Silly packaging

I’ve pretty much got all of the 1996 Champagnes I need, especially after this morning’s delivery of a bottle of Billecart-Salmon Grande Cuvée. This is a prestige cuvée I’ve wanted to try for a while, but as this is a 1996 I’ll have to wait until I open it. I’ve only purchased three 1996 prestige cuvées (as they are freaking expensive) and each one has come in over-blown packaging. The Grande Cuvée has a particularly silly ‘crocodile-mouth’ box:

The first thing I do when I get extraneous packaging like this is throw it away; it certainly doesn’t make it to one of my cellars. I can see how the makers want people to think that they are getting something special for their obscene amount of money spent, but surely the wine should be special enough? I’d rather spend a few notes less and just have the bottle of wine.

Ah 1996 Champagnes, such good things. I’ll be drinking my small but perfectly composed collection over a very long time. This means I’ll have to try some later vintages, hmmmm… I’ve had Billecart-Salmon Cuvée Nicolas François 1997 and [link2post id=”1578″]Bollinger Grand Année 1997[/link2post] and found both to be terribly disappointing; they seemed so forward, mature and lacking rigour. 1998 is more of a ‘classic’ vintage (although the 1275″]one I have had was bloody awful); I’ll order some Pol Roger.

  • Ed Tully

    Yes, No point in keeping the box unless you intend on selling the wine at auction. In which case you probably don’t deserve to own it. The new Winston Churchill box – although quite pretty – must be 50% porkier than before. Ludicrous!

  • David Strange

    I agree about the Churchill box: it doesn’t look too bad, but the size is frankly laughable. At least they have a little vintage sticker on the outside of the box. The new label design is considerably better than the old one. Worth making a bit of an effort for the 10th vintage released, I suppose (and such a good vintage at that).

  • Ed Tully

    Forgot to mention, what do you mean “pretty much all the 1996’s (you) need”? That way communism and mischief lies. You can’t possibly have all you need! How many train carriage loads of 1996 would you want to get through in your life time? You can’t have too much of a good thing. As you know an excess of pleasure is impossible as its limits have not been yet navigated.

  • David Strange

    Oh I am well aware that the limits of pleasure are yet to be defined or reached, this is largely why I have to stop buying 1996 Champagne. Given that my budget is hilariously small buying more fizz will prevent me from buying other things that will provide quite probably a mam-load more pleasure: Burgundy 05s and Northern Rhône 05s spring to mind as examples. Mugnier 2005s are quite the best examples of hedonistic excess I’ve tried. As we well know: the road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom.

  • Ed Tully

    You have confused “need” with “possibility”. Reason not the need!

  • David Strange

    Yes, you are right. I agree entirely.