellan was Finland’s first Master of Wine. Together with Tom Stevenson she is the author of the Christie’s World Encyclopedia of Champagne and Sparkling Wine. Essi is the organiser of the annual Grand Champagne Helsinki event and a jury member at the Champagne and Sparkling Wine World Championships.
Crémant de Bourgogne is the 3rd largest AOC in volume in Bourgogne after Chablis and Mâcon AOCs, comprising around 11% of the region’s wines.
While it is generally considered a ‘modest appellation’, it was not always as such. Bourgogne’s ‘mousseux’ wines were amongst the most prized and sought-after in the region in the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th. This webinar will explore its illustrious past, its decline as well as its promising future in addition to how it works as an appellation, its viticulture, winemaking and styles.
Originally from the Chicago area, Robin is a Master of Wine who is presently based in Lugano, Switzerland, where she works as an independent wine consultant, wine judge, journalist and educator.
Following studies in French and English literature, she changed career paths in 1998 when she left her teaching position at the Université de Nice to study wine at the BIVB (Bureau Interprofessionel des Vins de Bourgogne) in Beaune, France and the Université du Vin in Suze-la-Rousse in France’s Rhône Valley.
In the 20+ years of working in the wine business, she has held a number of different positions including wine auction specialist for Christie’s in Beverly Hills, California and fine wine buyer for a pre-eminent London-based wine merchant with an award-winning Burgundy list.
In 2014, after many years of study and a successful dissertation on whole cluster fermentation in Pinot Noir from the Côte d’Or, she became a Master of Wine.
Her main wine passions are Burgundy, Champagne, northern Italy, particularly Piedmont, Switzerland and Jerez.
Lambrusco has a bad rap. Many wine drinkers dismiss it as simple sweet commercial fizz. And perhaps much of it was when it made its international debut in the 1960s and ‘70s. But that was a long time ago. And there’s much more to Lambrusco than many are aware.
In this webinar we will investigate the ancient origin of the Lambrusco family of grapes in an atypical growing area in the Po River valley, focusing on three of the most important, site-specific sub-varieties.
We will meet some of the key producers — small and larger, new and older — and discuss some of their most interesting, representative wines employing various production methods (Tank, Ancestral, Traditional) and length of time on lees.
We will also explore the Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena, which has its own unique production process and extended ageing regimen. Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale was traditionally made by winemakers from the same vineyards and grape varieties, and therefore constitutes an additional expression of Lambrusco.
Finally, we will consider how Lambrusco-based wine and vinegar complement the traditional regional cuisine and how all three reflect and express the unique culture and terroir of the area.
Alan Tardi is a wine journalist (Wine and Spirits Magazine, Wine Spectator, The New York Times, Sommelier Journal, Wine Folly), educator, and author of two award-winning books: "Romancing the Vine: Life, Love and Transformation in the Vineyards of Barolo" (St Martin's Press 2006/James Beard Award Best Wine Book of 2006) and "Champagne, Uncorked: The House of Krug and The Timeless Allure of the Worlds Most Celebrated Drink" (Hachette 2016/Gourmand Best in the World Award 2016).
His interest in wine developed while working in some of New York City’s legendary restaurants and as chef-owner of his own acclaimed NYC restaurant. He lived in the Barolo village of Castiglione Falletto for over a decade, working in the vineyards and wineries and managing the town's Cantina Comunale and functioned as the first US Ambassador of Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco.
Alan teaches the IWS program online with the Wine Scholar Guild and is a frequent presenter at SommCon and the Society of Wine Educators annual conference. Alan is a Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW), WSET Level 3, Champagne Master (WSG), and Italian Wine Scholar (IWS).
Here is the list of featured wines/traditional Balsamic vinegar Alan will be referring to in his webinar in case anyone would like to taste during the webinar:
Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena Affinato (12 Years) GIUSEPPE GIUSTI giusti.it
This WSG Live will provide an overview of the latest developments within the D.O. Cava and the efforts of the appellation to increase and protect the quality and reputation of the Cava brand. We will further examine the latest updates regarding the quality classification system and labelling as well as the D.O.’s advancements in terms of sustainability.
Born in Bulgaria and educated in Italy Nicoletta holds a master's degree in winemaking and wine marketing from the University of Piacenza, Italy, she is also currently enrolled in the Master of Wine Program as a stage 2 student. Nicoletta works as an independent wine educator and communicator, she is a guest professor at the University of Gastronomic Sciences, a Cava Advanced Educator and a VDP Ambassador. She lives on a permaculture farm in Tuscany (San Donato in Bellaria, Chianni) together with her husband and 2 kids expecting that the vineyard they planted together bears its first fruits.
Although the major producers of branded Brut Non-Vintage Champagne are rightly proud of a consistent ‘house’ style, the taste of their blends have changed significantly over time.
Using historical records, and originally-sourced detailed data going back to 1991, this WSG Live will consider how climate, viticulture and winemaking have affected the character of Champagne’s best-known and biggest-selling brands.
Expect to find out how the cellar master and end-consumer have also played their part in shaping how famous Champagnes taste today, as well as the extent of change over a 25-year period, from altered sugar levels to changes in the proportion and age of reserve wines.
The WSG Live will also consider whether Champagne has reached a satisfactory balance today, or whether further change is necessary and likely.
Patrick Schmitt is editor-in-chief of the drinks business. He writes for and manages the European and Hong Kong editions of the drinks business, as well as the printed product’s website thedrinksbusiness.com – the leading international website for beers, wines and spirits.
He also chairs the publication’s annual awards programme, including The Drinks Business Awards for product innovations and environmental initiatives, as well as the magazine’s Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Champagne and Rioja Masters, for which he heads up a tasting panel of wine experts.
Patrick has been shortlisted for two years running for the editor of the year in the business and professional magazine category for the British Society of Magazine Editors (BSME).
Patrick passed both the theory and practical papers of the Master of Wine examination on his first attempt and became a Master of Wine in March 2015. During his Master of Wine studies, he was awarded the Esterhazy and Reh Kendermann bursaries as well as the AXA Millésimes and Yalumba scholarships.
Patrick studied Geography at Oxford University – where he specialised in plant ecology – and later Landscape Architecture at the University of Greenwich. Although he is a qualified garden designer and had initially planned to practise as a landscape architect, a job in a horticultural trade journal took him into a career as a journalist.
Aside from alcoholic drinks and gardening, his interests range from cars to cycling, as well as the archaic sport of real tennis. He lives in south London with his wife Ettie and two children, Beatrice and Ottilie.
In 2009 Prosecco was re-mapped in sweeping changes that created an extensive new zone for the production of Prosecco DOC on the plains of the Veneto and Friuli-Venezia Giulia and elevated the traditional hillside growing areas of Conegliano Valdobbiadene to DOCG status, Italy's top denomination.
One of the innovations of the revised "Disciplinare di Produzione" ('production norms') of the DOCG was the categorization of the sub-zones called "Rive" which are the subject of this webinar.
We will be exploring the soil and climate features of the Prosecco Superiore Rive zones and matching them to wines which give a revealing insight into the subtle diversity and pure class of an Italian sparkler often perceived as a standardized commercial product.
Richard Baudains was born and brought up on the Island of Jersey, a formerly French-speaking part of the British Isles, hence the French surname. To satisfy his wanderlust he studied to become an English language teacher, a profession he has had the good fortune to pursue in many of Italy's top wine regions. He published his first article with Decanter in 1989 and has been writing about Italian wine for the same London-based magazine ever since.
He is a regional chair at the Decanter World Wine Awards, on the team of the Slow Wine Guide for Friuli Venezia Giulia and teaches M.A. Courses on Wine Journalism at the Università delle Scienze Gastronomiche. He has previously led webinars for the Wine Scholar Guild on the wines of the Collio and the macerated whites of Friuli Venezia Giulia. Outside of wine, he works as a Cambridge University English language examiner. He lives in Gorizia.
Most wine lovers live to eat, so at best wine tourism is also a gastrotourism. The restaurant scene is Champagne is not quite as bubbly as the name suggests, but thanks to champagne houses’ entertaining and champagne tourism, the region has many fine restaurants: L’Assiette Champenois with three Michelin stars, Les Crayères and Racine with two stars and a handful of one-star places. Outside the top restaurants, the local cuisine is rather traditional, so do not expect gastronomic triumphs all around. It is worthwhile getting to know the best places in advance. Here are my 10 favourite addresses around Reims and Epernay.
A growing body of scientific evidence shows that what people taste when evaluating a wine, and how much they enjoy the experience, can be influenced by the music that happens to be playing at the same time. Limited research has been published about the effects of music on sparkling wine. Learn about the latest experiment conducted in this field, focusing on classical music and the perception of a Brut non-vintage Champagne.
Feel free to enjoy a glass of champagne, sparkling, or any wine you like as you learn about the findings of this exciting new research!
Susan is the Head of Wine Expertise for online fine wine retailer Belmont Wine Exchange in the San Francisco Bay Area, serving customers worldwide. As a consultant, she curates wine collections, designs wine programs, and specializes in wine and spirit music pairings and events. Susan was named Master of Wine in February 2021 upon the passing of her research paper ‘Influences of classical music on the perception of a Brut non-vintage Champagne’. Susan completed the WSET Diploma while working as a program manager in the high-tech industry, during which she lived and travelled extensively in East Asia.
A lifelong devotee of music, Susan is a classical pianist and holds a Master of Fine Arts in Classical Piano Performance and Musicology. She has performed internationally as a Chinese classical and folk dancer. Susan also works with performing arts organizations to grow their audiences through innovative programming and events, integrating wine whenever possible. Her joy is to create memorable experiences through wine and the performing arts.