Every Friday TheChampagneSommelier will ask 5 questions about 5 coeur de bouteilles to friends and Champagne lovers from near and far. This week we had a bubbly chat with French Alexia Hupin.
Alexia is a French wine educator, blogger and entrepreneur. She has always been passionate about wine, memorizing regions and appellations during family gatherings. She worked in hospitality events for 5 years but she decided to fully commit to her core passion in 2017. She has pursued her endless thirst of knowledge through WSET Level 3 and she is now completing WSET Level 4 Diploma.
Alexia is the blogger behind @wine.by.alex where she aims at sharing her passion and expertise in a demystified and approachable way. Her driving force, both in physical classes and online, is to see her community light up and gleam when they learn something new. She wants to inspire them and give them fuel to become more confident when it comes to wine. Alexia has recently redesigned her blog (https://www.winebyalex.com) to offer a better experience of detailed articles and interviews. WinebyAlex will offer online training in 2021.
Which Champagne would You treat your parents or in-laws?
‘I love making my family learn about Champagne, or at least discover new examples. I have tried different styles with them, but their experience is better when I share classic examples. So I usually bring iconic Champagnes for family gatherings: Charles Heidsieck ‘Brut Réserve’, Jacquesson ‘742’, Billecart-Salmon ‘Rosé’,…
I have discovered that they want to be able to recall the name and recognise the label. They feel relaxed, safer and more open to taste, plus these Champagnes generally please everyone! Even my mother-in-law now asks for Champagne even though she usually doesn’t drink alcohol!’
Which Champagne would You treat your lover?
‘My fiancé has tasted all (or almost) the Champagnes with me for over 3 years now. He is super curious and loves discovering different styles of wines. At first he would like almost everything but, with time, he becomes more and more picky…
Maybe he is too spoiled (laughs)! I have managed to determine the style he likes the most: zero/low dosage, complex, fruity with delicate autolytic characteristics. His last two favourites were Louis Brochet ‘Extra Blan’c and Vollereaux ‘Cuvée Brut Nature’.’
Which Champagne would You treat your boss?
‘I am my own boss now, so that means more Champagne for me! When I had bosses, they were not particularly familiar with Champagne but they liked it. I would have probably started with classic iconic examples, such as Veuve Clicquot, Roederer, Bollinger or Taittinger, to make them feel at ease.
Then I would have suggested them to try grower Champagnes so they could discover more typical styles. The latest grower Champagnes I have tried would be perfect: Marie Copinet ‘Alexandrine Blanc de blancs’, By Fernand ‘Hédoniste Blanc de blancs Grand Cru’ or Lacroix Triaulaire ‘Le Biographe’.’
Which Champagne would You treat yourself?
‘This is a good question, I have so many I want to taste. One that immediately pops into my mind is Jacques Selosse ‘Substance’. I have read a lot of amazing tasting notes that made me drool over. Hopefully someone will hear my call and treat me with this one! In a more realistic world I would love to taste André Robert ‘Terre du Mesnil Blanc de blancs Grand Cru’ 2009 again, I had it last year and absolutely loved it.’
Which Champagne would You treat a dream guest, and why?
‘I would love to share a glass of Champagne with Barbe Nicole Ponsardin! The Grande Dame of Champagne inspires me: she was strong, good in business and innovative. She took over her husband’s wine business when widowed at 27 only. Thanks to her strong personality, she improved and expanded Maison Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin worldwide. Of course we would open one of her Champagnes: ‘La Grande Dame Rosé’ 2008!’
What piece of music would you listen to drinking wine in question 5 ?
‘I think the perfect type of music to enjoy while drinking Champagne is indie folk. I am transported by this style of music, it reinvigorates me. I would choose a smooth and muted piece, like “Carried Away” by Lauren Preuss (perfect title by the way!). Something delicate to enhance the wine and not conceal it… ‘