Thursday, January 7, 2016
LES CRAYERES SOMM INVENTS GAME CHANGING CHAMPAGNE GLASS
What better place on earth than Relais et Chateau Les Crayeres in Reims, Champagne, to birth the Champagne glass of the 21st century? Chef Sommelier Philippe Jamesse, disappointed with how the traditional Champagne flutes masked much of the distinctive aromas and flavors of his deep, broad collection of the world’s finest bubblies, searched for an alternative, a glass that not only would encourage and allow the steady stream of effervescence, which is what the flute does well, but would allow it to happen in multiple points at the base of the glass, thereby freeing the Champagne itself, and giving the guest a much more complete expression of the wine, its origin, its personality.
Jamesse, describing Champagne as a “she,” says, "In a flute, the carbonic effervescence is minimized. Effervescence is the natural motor of Champagne. In the Jamesse Prestige Grand, she is completely free, showing the identity of where she is coming from.” He adds, “today’s best Champagnes are being made with less dosage (so they are drier) and have a purity, an expression of terroir, their iodine and chalky flavors.” Many stateside somms and Champagne producers use a white wine glass to really get at the character of the Champagne, but it goes flat so quickly.
Champagne expert Jamesse, who opens hundreds of bottles a week at the most prestigious restaurant in the region, created his Jamesse Prestige glassware, merging both the triangular bottom of the traditional flute with a sphere or bowl of a white wine glass, with the help of Gerard Lehmann of Lehmann Glass in Reims and Gerard Basset, the MS, MW, Wine MBA and former owner of the Hotel du Vin chain in the UK.
The end result, the Lehmann “Jamesse Prestige” Grand Champagne Mouth Blown Wine Glass, sold in sets of 6 for US $198 or individually for $37.50, is a revolutionary glass that will change the way people drink Champagne. When tasting the same wine in his glass vs. an ordinary flute, the difference was extraordinary. As Jamesse says, “the wine can be in peace, out of its prison, stretching out on its bed, giving a proximity with it and an immersion with it. Her 10 million bubbles will be at liberty.”
Read my review of the Jamesse Prestige Grand Champagne glass here:
PG 99 points