Is Asia’s Champagne palate changing?

Dominique Moreau of Champagne house Marie Courtin has seen the evolution of Champagne tastes of Asia over the last four years and thinks real change is in the air.

champagne marie courtinSpeaking to the drinks business at the offices of importer l’Imperatrice, Moreau said that she has seen a “big change” in attitudes towards Champagne in the past four years when she first entered the market.

“There’s been a change in the palate,” she explained, adding that on her visits now she meets more professionals than before, professionals that are willing to try new things – particularly her Champagnes which are low dosage and, in one example, vinified in oak.

“I’m surprised to meet people now who are ready to drink wine without dosage,” she continued. “It’s the beginning of something, it’s a market with a changing palate. There’s something new compared to four years ago.”

Education has of course played its part and, continued Moreau, “thanks to that they’re ready to follow trends we see in New York, San Francisco or Copenhagen.”

Moreau has been active in the export market since 2005, explaining that France “wasn’t ready” for the styles of wine she was producing.

Today she sells some 90% of her production to export markets and she sees some other grower Champagne producers in the same boat.

Markets such as the UK, US and Scandinavia as long-established Champagne-loving markets have of course been quick to snap up small production Champagnes and Moreau sees Asia as another market that is perhaps more open to new styles rather than France and its “traditions”.

“New York and Hong Kong are full of different cultures so perhaps it’s more open-minded, yes. People also seem interested that we’re far from the traditional version of what Champagne is. People are in search of new sensations.”

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