The Changing Taste of Champagne

How ‘house’ styles have evolved in the last decades
With Patrick Schmitt MW
Sunday Apr 24 2022


Although the major producers of branded Brut Non-Vintage Champagne are rightly proud of a consistent ‘house’ style, the taste of their blends have changed significantly over time.

Using historical records, and originally-sourced detailed data going back to 1991, this WSG Live will consider how climate, viticulture and winemaking have affected the character of Champagne’s best-known and biggest-selling brands.

Expect to find out how the cellar master and end-consumer have also played their part in shaping how famous Champagnes taste today, as well as the extent of change over a 25-year period, from altered sugar levels to changes in the proportion and age of reserve wines.

The WSG Live will also consider whether Champagne has reached a satisfactory balance today, or whether further change is necessary and likely.

Presenter: Patrick Schmitt MW

Patrick Schmitt is editor-in-chief of the drinks business. He writes for and manages the European and Hong Kong editions of the drinks business, as well as the printed product’s website – the leading international website for beers, wines and spirits.

He also chairs the publication’s annual awards programme, including The Drinks Business Awards for product innovations and environmental initiatives, as well as the magazine’s Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Champagne and Rioja Masters, for which he heads up a tasting panel of wine experts.

Patrick has been shortlisted for two years running for the editor of the year in the business and professional magazine category for the British Society of Magazine Editors (BSME).

Patrick passed both the theory and practical papers of the Master of Wine examination on his first attempt and became a Master of Wine in March 2015. During his Master of Wine studies, he was awarded the Esterhazy and Reh Kendermann bursaries as well as the AXA Millésimes and Yalumba scholarships.

Patrick studied Geography at Oxford University – where he specialised in plant ecology – and later Landscape Architecture at the University of Greenwich. Although he is a qualified garden designer and had initially planned to practise as a landscape architect, a job in a horticultural trade journal took him into a career as a journalist.

Aside from alcoholic drinks and gardening, his interests range from cars to cycling, as well as the archaic sport of real tennis. He lives in south London with his wife Ettie and two children, Beatrice and Ottilie.

The Changing Taste of Champagne with Patrick Schmitt, MW