I’ll Drink to That: Champagne Critic Peter Liem

Episode 433 of I’ll Drink to That! was released recently, and it features Peter Liem. Peter, who lives in the Champagne region, is the publisher of ChampagneGuide.net as well as the author of the book Champagne: The Essential Guide to the Wines, Producers, and Terroirs of the Iconic Region. Peter was previously on I’ll Drink to That! in episodes 11 and 38.

Peter Liem sees the changes that have taken hold in the Champagne region recently — the exponential growth of grower Champagnes, the rise in popularity of single-vineyard expressions, and the trend for lower dosage — as related to a single idea: the thought that Champagne is a wine for drinking with a meal, not a set of celebratory brands. At the same time, the increase in single-vineyard bottlings is allowing for a more focused map of the Champagne landscape to emerge. This shift is what Peter discusses in his recently published book Champagne, and also inside this interview. If you are curious about the differences between Verzenay and Verzy, as those villages gain more prominence in Champagne listings, or between the expressions of Cuis and Cramant, then this interview is for you. Peter takes a deep dive into the subject of zones, villages, and vineyards within the greater Champagne region, and rolls out of verbal map of growing areas he knows well. He is also refreshingly upfront about where the limits of our Champagne knowledge currently are, and addresses some present-day shibboleths and beliefs. If you want to increase your understanding of Champagne as a multi-faceted wine from a complex medley of terroirs, this interview is for you.

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I’ll Drink to That is the world’s most listened-to wine podcast, hosted by Levi Dalton. Levi has had a long career working as a sommelier in some of the most distinguished and acclaimed dining rooms in America. He has served wine to guests of Restaurant Daniel, Masa, and Alto, all in Manhattan. Levi has also contributed articles on wine themes to publications such as The Art of Eating, Wine & Spirits magazine, Bon Appetit online, and Eater NY. Check out his pictures on Instagram and follow him on Twitter: @leviopenswine