Tag Archives: bubbly

Wine Resolution #1: Drink More Bubbly!

Though not my top resolution, or even one that I write down every year, I do try to do this often – drink more bubbly. More wedding bubblyspecifically, drink it with food. Sure, we have it at weddings and on New Year’s Eve, but why don’t we open sparkling wine because we’re having a wonderful meal? We should! My reasons for bubbly’s food matching deliciousness?

– good, crisp acidity
– low alcohol
– varying degrees of body – from light to full

These three reasons are key in explaining why bubbles are a perfect match to food. Acidity and low alcohol are what makes a wine good with food – flabby, high-alcohol wine overpower or mute the flavors of the food. Plus, d epending on your meal, 260x135_HOLchampagnefrom sushi to steak, you can choose light-bodied sparkling wine, like a blanc de blancs, or a full-bodied sparkling wine, like a blanc de noir. I posted a “body” guide to Champagne earlier this season. This is the time to stock up, too. Crazy good deals on Champagne are happening now, not to mention the everyday values of Cava and US Sparkling wine.

I hope that celebrating bubbly with food is a growing trend. Bill Daley of the Chicago Tribune wrote an article on twelve good California Sparkling wines to ring in 2010. What I love most is that each wine he mentions includes food pairing ideas!

So don’t be afraid to pair that bottle of bubbly with a meal. If not that, at least bring out a bowl of popcorn with it – you cannot go wrong with that match!

Guide to Bubbly

Champagne and sparkling wine are a necessity during the holidays. What better thing to toast than friends, family, the joy of the season and occasionally a few days off? A few thoughts on bubbles.

You don’t have to spend a fortune – yes, once you try that Krug Grand Cuvee you will realize why Cristalino only costs $8. But there are plenty of wonderful wines in between and Cristalino is still an awesome value! So look for some wines in your price rangejeroboam champagne

It’s not just for toasts – too often people drink Champagne only with a toast or as an aperitif. And that’s a shame because Champagne (especially rose) is wonderful with food. The acidity and texture of Champagne make it a perfect match for lots of food. So try it at the table, not just the before and after.

There is just something about real Champagne… Yes, there are great alternative sparkling wines, and I’ll list a few, but having at least one bottle of Champagne during the holidays will really make your season brighter. Here are some helpful tips on picking the right Champagne, either for yourself or for a gift



Picking a Champagne Producer

By price:

Top picks for $50 and under (all are Non-vintage)
Charles Heidsieck Brut
Duval-Leroy Brut
Gosset Brut Excellence – one of my favorites, medium bodied – delivers an excellent wine every year.
Nicolas Feuillatte Blue Label Brut – another favorite, very clean wine, great acidity
Piper Heidsieck – reasonably priced, nice texture and body
Veuve Clicquot Brut Yellow Label – a classic label, brand & wine. Delicious.
Pol Roger Brut – elegant non-vintage bottle
Taittinger Brut La Francaise

Top producers from $50 – $100
This is where you start to see some vintage wines coming out, as well as Tete de Cuvee
Bollinger – if I cannot have Krug, I will drink Bollinger – love this full bodied Champagne.
Deutz (vintage)
Laurent-Perrier Brut Millesime (vintage)
Gosset Grand Reserve (NV) and Gosset Grand Millesime (vintage)
Henriot (vintage)

Splurge on $100 +
Bollinger Grand Annee (vintage)
Dom Perignon (vintage)
Krug Grand Cuvee (NV) or Krug (vintage)
Louis Roderer Cristal (vintage)
Perrier Jouet Fleur de Champagne (vintage)
Salon Blanc de Blancs (vintage)
Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame (vintage)

By Style


Lighter-bodied producers 
Nicolas Feuillatte

Medium-bodied producers
Charles Heidsieck
Dom Perignon
Gosset NV Brut
Piper Heidsieck
Pol Roger
Veuve Clicquot

Full-bodied producers
Gosset (Grande Reserve & vintage)
Louis Roederer

There are also some delicious grower Champagnes, which are wines coming from the growers themselves instead of the larger production houses. These are worth seeking out.

Sparkling Wine picks:
For domestic (meaning US), Try Roederer Estate in Anderson Valley – amazing wines, fantastic prices; Iron Horse (all their cuvees are wonderful), Argyle and Schramsberg.

In Cava, love the Cristalino for parties as well as Segura Viudas.

And in Prosecco, the NIno Franco is very Champagne-like in its style.

Drink some bubbly, drink it with food and enjoy your holidays!

Champagne style Prosecco?

ninoLast night I had the pleasure of tasting the Nino Franco Rustico Prosecco. Again. I previously opened it on Sunday evening for a few reasons. First, to entice my husband to do a few more “honey-dos” around the house after a very hectic weekend, and second, I was looking for a bubbly buzz. It was successful on both parts! Last night, I opened the remaining half bottle, which had been saved with my favorite Champagne stopper, while doing some computer work. This time, I was less concerned about my bubbly buzz and in-between typing really got to taste the wine.

Originating in the Veneto region of Italy, Prosecco is named for the grape from which it is produced, the wine it creates, and the DOC in Italy from which it hails. Prosecco is a delightful wine, typically made in the tank method, which is different from the method used for wines from Champagne, or the traditional method, as it's called. It shows lots of upfront fruit and usually lacks the typical characteristics common to Champagne and wines made in that style. The Nino Franco, however, is different… I still get the fruit aspect, but also with a lovely crisp, citrus background, with good bubble persistence and a nice, lingering finish. This is a delicious sparkling wine – it is Prosecco, but with an “I can be like Champagne, too” attitude. Good stuff. Enjoy.