Monday, April 6, 2009

Peter Liem, a Senior Correspondent for Wine & Spirits Magazine who lives in the Champagne region of France, has been writing one of my favorite blogs, Besotted Ramblings and Other Drivel, for about 1½ years now. While like most bloggers he’s always felt free to write about wherever his travels or thoughts take him, his blog has nonetheless focused primarily on Champagne. I’ve found it to be a fantastic resource, as he has an insider’s knowledge of the region yet analyzes it with the freedom of an outsider, writing some of the finest tasting notes and most well informed producer profiles I’ve ever come across.

All along, Peter’s hinted at working on “bigger things” and he’s now brought the fruit of that labor to light with the launch of In Peter’s own words:

"The site features profiles of over 100 champagne producers, along with tasting notes for nearly 600 champagnes currently on the market. While the Champagne region boasts over 5,000 registered brands, I have made a selection of those houses and estates that I feel to be the most significant and the most interesting in terms of quality. In addition, I wish to highlight the vast diversity of champagne, and in these pages you will find comments on large négociant houses, tiny grower estates and everything else in between—Dom Pérignon and Veuve Clicquot are represented, but at the other end of the spectrum, so are Cédric Bouchard, Jérôme Prévost and Marie-Noëlle Ledru, and many others besides.

In general, the site is arranged by producer—unlike most wine guides, which focus heavily on tasting notes and point scores, offering abbreviated information (and oftentimes none at all) on the producers themselves, my champagne guide focuses on profiling these houses and estates in detail, in the belief that the more informed you are about where the wine comes from and how it is grown and made, the better you will understand and appreciate what it is you are drinking."

An annual subscription to will set you back US$89. If it’s anywhere near as well done as his blog – and I somehow don’t think that’s a worry – it will be an investment well made for any connoisseur, established or aspiring, of Champagne.

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