by Fred McMillin
for November 1, 1999


Your Millennium Champagne



Champagne was initially a sweet, dessert wine.

In 1874, the House of Pommery shipped a revolutionary Champagne to England, the first BRUT (low sugar) bubbly.

Critical appraisal published on Dec. 27,1894 in Vanity Fair:

    Ode to Pommery 1874
    Farewell, then Pommery Seventy-Four!
    With reverential sips
    We part and grieve that never more
    Such wine may pass our lips.

Credit: Tom Stevenson's new Encyclopedia of Champagne

Alexandre Louis Pommery, c. 1855

Alexandre Louis Pommery,
c. 1855.

The Rest of the Story

So we're 125 years too late to taste that first Brut, but we suggest you serve a current Pommery Brut the night the new millennium arrives. Here are two reasons we select it.

1) Pommery has a huge estate of some of the best-sited vineyards, impeccable production facilities and fabulous cellars. (Tom Stevenson)

2) For the first time this year, we had a sparkling wine win Best of Tasting, and it was a Pommery Brut!

The details...
Pommery Brut Royal Apanage, Non-vintage
Reims, France
Importer—W.J. Deutsch
Contact—Office of Veronica Williams, Talbert Communications, phone (212) 675-5525, FAX (212) 627-8458
For More About Pommery—See the Feb. 19, 1999 WineDay titled, "Hurry! It's Pommery".
Price—$28 range


Pommery's scariest vintage? It was the 1917, harvested only 1,200 yards from the enemy lines in World War I!

About the Writer

Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for 30 years on three continents. He currently teaches wine courses at San Francisco State and San Francisco City College. In 1995, the Academy of Wine Communications honored Fred with one of only 22 Certificates of Commendation awarded to American wine writers.


WineDay Annex

More articles by
Fred McMillin


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