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Popping Bottles of Piper-Heidsieck Champagne This Season

Sheer elegance. Rich history. And, quite simply… of the highest crown, Piper-Heidsieck champagne is the high society selection this season. Let’s pop a few bottles for a proper New Year’s Eve Celebration, shall we?

Piper-Heidsieck Champagne informational booklet (photo credit: Rochelle Robinson)

Piper-Heidsieck Champagne informational booklet (photo credit: Rochelle Robinson)

Piper-Heidsieck Champagne being enjoyed by the lovely Marilyn Monroe (photo: courtesy of Heidsieck-Piper)

Piper-Heidieck Champagne being enjoyed by the lovely Marilyn Monroe (photo: courtesy of Heidsieck-Piper)

A cuvée worthy of Queen Marie-Antoinette upon first presentation by Florens-Louis Heidsieck to a favorite of Marilyn Monroe and moi, Piper-Heidsieck brings subtle tones, delightful sensations, and tempting aromas to the palette. We sampled two varieties in the living room of The Ambrose Hotel in Santa Monica at the commencement of this holiday season.

 

 

Piper-Heidsieck business development manager, Kyle Kaplan, conducting a tasting at The Ambrose Hotel in Santa Monica (photo credit: Rochelle Robinson)

Piper-Heidsieck business development manager, Kyle Kaplan, conducting a tasting at The Ambrose Hotel in Santa Monica (photo credit: Rochelle Robinson)

During a tasting connoisseurs often refer to the “notes” of a libation. I was struck by the complexity of the full musical experience of the Rosé Sauvage in particular. Mind you, I’m not even usually fond of rosés, which typically carry only very high saturation of sweet notes. But Piper-Heidsieck’s Rosé Sauvage playfully sent a light fiery tickle to my tongue upon contact, a soft depth of notes then swept across my palate, and as if a conductor had closed the final phrase of a symphonic piece, my mouth was finally cleansed in a closing beat, so that I could lift my flute up again and renew the full experience as if it was the first. Delightful indeed! We instantly fell in love with this new champagne to us, but a long-standing favorite to the world since The Age of Enlightenment.

Painting of Florens-Louis Heidsieck presenting his cuvee to Queen Marie-Antoinette photo: image from informational booklet)

Painting of Florens-Louis Heidsieck presenting his cuvee to Queen Marie-Antoinette photo: image from informational booklet)

Conceived of love, Piper-Heidsieck emerged in 1785, spurned by the ambitions of Florens-Louis Heidsieck to impress the girl from Champagne whom he had fallen in love and to outmatch the tiny bubbles of the region he had gained admiration for, enough so to impress the queen.

Born a son of a Protestant minister in Westphalia in 1749, this self-educated man founded Cloth and Wine Trading Company Heidsieck & Co. in 1785 and became a true master of his craft. Legend tells us that he spectacularly did meet his ambition to personally present his wine to the queen.

I am uncertain what eventually became of the love of his life. But upon his death in 1828, Florens-Louis’ nephew Christian Heidsieck partnered with Henri-Guillaume Piper. A move with foresight. For Piper magically maneuvered 14 royal and imperial courts to offer the distinction of becoming their “authorised supplier” of champagne. “Around the world, all of high society coveted The Piper by Heidsieck.”

Perhaps out of scandal, a keen eye on business, or from coddling a love was born from pain. But upon the death of Christian Heidsieck in 1835, his widow swiftly married his astute partner, Henri-Guillaume Piper, in 1838 just a few days later. Hence, the hyphenated title of this glorious champagne betook Piper-Heidsieck. Interestingly, Piper comes first.

So when you lift the first champagne flute to your lips, sizzling with Piper-Heidsieck bubbles, know that you are breathing in an enticing history with the loveliest, sophisticated and finest of all champagnes.

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