Everything Gourmet

It’s Champagne Time With Mumm

The Mumm Cordon Rouge champagne with its eco-friendly Kraft paper gift box. Photo courtesy G.H. Mumm. Handout via The Gourmet Gazette

Paris, Francis — The Christmas season is officially and not commercially upon us as Christmas Eve emerges out of the winter solstice and daylight lingers on a little longer. We couldn’t think of a better way to kick off the festivities than with a bottle or two of Mumm Cordon Rouge, that great champagne that everyone loves and which often finds its way into the movies. We particularly enjoyed it in Once Upon a Time in America where it makes a bold and prominent appearance during Prohibition. It seems like that red cord running around the top and the middle of the bottle makes it a stand out. But it is also its consistency. Elaborated from 120 different wines emanating from the classic grape varieties of Champagne, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay, it is just clearly consistent. The house’s own vineyards are spread out over the great Grand Cru vineyards like the Montagne de Reims, Cramant and Avize. Mumm Cordon Rouge reflects the diversity of the good earth of Champagne and remains intensely fresh and aromatic. It is the perfect cocktail hour champagne. But also goes nicely with the local Reims ham, if you can find it anywhere, and very mild cheeses like a Saint Nectaire. 

The house was founded in 1827 and the red ribbon came along in 1876 when Georges Hermann Mumm decided to decorate his bottle with a red ribbon, the ancestor of today’s cord which makes the bottle immediately recognizable. The Mumm family is an aristocratic German family whose lineage dates back to the 12th century.  The family began producing wines in 1761 out of Cologne, Germany and had extensive vineyards in the Rhine Valley. In the early 19th century Peter Arnold Mumm’s three sons, Gottlieb, Jacobus and Philipp recognized the potential of the sparkling wines produced in Champagne country. Quality became the byword and the house’s motto came from Georges Hermann, our red ribbon man, « Only the Best. » 

RSRV Blanc de Blancs by Mumm, an exceptional champagne and a closely guarded secret until now. Here the 2015 vintage is paired with home-made tortellini garnished with shrimp and peas. Photo courtesy G.H. Mumm. Handout via The Gourmet Gazette

The house has long been known for its excellence in innovation becoming the first champagne house to set up wine presses directly in the vineyard in 1840 in its parcels in Verzenay. That wine press is still in use today. And today the house continues to innovate. The Mumm Cordon Rouge for a new gift box has been conceived in Kraft paper, an eco-friendly packaging that is made from recycled materials to the tune of 93%. But there is something new, too. Since 1838 the house has been producing its RSRV champagnes, exceptional champagnes that up until now have only been offered to friends of the house. These are ultra premium Grand Cru champagnes emanating from the vineyards just north of the Montagne de Reims. Today it is possible to sample this well-kept secret  in some select restaurants, to purchase them on the Vinatis website or at the house of Mumm itself in Reims. A case in point (and we would surely like a case of this champagne) is the RSRV Blanc de Blancs one of the five vintages in the collection. This is a 100% Chardonnay champagne emanating from the house’s historic vineyards in Cramant. The 2015 vintage is exceptionally aromatic drawn out from the grapes that enjoyed a hot and sunny summer. The RSRV champagnes had previously been packaged in black but are now shown off in all transparency. ©Trish Valicenti for The Gourmet Gazette. https://www.mumm.com/en-ww/

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