Comparing Le Petit Ballon November Boxes – Grape Expectations & Age of Raisin
I’ve enjoyed Le Petit Ballon boxes quite a few times and have never been disappointed. Recently, I was asked to do a fun experiment which was comparing the two different type of subscription boxes that Le Petit Ballon offer.
When you subscribe to Le Petit Ballon, you can choose between the standard subscription, Grape Expectations, and the higher value subscription, Age of Raisin.
Before, I’ve had the standard subscription and have been very happy with the wines. The standard one is aimed at people who are relatively new to the world of wine tasting and who would like to improve their skills. It costs £29.89/month including delivery which is good value for these kinds of wines and this type of service in my opinion.
The higher value box is for more experienced wine lovers with a slightly more evolved palate and features wines that are more complex and prestigious. This level of subscription costs £44.89/month including delivery which is about 50% more expensive but still cheaper than buying the wines on their own. I don’t consider myself a wine expert at all but I’m definitely a wine lover and have more experience tasting different types of wine now than I did a few years ago.
Currently, I’m pregnant with our third baby who’s due in early March so I’ve not had any wine for quite a few months now, since trying for a baby, but I am looking forward to sampling some wine after the baby has been born and we’re all settled again.
Luckily, I have my husband who also loves wine to help me with this experiment of comparing Le Petit Ballon subscription boxes!
The November boxes focus on sparkling wines which is a great theme for the festive season when many of us love a glass of bubbly to celebrate and get into the festive sprit.
Both the Grape Expectations and Age of Raisin boxes contained a bottle of sparkling wine and a bottle of red wine.
Let’s have a look at the different wines, starting with the standard subscription box, Grape Expectations. This box contained a bottle of Maison Antech Limoux Crémant de Limoux Grande Cuvée 2010 and a bottle of Château de Beaulieu Château de Beaulieu 2006.
The Age of Raisin box contained a bottle of Champagne CL de la Chapelle Le Favori and a bottle of Château Laride Château Laride 2008.
I didn’t find out which ones were more expensive until after my husband had sampled the different wines as I didn’t want to accidentally give anything away. We did a blind test of the different wines poured into glasses without my husband seeing the bottles before sampling.
Since the theme is sparkling wine, let’s start with them. Neither my husband nor I drink sparkling wine very often — only on special occasions, really. The Champagne CL de la Chapelle Le Favori is a fruity and fresh sparkling wine with lots of refreshing bubbles. My husband said he could taste peach and citrus and that it was a nice bubbly. After the sampling, we found out that this was a Champagne and he said it was better than the other Champagnes that he’s tried before. I’ve also since found out that this Champagne has been voted the single favourite by the entire Le Petit Ballon team which is quite amazing! Sounds like it would make a great choice for Christmas! I’ll need to buy one next year when I can enjoy it too.
The second bubbly is the Maison Antech Limoux Crémant de Limoux Grande Cuvée 2010 which was similar to the Champagne in many ways. It’s also a very fruity and crisp sparkling wine with refreshing tastes of peach but with some more complex flavours too. In the blind taste, my husband said he thought both sparkling wines were on par with each other but said this one was slightly more interesting.
Let’s look at the red wines. Red wine is my personal favourite but my husband usually goes for white but still enjoys red wine too. The Château de Beaulieu Château de Beaulieu 2006 is a rich, velvety red wine with quite complex flavours well suited to this time of year. My husband said he could taste spice and hints of fruit and jam and that this wine would probably go well with a winter stew or strong cheeses.
The Château Laride Château Laride 2008 is another rich and complex wine and the flavours that stood out were dark fruits, sweetness and woodiness plus a hint of chocolate. My husband suggested that this wine would be perfect with a Sunday roast so maybe this one would go well with Christmas dinner.
Out of the two red wines, he preferred the Château Laride Château Laride 2008 from the more expensive box and out of the sparkling wines, he preferred the Maison Antech Limoux Crémant de Limoux Grande Cuvée 2010 from the standard box which is interesting!
Wines are all very different and the price is not everything. I think that you should take into consideration which kind of wines you usually enjoy and how much you normally like to spend on a bottle of wine when deciding which box to go for.
If you’re really trying to get into wine tasting more, I would suggest the more expensive box to try wines that are generally more complex. Le Petit Ballon know what they’re doing and I’ve never received a disappointing bottle of wine from them!
Get started with your Le Petit Ballon subscription here.
Samples provided for this article. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own (or my husband’s!).