A CHAMPAGNE CONVERSATION WITH AMINE GHANEM
We asked the man behind the world’s most loved champagne a few questions …
Q: Amine, this is a special year for Moët & Chandon as the Maison celebrates the 150th anniversary of its flagship champagne, Moët Impérial. How will this important milestone in the extraordinary journey of a global icon be celebrated?
A: Moët Impérial is indeed a global icon of celebration and ‘savoir-fête’ and Champagne Day is one of many spectacular 2019 celebrations marking the 150th anniversary of Moët Impérial, the signature champagne of the Maison. I’m incredibly proud to be celebrating this milestone in South Africa on 18 October 2019 – Champagne Day!
Moët Impérial has an incredible, rich history. Born as Brut Impérial in 1869, Moët Impérial was the name given to the House’s non-vintage brut champagne in homage to Moët & Chandon’s long-standing relationship with France’s imperial family. Since then, Moët Impérial has embarked on an epic journey, through challenge and opportunity. It has become a global icon of celebration, conquering new worlds and creating unforgettable moments filled with glamour and style.
A star in its own right, Moët Impérial has shone on the cinematic stage, been celebrated for its savoir-fête, and frequently captured by the lens of paparazzi as it has been joyfully toasted by the glitterati. In Cannes, a natural playground for Moët & Chandon in the 1960s, film legends Kim Novak and Cary Grant were photographed toasting with a bottle of Moët Impérial at a star-studded dinner on the French Riviera. At Studio 54, a symbol of the dazzling New York nightlife of the 1970s, the father of Pop Art, Andy Warhol was photographed sharing a bottle of Moët Impérial in famous company, amongst reveling movie stars and fashion models. Moët Impérial rose onto the highest stage of the sporting world as winners initiated a tradition of spraying champagne from the winner’s podium, or savoured the taste of victory, as did Jackie Stewart, the racing great who raised a bottle of Moët Impérial to his lips to celebrate his history-making victory in 1971 at the British Grand Prix in Silverstone. It’s 150 years of history most definitely worth celebrating!
Q: Moët & Chandon is referred to as the world’s most loved champagne, do you think this is because of the Maison’s association with celebration?
A: Yes, definitely. At Moët & Chandon, we believe that each and every one of life’s moments is worth celebrating. And we believe that after 270 years of celebrating life’s memorable moments, there’s no better way to honour one’s achievements and successes, than with a glass of Moët & Chandon champagne in hand! With a bottle of our champagne opened every second around the globe, we feel an immense sense of pride around the Maison’s association with celebration.
It’s also important to acknowledge that Moët & Chandon is the Maison that introduced champagne to the world by offering a range of unique wines. From the iconic Moët Impérial to the Grand Vintage Collection to the extroverted Moët Rosé Nectar Impérial, Moët & Chandon invites champagne drinkers to enjoy champagne at any occasion.
Q: Please silence the debate once and for all! How do we correctly pronounce Moët & Chandon?
A: The correct pronunciation of Moët & Chandon is an age-old question that has sparked spirited debate across dinner tables amongst friends, champagne aficionados across the globe and even garners attention on prime-time radio shows and trends in the ‘Twittersphere’! So, to silence the debate – the winery's founder Claude Moët was of Dutch heritage, so you pronounce the brand 'Mo-Wett', and not 'Mo-Way'.
Q: Can you explain the differences in champagne styles, e.g. brut, demi-sec etc?
A: Brut Champagnes such as the Moët & Chandon Impérial – which celebrates its 150 year anniversary this year - as well as the Moët & Chandon Impérial Rosé can be served throughout the meal, from aperitif to dessert. Moet Impérial pairs very well with white fish and white fruits, while Moët & Chandon Impérial Rosé pairs really well with simple, intense, colourful flavours, such as red meat and fresh red-fleshed fruits. In our demi-sec range, we have Moët Nectar and Moët Ice. The main difference is that these wines are sweeter as they have a higher dosage than the Brut offerings. Moët & Chandon Ice Impérial is an innovative first, a champagne specifically created to be enjoyed over ice, ideal for warm days and summer celebrations. Perfect for the South African climate!