Although American by nationality, Peter Liem lives in the Champagne region, in the small and charmingly named village of Dizy, just behind the Gaston Chiquet estate and down the road from Jacquesson. He is one of only a few professional wine writers to actually live in Champagne, and among these, the only one to write in the English language. This proximity gives him an unusual perspective on the region, its people and its wines, especially as a foreigner. Given his unique vantage point, he is the perfect person to provide us with a current look at Grower Champagne and just in time for the holiday season!
Peter Liems relationship with champagne began in the mid-1990s, while was working as a wine retailer at one of San Francisco's most prominent wine stores. He was a specialist in Burgundy, and a large portion of his days would be spent amidst the store's assortment of hundreds of Burgundian wines. Conveniently, the champagnes were stocked directly adjacent to the Burgundy section. He began making annual trips to Champagne in 1998, and developed relationships with people across the region, at both large ngociant houses and small grower estates alike. By the end of 2006, Peter decided that his long-distance relationship with champagne wasn't working out, and since then has made his home in the Champagne region, quite literally next to the vines.
Aside from wine writing, Peters wine background is firmly based in the trade, from retail to restaurants to importing and distribution. In 2004, he joined Wine & Spirits and was previously a senior editor for the magazine, as well as its tasting director. Now based in France, he continues to write for Wine & Spirits as a senior correspondent and wine critic, largely focused on European wines from the north of the 45th parallel.
When not in Champagne, Peter can usually be found eating and drinking in New York City, tasting sake in Japan, watching Arsenal matches anywhere there's satellite TV, and making a general nuisance of myself in the cellars of Burgundy, the Loire Valley, the Jura, Austria, Germany, Alsace and Jerez.