Celebrations come in all shapes and sizes, and whether you’re tying the knot, have bagged a promotion, or are simply christening a new pair of Balenciussies, each and every one has a certain something in common: that a glass of effervescent champagne will never go amiss. This is something that Jean-Rémy Moët, grandson of the founder of Moët & Chandon, Claude Moët, knew all too well when he introduced the regional sparkling wine to the likes of Napoleon and the mistress of King Louis XV, Marquise de Pompadour, back in the 18th century, an act that put the now famed fizz on the map. At the ripe old age of 279, it’s now the world’s most popular champagne brand, and has become unanimous with luxury, generosity, success and, of course, glamour.
Like all wine that bears the name champagne, Moët & Chandon is made solely using grapes grown within the eponymous French region, where the brand boasts an enormous 1,190 hectares of vineyards and 28 kilometres of interconnected cellars to mature the bottled fizz, which, depending on the blend, can be stored underground for as little as two years or for multiple decades.
So, what is the difference between the bottles kept for two years and those hidden away for 50? Well, the classic, best-selling Moët & Chandon Impérial and Impérial Rosé, stored for just a couple of years, are created from a blend of Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay grapes, and are carefully balanced so every bottle tastes the same each and every year. The vintages, however, are concocted by long-time cellar master Benoît Gouez and his team to reflect the year’s harvest and are designed to be released and enjoyed some years later. Meanwhile, there are also several other sips in the champagne house’s repertoire, including Moët & Chandon Ice Impérial and Ice Impérial Rosé, a duo of refreshing sparklers designed to be enjoyed over (you guessed it) ice, and the Nectar Impérial and Nectar Impérial Rosé, which are sweeter, bolder versions of the classic go-to.
If all this tipple talk is whetting your whistle, you’re in luck, because this month Harrods has welcomed Europe’s very first stand-alone Moët & Chandon bar. A luxurious, immersive experience nestled within the beauty halls on the ground floor, the shimmering gold-clad space is the best way to get to know each of the champagnes, from the definitive green apple and citrus flavoured Impérial served from a magnum-sized bottle, to Harrods exclusive legacy serves bottled from 1959 onward.
Those looking to mix things up a bit can opt for signature cocktails such as the Champagne Shake, made with MoeÌt & Chandon ImpeÌrial, lychee liqueur, vanilla ice cream and orange blossom, or reimagined classic concoctions, like the Champagne Highball, a heady mix of MoeÌt Cordial, Glenmorangie Nectar d’Or, ice cider, may chang and soda. And don’t expect to go hungry, because there are plenty of sweet and savoury snacks on offer, all designed with the help of Benoît Gouez’s refined palate to pair perfectly with each sip. Highlights of which include the moreish Seas the Moment crisps topped with perfectly proportioned poached lobster, miso and yuzu.
Sold? We’ll meet you at the bar in 10. Oh, and don’t forget to pronounce the ‘T’.
The Moët & Chandon Champagne Bar at Harrods is open everyday from 12pm