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Ring in the new…please

Krug is king: Christopher Pincher on the perfect champers to brighten your family bubble through the dark winter months

On Wine

This article is taken from the January/February 2021 issue of The Critic. To get the full magazine why not subscribe? Right now we’re offering three issue for just £5.


“And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year . . . make damn sure it leaves then slam the gate shut. We won’t be wanting that year back!” With apologies to the literary executors and admirers of Minnie Louise Haskins’s inspirational poem, that is the way I suspect most of us feel about 2020. What was meant to usher in the Roaring Twenties, a new decade of dash and elan, was ushered out as the most risible and rotten year for just about everybody in mortal memory.

But the year has turned, and we too must turn our faces forward. We must raise a toast to the future; and toasts should be drunk with champagne. In the land of shimmering champers, at least in my opinion, Krug is king.

Krug is as clipped and elegant as its single syllable

Since 1843, six generations of the family have devoted themselves to Joseph Krug’s mission to make the essence of champagne “pleasure itself”. With the Grand Cru Cuvée (166th) it is difficult to disagree. Near perfect perlage, this wine fair dances in its glass; it is nearly as much fun to watch as it is to drink. And why not? Sparkling conversation is all the more scintillating when served up with a sensational spumante. But the moment cannot be put off forever so, carpe diem, carpe vitrum. One salutes champagne by sipping. This Krug returns the compliment with a tart satsuma sensation as it trips over the tongue followed by a light, tight, nutty effervescence as the liquid washes away, leaving little or nothing behind. 

All the best wines clean up as they go and in the 2010 base vintage you will find a first-class freshener. It may not have the grandeur of Dom Perignon, and it may usually be cheaper (though not much), but Krug is as clipped and elegant as its single syllable. 

It is ideal for lifting the spirit and lighting up a darkening winter afternoon. So, if you have the chance, or the wherewithal, to buy a bottle, these bubbles will brighten your family bubble and provide an alternative vaccine until the real thing provides more permanent inoculation against the memory of last year.

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