How Does One Define the Pure Pleasure of Drinking Champagne?

Experiencing Mumm Champagnes

Photo provided

Experiencing Mumm Champagnes

Experiencing Mumm Champagnes

Photo provided

Neuroscience research shows that the brain receives a variety of signals when Champagne is consumed. These signals are triggered by the sense of  sight  as well as  touch  and have a strong  influence  on the sense of  taste  and thus on the  evaluation  of Champagne.  

This means unique Champagne enjoyment begins with the  right  choice of  glass. Only with this can all the latent qualities of Champagne be brought to the surface. To enable this holistic enjoyment, renowned producers such as  Maison Mumm  has designed specially adapted glasses. Cellar master Laurent Fresnet, the official custodian of Maison Mumm's 200-year legacy of savoir-faire, has always had an innovative vision. Keen to explore  new methods of spotlighting the essence of Pinot Noir, he came up with a  new, innovative approach to tasting Mumm Champagne. 

Fresnet worked alongside neuroscientist Gabriel Lepousez and designer Octave de Gaulle, pooling their individual expertise and conducting intensive experiments and professional research. The result was a new set of glasses, whose appearance, weight  and feel  has changed the  experience of drinking Champagne. 

The first glass features a smooth, glossy bowl tinted a deep saturated purple, with a thick, weighted stem on a smooth, broad, polished stainless-steel base, making it significantly heavier to hold than a traditional Champagne glass. 

The second glass is frosted on the outside, giving it an icy appearance and grainy sensation on the lips. The delicate stem has sharp edges, while the aluminium base, somewhat narrower than a classic Mumm Champagne glass, has a slightly rough surface. Its overall weight is much lighter than a standard Champagne glass. 

These innovative glasses allow more aromas and flavours to come to the fore  and open up new perspectives that go beyond the conventional qualities of the Champagne. By  altering one or more sensory cues, pre-conceived perceptions are challenged, perfectly embodying the spirit of Mumm. 

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An olfactory experiment

To demonstrate the different qualities of Champagne glasses, a tasting was carried out with independent participants using  three different cuvées from Maison Mumm:  

  • Mumm Grand Cordon Rosé 
    Tasted in the regular Champagne glass, Mumm Grand Cordon Rosé has great freshness in the attack, after which it reveals its fruity nature. When tasted in the heavier, polished purple glass, however, it reveals an attractive depth and gourmet notes of red fruit (morello and amarena cherries) and Viennese pastry.  
      
  • Mumm Brut  Millésimé  2013 
    The experiment was repeated with the Mumm Brut  Millésimé  2013. The lighter, frosted glass with its  textured  surface, revealed a  hidden freshness with delicate, lucid aromas that do not normally come to the fore with this cuvée. Tasted in the classic Mumm glass, however, this mature structured, and precise vintage cuvée offers gourmet pastry notes.  
      
  • RSRV Blanc de Noirs 2009  
    With the RSRV Blanc de Noirs 2009, a standard glass released all the wonderful qualities of a mature Pinot Noir from Verzenay: generosity, complexity, and aromas of ripe fruit. However, when tasted in the frosted glass, the wine revealed great  freshness with aromas of citrus and candied  peach.  

This experiment shows that the  innovative glasses  reveal the richness of nuances hidden  in the Champagnes of Maison Mumm.