Moët & Chandon has quickly become one of the most prominent names in luxury champagne. With its origins dating back nearly 300 years, the French champagne house is the biggest in the world, producing almost 30 million bottles annually.
Indubitably, the most popular champagne from the House is the Moët Imperial, a bright, fruity drink recognized for its sensual palate and distinct maturity. Its elegant, complete profile embodies the values of Moët & Chandon.
The first thing you should know about this revered champagne is how to pronounce it. Moët is one of the most commonly butchered alcohol names. To avoid embarrassment next time you’re shopping in-store for champagne, let’s get this settled; the drink is pronounced, “mo-wet.”
The first syllable is pronounced exactly like the word “mow,” as if you were mowing your lawn. The second syllable is said just like the word “wet,” as if you were saying a surface is wet. And no, the “t” in “Moët” isn’t silent.
The Moët family hailed from the Netherlands and immigrated to France in the 1400s. During this time, it was a popular trend to drop consonant sounds from your name in France. However, the Moët family chose to cling to the “t” in their name, pronouncing it as it was originally meant.
This historic drink is no ordinary champagne. Its makeup, as well as its cultural presence, has been sustained for centuries now. Simply put, Moët & Chandon is designed for the true aficionados of champagne. Continue reading with Saucey to learn more about this iconic wine.
Origins of Moët & Chandon
The timeline of the Moët & Chandon House starts in 1445, when King Charles VII of France assigned two brothers Jean and Nicolas Moët, as noblemen. This title gave their family certain financial opportunities that were absent for most families.
In 1743, a descendant of Jean and Nicolas named Claude Moët used this position to his advantage, creating the family’s first wine trading territory in Épernay known as Maison Moët.
After Claude, his grandson Jean-Rémy Moët continued to push the family name. In 1832, his son Victor Moët took over and partnered with his brother-in-law, Pierre-Gabriel Chandon de Briailles. A few decades later, the Moët Imperial champagne was created.
Together, Victor and Pierre-Gabriel established a presence in the Napa Valley. In 1973, the brand eventually shifted to the now-famous Moët & Chandon name.
Notably, the Moët & Chandon House contributed to the tradition of “popping champagne” in 1967, when Dan Turney, a professional driver, was given a bottle of the House’s champagne after a victory in the 24-hour Le Mans race. After the win, he popped open the bottle and began to celebrate by spraying the contents on himself and the crowd. This is the first recorded instance of anyone popping open a bottle of champagne and spraying it on others.
Moët & Chandon’s reputation
Moët & Chandon produces several different types of champagne including the Moët Impérial, Rosé Impérial, Ice Impérial, Rosé Ice Impérial, and the Grand Vintage Champagnes. However, its signature style of champagne is the old-fashioned Moët Impérial, sporting a heavy fruit taste combined with delicate spritzes.
Over the years, the drink has become the standard of luxury champagne, desired for its refined taste, but more importantly, its massive reputation.
The Moët & Chandon House is a member of the largest luxury conglomerate in the world, which includes Louis Vuitton and Hennessy. This alliance was built in the 1980s and is known as the acronym LVMH.
The drink’s sense of royalty is so profound that it is one of the favorite champagnes of Queen Elizabeth. Moët & Chandon actually owns what’s called a “royal warrant,” a license to supply Queen Elizabeth and the Royal Family with their champagne. The Royal Family adores the drink so much that they featured it as the main champagne at Charles and Diana’s wedding in 1981.
Yet, members of the Royal Family aren’t the only high-profile people to enjoy Moët. Napoleon Bonaparte was actually known to celebrate his victories with champagne as well. Napoleon apparently met Jean-Rémy Moët in his adolescence and developed a relationship with him for years to come.
Napoleon was known to stock up on his bubbles before every major military mission. When describing the drink, he famously said that “in victory, one deserves it, in defeat one needs it.”
More recently, Moët has also become a staple in music, being mentioned in hip-hop songs like “Big Poppa” by The Notorious B.I.G. and in rock records like “Killer Queen” by Queen. As illustrated best by Freddie Mercury, “she keeps Moët & Chandon in her pretty cabinet.”
How the Champagne is made
Moët Impérial is produced from the conventional three champagne grapes: Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Meunier. However, unlike most of its competitors, grapes for Moët Impérial are gathered from countless parcels throughout hundreds of villages in the Champagne region. This area is rich in limestones and contains huge plots of land designed for these specific grapes.
Most wines are made from grapes that are all picked from the same vineyard. But what makes Moët Impérial so unique is its varied list of ingredients. Grapes must be sourced from many different vineyards, blended seamlessly by expert palate producers to create that classic Moët taste. It truly is an art to create this signature drink.
The most common type of Moët Impérial is Brut Imperial, a non-vintage cuvée. This champagne is made from over 100 different wines. About a quarter of these wines are reserve wines, meaning they’ve been stored in a winery for years to promote maturity before they’re blended.
These wines are sourced from the three grapes mentioned previously. Brut Imperial is aged for 24 months before it is sold.
How Brut Imperial tastes and smells
Brut Imperial carries a fairly intense taste, marked by its strong, spicy flavor with its sweet counterpart. Its texture is dry but extremely smooth and comes in a lemon-yellow color with gold and amber hints. Visually, it is very distinct and alluring. Many other non-vintage cuvées feature a weak, green-yellow complexion, but Brut Imperial looks much more high-end.
When you take a sip of the drink, you can taste the textured, soft fruit mixed with its mature, nutty flavor. In terms of smell, Brut Imperial has a cinnamon and hazelnut aroma to it, also giving off aromas of lemon and apricot.
Some would describe the smell of Brut Imperial as similar to baked goods like French toast or freshly baked bread. Without a doubt, this masterful blend of aromas is one of the drink’s most enticing features.
How it’s served
Some wine enthusiasts are judgemental of those who sip their glass with ice in it. If you’re enjoying some Moët, though, it’s best served with a few ice cubes. The Moët & Chandon House has particularly encouraged the use of ice with their Ice Impérial.
In 2010, Moët introduced the Ice Impérial, a champagne specifically made for pouring over ice. When mixed with ice, the wine’s richer, sweeter fruit flavors are diluted, and its tight link of bubbles is loosened. Instead of detracting from the taste and texture of the wine, ice cubes actually enhance it.
Moët’s toasted, bready flavor is also beautifully matched with dried pineapple and ripe mango. Just be careful how you add to your glass. Start with very small pieces of fruit, then gradually add more until it tastes right. You can also add a bit of white pepper for some extra spice.
Moët Impérial is a legendary champagne that drinks very smoothly. Its dryness, combined with its blend of fruity flavors, creates a perfect balance that is hard to come by with other champagnes. It is hard-hitting and spicy, but also light and refreshing.
Unlike some other champagnes, you can also sip Moët Impérial comfortably without fear of being blindsided by an edge. There’s no surprise that so many prevalent figures in history have taken a liking to the drink. The champagne’s depth and complexity of flavors and aromas are simply unmatched.
The experience is always special when you are drinking Moët Impérial. Its recipe has been diligently revised for hundreds of years to achieve the ideal taste. A genuine French champagne in every sense of the phrase, Moët Impérial is rooted in the history books of wine.
Wine production throughout the world is increasing rapidly, and with that, the world of luxury champagne is expanding as well. But it’s important to honor the legacy of the drinks that have paved the way. None of this would be possible without brands like Moët & Chandon taking on the task centuries ago to create quality wine.
Moët & Chandon Impérial will forever be a corner piece of champagne culture and history. For over 300 years, the wine has prevailed as one of the most recognized names in the industry. And there’s no sign of that changing any time soon.
Nowadays, you can get premium wine delivered straight to your door. Grab a bottle of Moët & Chandon Impérial today through Saucey’s hassle-free alcohol delivery service.