Need a more extreme wine?

snake_wine

 

If you love wine, but think you may need something a little more extreme, try traveling to Vietnam and asking for a glass of Cobra Wine. Once you order it off the menu, the waiter kills a cobra on the spot and mixes the cobra’s blood in the rice-wine. Not extreme enough? You can request to add the snake’s heart to the mix as well. 

The Champagne Legend

Every child growing up had a favorite bedtime story. Stories about heroes and legends and things of fantasy. This fascination never does leave, even as adults, a story will cross us that is almost too hard and too amazing to believe. It mystifies and excites and you cannot help to be sucked into the legend. Sometimes, even in the wine world, a story comes along that draws you in and a grand legend unfolds. This story is the tale of the 2003 World Champion of Champagne.

One magical day in Paris, there was a blind champagne challenge. The competition was for a panel of competitors to blindly evaluate and pinpoint the brand, producer, and year of 50 champagnes. The French magazine Spectacle du Monde arranged, for several consecutive years, an extensive annual champagne tasting for a special issue with focus on champagne.The tasting was very professional and the panel, consisting of a highly qualified international sommeliers and wine experts, enjoyed ample time to evaluate each champagne in perfect glasses with quick refills and temperature modulation.

The champion, Richard Juhlin from Sweden, was able to recognize 43 champagnes out of 50. For comparison–second place was only able to recognize 4 out of 50 champagnes! This almost impossible feat astonished the wine community. Nothing like this had ever happened before. The following two years of the competition, Richard Juhlin did not participate. After two years, he appeared at the same panel and participated in more low key competitions until challenged by another sommelier world champagne. The task was a blind tasting of the rarest Rose champagnes and the best of their kind. The challenger correctly identified 3, Richard Juhlin correctly identified all 20! 

Did You Know Monks Make Wine?

Monastic orders such as the Cistercians and Benedictines preserved and innovated the art of winemaking during the Middle Ages. It is thanks to their research and indefatigable efforts we have such an elaborate winemaking technology today. One of the world’s most famous Champagnes Dom Pérignon was named after a monk. Dom Pierre Pérignon (1638-1715), an early advocate of organic wine-making, experimented with new methods, successfully improving the winemaking process. His practices and techniques are still used today.monk wine