Moët & Chandon champagne tower, in celebration of World Champagne Day. Picture supplied.

In the wake of Champagne Day 2019 this past weekend, Moët & Chandon Winemaker Amine Ghanem decided it was time to see how South Africans celebrate the Moët & Chandon way. 

We asked the man behind the world’s most loved champagne a few questions...

Amine Ghanem, oenologist of Moët & Chandon. Picture supplied.

Q: Before we begin, PLEASE silence the debate once and for all! How do we correctly pronounce Moët & Chandon?

A: The correct pronunciation of Moët & Chandon is an age-old question that has sparked spirited debate across dinner tables amongst friends, champagne aficionados across the globe and even garners attention on prime-time radio shows and trends in the ‘Twittersphere’! So, to silence the debate – the winery's founder Claude Moët was of Dutch heritage, so you pronounce the brand 'Mo-Wett', and not 'Mo-Way'. 

Q: For those who don’t know, could you describe what an “Oenologist” is?

A: It’s important to point out that “sommelier” and “oenologist” are not synonymous with one another. They can be compatible, that is to say, someone can be both a sommelier and an oenologist. It’s not rare to find examples of this. 

“Oenology”, from the Greek oînos ‘wine’ and -ology, refers to the ensemble of knowledge relative to the production of wines. Evidently, as the science defines, an oenologist who would be the person who holds this knowledge. 

Specifically, they are the technical assessors responsible for managing the wine production process, also known in English as winemakers, although their role covers more than just making wine. Oenologists are the professionals who supervise not only production in the winery but also the storage, analysis, preservation, bottling and sale of wine. 

Moët & Chandon flagship bottle. Picture supplied.

Q: Can you explain the differences in champagne styles, e.g. brut, demi-sec, brut rose etc?

A: Brut Champagnes such as the Moët & Chandon Impérial – which celebrates its 150 year anniversary this year - as well as the Moët & Chandon Impérial Rosé can be served throughout the meal, from aperitif to dessert. 

Moet Impérial pairs very well with white fish and white fruits, while Moët & Chandon Impérial Rosé pairs really well with simple, intense, colourful flavours, such as red meat and fresh red-fleshed fruits. In our demi-sec range, we have Moët Nectar and Moët Ice. 

The main difference is that these wines are sweeter as they have a higher dosage than the Brut offerings. Moët & Chandon Ice Impérial is an innovative first, a champagne specifically created to be enjoyed over ice, ideal for warm days and summer celebrations. Perfect for the South African climate!

Q: With a whopping 30 million bottles sold annually, Moët & Chandon is the world’s best selling champagne, why do you think this is?

At Moët & Chandon, we believe that each and every one of life’s moments is worth celebrating. And we believe that after 270 years of celebrating life’s memorable moments, there’s no better way to honour one’s achievements and successes, than with a glass of Moët & Chandon champagne in hand! 

With a bottle of our champagne opened every second around the globe, we feel an immense sense of pride around the Maison’s association with celebration. 

It’s also important to acknowledge that Moët & Chandon is the Maison that introduced champagne to the world by offering a range of unique wines. From the iconic Moët Impérial to the Grand Vintage Collection to the extroverted Moët Rosé Nectar Impérial, Moët & Chandon invites champagne drinkers to enjoy champagne at any occasion.  

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