Champagne in 1/4 bottles


There are times when I want only one serving of Champagne and do not wish to open a full or 1/2 bottle. I thus decided to investigate the few Champagnes available in 187 ml (sometimes 200 ml) bottles available in the US. I found a few other interesting ones available in the UK, but after recovering from the shock of the price for a recent food air express shipment from Vienna, Champagnes not available in the US are not an option for me.
After searching, I found a few that could be ordered. I finally selected the Piper-Heidsieck NV for a trial. For many years this wine was not near the top of many people's list, and I had not bought any for at least 2 decades. However some good reviews in Decanter and elsewhere made me decide to give it a try again. It is now a very different wine from what I remember in the far past. I seems Pinot dominated and it is rather full. It has good fruit, decent balance, and enough acid that is not too aggressive. It is of course far from a Krug NV, but then the price is far lower. It can be found for about US $8 per 1/4 bottle with case discounts sometimes possible. Of course there will be delivery charges if you have to order it in. The bottle came as a shock to me. The whole bottle is bright red, and I doubt if a lipstick mark could be seen on it! There seems to have been a great change in the PR department at Piper-Heidsieck as well as in wine making. Had I first seen the bottle and not read any reviews, I likely would have assumed that Piper-Heidsieck was still selling the same old so-so wine, as they did for very many years, in a fancy new bottle to hopefully increase sales.
Other 1/4 bottles that can be found in the US and can often be delivered include Pommery, Nicolas Feuillatte, Laurent Perrier, Moet, and perhaps a few others. Has anyone had experience with any of these other 1/4 bottles or the Piper-Heidsieck?
Reply to
cwdjrxyz

slightly OT an old infirm spinster patient of mine used to have a 1/4 bottle of champagne at 11am with a digestive bisquit. Another was downed at 4pm with toast. When asked why , " my grandmother told me it was good for the kidneys and I agree with her."
Back OT, when asked why she didn't open a whole bottle and keep it, it would be lot cheaper, " A lady on her own would never dream of opening a bottle for herself......!!"
They do not breed them like that these days ;-)
Reply to
John and Trish Taverner
> There seems to have been a great change in the PR department at > Piper-Heidsieck as well as in wine making.
Firs of all there has been a change of ownership: The Marquis d'Aulan family sold in to Rémy-Cointrau in 1999, who also own Charles Heidsieck, btw.
M.
Reply to
Michael Pronay
I've had the P-H and the Pommery Pop. With both I've had some bottle variation, not sure if it was bottling issues (I think only 750s and mags have the fermentation in bottle, bigger and smaller sizes are transferred) or storage/shipping. In one case it was clearly storage, I would guess the smaller thermal mass makes the bottles especially vulnerable. > There are times when I want only one serving of Champagne and do not > wish to open a full or 1/2 bottle. I thus decided to investigate the > few Champagnes available in 187 ml (sometimes 200 ml) bottles available > in the US. I found a few other interesting ones available in the UK, > but after recovering from the shock of the price for a recent food air > express shipment from Vienna, Champagnes not available in the US are > not an option for me. > > After searching, I found a few that could be ordered. I finally > selected the Piper-Heidsieck NV for a trial. For many years this wine > was not near the top of many people's list, and I had not bought any > for at least 2 decades. However some good reviews in Decanter and > elsewhere made me decide to give it a try again. It is now a very > different wine from what I remember in the far past. I seems Pinot > dominated and it is rather full. It has good fruit, decent balance, and > enough acid that is not too aggressive. It is of course far from a Krug > NV, but then the price is far lower. It can be found for about US $8 > per 1/4 bottle with case discounts sometimes possible. Of course there > will be delivery charges if you have to order it in. The bottle came as > a shock to me. The whole bottle is bright red, and I doubt if a > lipstick mark could be seen on it! There seems to have been a great > change in the PR department at Piper-Heidsieck as well as in wine > making. Had I first seen the bottle and not read any reviews, I likely > would have assumed that Piper-Heidsieck was still selling the same old > so-so wine, as they did for very many years, in a fancy new bottle to > hopefully increase sales. > > Other 1/4 bottles that can be found in the US and can often be > delivered include Pommery, Nicolas Feuillatte, Laurent Perrier, Moet, > and perhaps a few others. Has anyone had experience with any of these > other 1/4 bottles or the Piper-Heidsieck?
Reply to
DaleW
> I've had the P-H and the Pommery Pop. With both I've had some > bottle variation, not sure if it was bottling issues (I think > only 750s and mags have the fermentation in bottle, bigger and > smaller sizes are transferred)
That was the legislation until a few years ago. Today everything between halves (375ml) and jéroboams (3000ml) has to be fermented in the bottle.
Thus said, there have always been houses making larger formats exclusively bottle fermented, Pommery comes to my mind. I have a very fond souvenir of a jéroboam of Pommery 1985, drunk on my 50th in July 2003.
M.
Reply to
Michael Pronay
> Back OT, when asked why she didn't open a whole bottle and keep it, it would > be lot cheaper, " A lady on her own would never dream of opening a bottle > for herself......!!"
The price of the same Champagne varies greatly with source in the US. For instance, the company from which I ordered the P-H Brut charged about US $8 for a 1/4 bottle, and about $23 for a full bottle. This would mean a full bottle of wine bought as 4 1/4 bottles would cost about $32. However other companies mainly sold full bottles of P-H Brut at higher prices, ranging up to about $35 a bottle, which would be a bit more expensive than by the 1/4 bottle from my source. Shipping from New York to the central US was no problem at this time of the year. The weather is quite cool, and the wine was shipped in a very thick foam insulated container. I don't like to keep Champagne. At the very best, you are going to lose some CO2 when you recork and save for a day or more. At worst, the taste may take a turn for the worse. However a single glass of Champagne sometimes is nice before a meal or with some dish, and you would rather have a red wine with the meat. Then I tend to save a top, expensive Champagne for a special event rather for an everyday meal.
Reply to
cwdjrxyz
So 187s might still be transfers? Thanks for info re change , Mght make me more likely to consider buying 375s. > > > I've had the P-H and the Pommery Pop. With both I've had some > > bottle variation, not sure if it was bottling issues (I think > > only 750s and mags have the fermentation in bottle, bigger and > > smaller sizes are transferred) > > That was the legislation until a few years ago. Today everything > between halves (375ml) and j=E9roboams (3000ml) has to be fermented > in the bottle. > > Thus said, there have always been houses making larger formats > exclusively bottle fermented, Pommery comes to my mind. I have a > very fond souvenir of a j=E9roboam of Pommery 1985, drunk on my 50th > in July 2003.=20 >=20 > M.
Reply to
DaleW
> So 187s might still be transfers? Not "might", but *always are*. Take a look at the top: Always for screwtops. Impossible to open them rapidly enough for efficient disgorging. > Thanks for info re change , Mght make me more likely to consider > buying 375s.
That's what I'd do, too.
M.
Reply to
Michael Pronay
> So 187s might still be transfers? > Thanks for info re change , Mght make me more likely to consider buying > 375s.
Perhaps you can get one of your tasting groups to make a comparison. Get several 187 ml bottles of P-H brut ,and half as many of the 375 ml bottles of the same, from various sources. Then taste blind. First taste the 187 ml ones against one another and then the 375 ml ones against one another to get an idea of bottle variation. Finally taste the top selections of each size geoup against one another.
One likely could ferment directly in 187 ml bottles if you used a bottle that will accept crown caps as many modern larger Champagne bottles do. Thus removing the sediment would be the same as for larger bottles that use crown caps for fermentation. However, after sediment is removed, you would seal the bottle with another crown cap rather than a cork. A crown cap can hold for many years, since many incomplete Champagnes are stored for many years with them - long enough for a NV Champagne designed to drink fairly soon. This would of course increase the price - perhaps too much to justify for such a small bottle to be consumed fairly soon.
I like just a single glass of Champagne at times, especially when I am going to have another wine with a meal. I had rather have a single 187 ml bottle than store part of a larger bottle for a day or more. Even if the first glass from the larger bottle is better, the remaining glasses that have been stored usually are not. Thus, on the average, I get more satisfaction from the smaller bottles. Of course if I am drinking a serious Champagne and have a few people around, I always open a standard sized bottle.
Since a few of the better California sparkling wines now are offered in the 187 ml size, I intend to try a few of them. I have seen a few Italian sparkling wines in 187 ml bottles, but so far I have only seen some of the semi-sweet ones that I usually do not like very well.
Reply to
cwdjrxyz
> One likely could ferment directly in 187 ml bottles if you used > a bottle that will accept crown caps as many modern larger > Champagne bottles do. Thus removing the sediment would be the > same as for larger bottles that use crown caps for fermentation. > However, after sediment is removed, you would seal the bottle > with another crown cap rather than a cork.
And exactly here starts the problem, coming from legislation: Bottle fermented champagne has to carry a bark cork.
Thus said, I'm not sure whether bottle fermentation in quarter bottles would work as good as in larger sizes.
Anyhow, if - *IF* - champagne regulations were more open to alternative closures for the finished product (i.e. stainless steel crown caps), whis would be a very interesting field.
JFTMOR, Alois Kracher just has released a NV TBA in screw-capped quarter bottles (187.5ml), designed specially for him (in priciple a clear Bordeaux shape quarter bottle). The project took four and a half years to get going, because everything, from screw-cap size to machinery, had to be redesigned. But I do predict a stunning success, because 1) the size is ideal for two glasses, 2) it's the perfect take- and give-away size, and 3) for 10 to 11 euros retail - much less than 25 to 40 euros for the lower-numbered 375ml TBAs, not talking about what's above Grande Cuvée - you get true Kracher TBA at a superb QPR.
M.
Reply to
Michael Pronay
> JFTMOR, Alois Kracher just has released a NV TBA in screw-capped > quarter bottles (187.5ml), designed specially for him (in priciple > a clear Bordeaux shape quarter bottle). The project took four and > a half years to get going, because everything, from screw-cap size > to machinery, had to be redesigned. But I do predict a stunning > success, because 1) the size is ideal for two glasses, 2) it's the > perfect take- and give-away size, and 3) for 10 to 11 euros retail > - much less than 25 to 40 euros for the lower-numbered 375ml TBAs, > not talking about what's above Grande Cuv=E9e - you get true Kracher > TBA at a superb QPR.
This is a very interesting development, indeed. Hopefully others who make extremely rich wines will do the same. It might help sell much more rich wine in restaurants. After a meal with wine, few are willing to buy an expensive bottle or even half bottle of something of TBA richness, no more than they would buy a large box of candy and have to finish it at the end of one meal.However a couple might buy a 187 ml bottle. Of course a restaurant can serve a few of the more popular wines by the glass, but it would not be practical to keep many different bottles open for such service. I hope some in Germany, and perhaps the Tokaji region, will consider this.
Reply to
cwdjrxyz

MAybe I'll try and do that (and maybe get a spouse or waitress to do pouring so it can be blind for me, too). I like the IDEA of 187s, was just disappointed in my meager experiments. I actually liked them for sharing -a 3 oz pour for each of us for a pre-dinner toast. And I love Kracher's idea of dessert wines in 187.
Reply to
DaleW
> slightly OT > an old infirm spinster patient of mine used to have a 1/4 bottle of > champagne at 11am with a digestive bisquit. Another was downed at 4pm with > toast. When asked why , " my grandmother told me it was good for the kidneys > and I agree with her." > > Back OT, when asked why she didn't open a whole bottle and keep it, it would > be lot cheaper, " A lady on her own would never dream of opening a bottle > for herself......!!" > > Oh dear, this thread seems a sad departure from the view of the Cavalry officer of the old school who was heard to observer that "the problem with a magnum of champagne is that it is far too small for two before dinner but just a bit too big for one." In that I agree with the poster: > They do not breed them like that these days ;-)
Tim Hartley
Reply to
Timothy Hartley

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