It was good to be invited to the 2015 edition of Les Grandes Tablées de Saumur-Champigny ten years after I was invited to the 2005 edition. Although it has grown enormously since then, the formula remains the same along with the friendly conviviality. Back in 2005 this was a one-day event now it is held over two days with all 6500 tickets sold out well in advance of the event.
As the 2014 edition had nodded towards Belgian cuisine, the Saumur-Champigny producers decided that in 2015 they should look across La Manche for inspiration.
I have to say that their interpretation of ‘classic’ British dishes was rather similar to a free jazz interpretation of a standard, especially the pork pie.
The 2014 Cuvée des 100 Saumur Champigny was the principal wine served during the evening and very delicious it was. However despite being very drinkable no-one amongst the throng of picnickers appeared to be drunk or at all disorderly.
I am continually amazed by the amount of Prosecco that appears to be produced by Veuve Clicquot, which I had always understood to be a Champagne house and part of LVMH. UK supermarket shelves are now groaning with Prosecco flaunting yellow/gold/orange labels.
I can only assume that Veuve Clicquot have moved into the Prosecco market because of its current popularity. According to a study by Laithwaite’s, the UK’s largest mail order business, and published in The Drinks Business Prosecco is now the overwhelming choice for a marriage toast:
In the study, Laithwaite’s found that 63% of couples now toast their nuptials with a flute of Prosecco, compared to just 8% who raise a glass of Champagne.
According to Laithwaite’s, sales of the Italian fizz have grown by over 25% in the last 18 months, overtaking Champagne sales at weddings as far back as 2013.
English Sparkling wine is also giving Champagne competition, accounting for 5% of all sparkling wine drunk at UK weddings, with its popularity rising every month.’