A very smart package arrived on my doorstep this week, from the people who handle Moët & Chandon. The famous Moët Impérial Brut Champagne is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year, and has released a limited-edition bottle and newly designed gift box.
Originally christened ‘Impérial’ as a tribute to Napoléon Bonaparte, the first bottles were shipped in 1869. Apparently a bottle was smashed on the bow to bring good luck on the voyage thus creating a tradition that continues today (although not always with Moët). The Champagne spraying at the winners podium, indulged in by racing drivers (always with Moët) was started at Le Mans in 1967 by Dan Gurney. Various rock stars, film stars and other assorted celebs have enjoyed a glass of Moët and it has appeared in a number of films.
With a bottle opened every second somewhere in the world, Moët Impérial (it is pronounced Mowett) is the most popular brand of Champagne of all, with some 28 million bottles being produced every year. While I have not always been impressed by the quality of the Champagne in the past, I have tasted several very good bottles more recently. Expect bright apple and pear fruits, and a smooth lightly creamy palate with touches of grilled nuts.
The anniversary gift box with limited edition (not sure how limited) bottle is available from SuperValu for €58. A standard bottle, widely available will set you back €48-50.