Saturday, November 6, 2010

What is it with the French and the guillotine?

I was fascinated during a telecast of Melbourne's Spring Racing Carnival to see Mumm's brand ambassador demonstrating how to behead a bottle of French champagne with a sabre. It's no wonder they struggled at Waterloo - half the army directing their sabres at popping corks rather than rattling them at the advancing Brits and Prussians.

The trick for an effective champagne beheading seems to be to slide the leading edge of the blade up the neck of the bottle at the right velocity to neatly severe the bottle's neck where the wire binding nestles under the lip. I'm convinced that the French invented the guillotine to practice this, removing undesirables while saving money on expensive bottles of champagne.

This brings me to the question of what Moet's brand positioning is. Not being a champers connoissuer, I always thought of Moet as a 'premium' brand, albeit produced on massive scale by one of France's largest champagne producers. But over the past few weeks, the price has been down around the $45 a bottle mark. It's still dearer than a lot of the Aussie produced stuff, but is certainly not at the levels of some of its direct competitors. Perhaps they're passing on the full benefits of the rampant Australian Dollar - delivering value as well as prestige to our dedicated racegoers?

I suppose the question is - "who cares"?  Still looks very acceptable to serve the guests, who generally seem to rate it higher than even some of the better Aussie versions. Me? Once it has bubbles in it, I can't really pick the difference. Give me a deep red sparkling Shiraz or Burgundy any day! Cya later... I'm off to Flemington for the last day of the Carnival!

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