These are two truly great names in the world of fine wine, each with a uniqueness that transcends their respective undertakings. The former, of course, is the centuries old (1833), famously celebrated, champagne house known for its outstanding vintage and non-vintage champagnes–a household name, really. The latter, is a French wine educational institution for industry professionals or, at the very least, avid and intrepid wine collectors and aficionados with greater than average wine erudition.
Louis Roederer, still family owned and operated, makes some of the very best champagne in the region (read: the world) via its Grands Crus and Premiers Crus vineyards within the appellations of Montagne de Reims, Vallée de Marne, and Côte des Blancs. As in all wine production, quality always begins in the vineyard and this renowned estate is an innovative, if meticulous, steward of its lands, which is followed through by the some of the industry’s finest winemakers, oenologists, and cellar masters in every step of the complex process of creating very fine champagne.
From Roederer’s multi-vintage champagne, to vintage champagne, from its innovative Brut Nature cuvée to, its amazing and ultra-expressive world famous Cristal, Louis Roederer is one of the finest and most respected champagne houses anywhere and it makes me long to pour some of its marvelous champagnes across my sadly deprived parched palate as I write this. Explore more about Louis Roederer here.
France has inarguably been the epicenter of fine wine for hundreds of years so it’s logical that if one really wants to learn about wine, French wine is unavoidable. The French Wine Society, as mentioned, specializes in educating those few among us (a relative term) that really want to learn wine on a deeper level. By employing live online lectures (which, by the way, can be accessed later to address any potential scheduling conflicts) combined with extremely well written textbooks, The French Wine Society elevates the engagement and effectiveness for wine specific distance learning to new heights. Its Master level courses are far beyond what most people can attain through other methods, partially due to its participating lecturers. For instructors, The French Wine Society has an army of MWs (Master of Wine) and MSs (Master Sommiliers) along with many of the industry’s most renowned experts. These scholarly in-depth educational opportunities available globally (with students from many different countries in each class), will produce a wealth of expertise in any region one selects for study and I encourage everyone to check into it.
French regions of study available include Alsace, Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Rhône, Sud de France, and Provence. If you’re not yet quite up to a Master level course, you can elect to take the French Wine Scholar course first as a precursor to greater knowledge. In any case, if you’re really serious about wine, or even if you think you know wine pretty well, check out The French Wine Society. It may change your world and definitely will increase your knowledge about wine (find them here).
There is a reason why I’m distinctly singling out these two organizations. Earlier in the year The French Wine Society announced a contest for wine writers (journalists, bloggers, and authors), offering a Champagne Master level course to five winners. The contest was sponsored by Louis Roederer. There was a reasonable submission deadline and the subject had to be written with the theme, “Beyond Bubbles: The Essence of Champagne” and limited to 700 words or less. I was intrigued but, I know how many great wine writers there are out there and only five winners were to be selected based on content, writing, and creativity. I thought about writing a piece to submit for some time and then realized there were only a few days left before the deadline. The piece I wrote is posted in the post prior to this (here).
Remarkably, I was selected as one of the winning writers and I’m humbled beyond belief. I’m also completely enamored with this amazing Master level course, which is at once, challenging and fulfilling.
In my excitement, I have told family and a few friends about my good fortune. When I get to the end of my discourse I am inevitably asked how many submissions I was up against? My answer is always the same: “I have to assume five.” Humbled, me.