Cognitive Dissonance And Champagne

Cognitive dissonance refers to a situation involving conflicting attitudes, beliefs or behaviors.  I don’t know why, but was the first thing to pop into my head when I was contemplating my first trip to the Champagne region as part of the 2014 Harvest Media Trip (more on that later).

The term perfectly describes my relationship with Champagne, which might also be described as, “It’s complicated

Let me explain…

I have a bunch ‘o wine (my guess would be a couple of hundred bottles) in my “cellar” (a term admittedly used loosely here for the sake of brevity – the wine is all over the house!).

I adore Champagne. It’s my deathbed wine (a Rosé Champagne to be exact)

Yet I have zero, absolutely none in my cellar.

Clearly there’s a disconnect between my belief that I love Champagne, and my purchasing and laying down of wine behavior, since I don’t have any in my “cellar”.  

Before I proceed further, you should know that in my mind, while Champagne is sparking wine, sparkling wine is not Champagne. And Champagne comes from one place in the world, the Champagne region in France.

Why yes...I will have some Krug Champagne!
Why yes…I will have some Krug Champagne!

I have exactly 2 bottles of sparkling wine that I’m laying down (both are Roederer Estate L’Ermitage)

So, I have to ask myself why?  Why, if you love sparkling wine do you only have two bottles in the cellar?

This is where it gets a bit “complicated” (i.e. excuses for my purchasing behavior vis-a-vis my beliefs) Here are a few excuses…

I like to try before I buy….this one is kinda sorts true…it’s only in the last year or so I’ve made a concerted effort to taste Champagne on a regular basis.  Oh, I’ve had plenty of sparkling wine (blogged about it weekly, and have hit all the wineries on the Napa/Sonoma Sparkling Wine Trail). Still, I’m well aware of the fabulosity that is Champagne and my favorite wine store has got plenty of it…

Got a late start…meaning I’ve been buying  and laying down wines for years (95%  of it reds), and my affection for Champagne is relatively new….hmmm…the reality is that ever since I got “into” wine, I’ve alway considered Champagne (along with Sherry to a lesser degree) to be one of the wonders of the wine world and deserving of my full attention…why haven’t I acted on that knowledge?

It costs too much…I know better.  There are some very good entry level Champagne in the $25-$40 range.  And truth be told,  I’ve got plenty of bottles of red wine in that same price range…

I’m sure I  could come up with more excuses, but you get the gist.

There’s no purely rational reason why I don’t haven’t purchased and laid down more Champagne.  Of course, buying decisions aren’t always purely rational.

Still as a (mostly) logic driven, left-brained kinda guy…I would feel better if I could reconcile my beliefs to my behaviors

That’s why the opportunity to be part of the 2014 Champagne Harvest Media trip is such a blessing to me.

Per the invitation…

The trip to Champagne will be an opportunity for you to learn more about the production of Champagne and its unique qualities…this trip will give you the opportunity to visit select Champagne producers – from large houses to cooperatives and small growers – and learn about the appellation as a whole…As a guest you will also experience firsthand the winemaking process, from picking and crushing grapes to exquisite Champagne pairing dinners.  You will also have the opportunity to speak with officials from the Comité Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne (CIVC), the trade association that represents all the houses and grape growers of the Champagne appellation.

Hmmm…I don’t know about you, but I think a week in Champagne and my cognitive dissonance, as it relates to Champagne, will be a thing of the past;-) And as I sit here in my hotel room in Reims ready to embark upon this journey, for the first time in my life therapy…Champagne therapy that is sounds appealing!

Chin, chin…and stay tuned…I let you know how it goes!


  1. Extremely jealous! I have about 150 bottles of champagne in the cellar–this would be a dream trip for me!

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Wow Jeff! 150 bottles! You’re my hero!

  2. Wow, I don’t know how you got invited, but you must be investing in good karma somewhere! We always have Champagne in the house, but we also find too many reasons to open it. Never enough bottles to lay any down. I’ll look forward to reading about your experience!

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Thanks Jeff…posted the first of my Champagne Chronicles series yesterday. I had an awesome time. It was an remarkable experience!

  3. Jojo Ong says:

    very nice read, keep it coming!

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Thanks for the comment Jojo! I hope you’ll read and enjoy my Champagne Chronicles series about the trip…

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