03 Dec Wine Wednesday: Why Champagne Reigns Supreme!
This Week In White Wine: Why Champagne Is The Best Wine!
Champagne is a pure delight and perhaps the most versatile of all wines – perfect for any occasion and compatible with a variety of foods. This is also true for other sparkling wines such as, Cava, Moscato d’Asti and Prosecco. What’s more, these wines blend well with various liquid refreshments and have the potential to transform even the most flat and bland drink into a superb cocktail. Unfortunately, most of us have grown accustomed to only drinking bubbly for special occasions and holidays. At THEGRAPE.com we’re hoping this article will alter your perception and encourage you and your friends to enjoy bubbly, sparkling wine more often. Here’s why we believe Champagnes & sparkling wines reign supreme.
Unlike flat wines sparkling wines appeal to individuals with differing tastes and preferences, displaying marvelous characteristics and complex flavors. Serving as great aperitifs to help stimulate an appetite, they also pair well with cheeses, hors d’oeuvres, meals and desserts. The fusions of flavor have the potential to culminate a savory poetic sensation of satisfaction in our mouth and tummy. Here are some great suggestions to try this month!
- Presto Prosecco Brut ($7.99)
- Pizzolato Fields Prosecco NV ($12.99 )
- De Chanceny Cremant de Loire Rosé Brut ($16.99)
- Fizz 56 Sparkling Red Brachetto ($19.99) Wine.com
- Champagne De Margerie Grand Cru Brut ($39.99 )
Champagne & Sparkling Wine Dosage Labels
Sparkling wines are labeled by dosage and grape contents. Understanding what these labels signify will help you select a bottle you can enjoy and appreciate. See the following designations listed below:
- Brut (pronounced ‘broot’) – Dry
- Extra Brut – Very Dry
- Extra Dry – Semi-Dry
- Sec – Semi-Sweet
- Demi-sec – Sweet
- ‘NV’ Non-vintage – A blend of two or more previous vintages (years).
- Vintage – Grapes from a single vintage (year).
- Cuvée/Prestige Cuvée (pronounced ‘cu-vay’) – Grapes from the best vineyards. Made only in vintage years which, required longer aging and preparation methods. Hence the higher price.
Food for Thought
Imagine your favorite foods – now pair them with champagne or sparkling wine that feature flavors agreeable to your palate. It’s as simple as that! Listed below is a matrix of foods compatible with sparkling wines:
|Appetizers||Champagnes & Sparkling Wines|
|Sushi, caviar, oysters and scallops||‘NV’ Blanc de Blanc Extra Brut, Domaine Carneros 2009 Ultra Brut|
|Fried Calamari, Vegetable Egg rolls||Cristalino Brut Rose Cava, Jacob’s Creek Chardonnay Pinot Noir Brut Cuvée|
|Bruschetta, Antipasto plate||Taltarni T Series Brut NV, NV Althea Prosecco di Valdobbiadene, NV Ble Casel Asolo Prosecco Superiore|
|Cheese Plate||Korbel Brut or Sweet Rosé, La Spinetta, “Bricco Quaglia” Moscato d’Asti 2011|
|Croque Monsieur||Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Rosé Champagne, Laetitia Cuvée M 2009|
|Main Dishes||Champagnes & Sparkling Wines|
|Chicken||Korbel Brut Made with Organically Grown Grapes, Domaine Carneros 2007 Le Reve Blanc de Blancs|
|Pork||Segura Viudas Brut Rosé, Argyle Brut Rosé 2010|
|Foie Gras||NV Besserat de Bellefon Cuvée Brut Champagne, Michel Loriot “Marie-Leopold” Sec Champagne|
|Lobster & Salmon||Domaine Ste Michelle Brut, Elio Perrone, “Sourgal” Moscati d’Asti 2011|
|Spicy Paella; Jambalaya; Thai||Rotari Brut, Korbel Extra Dry, Domaine Carneros 2010 Estate Brut Cuvée,|
|Desserts||Champagnes & Sparkling Wines|
|Fruits: Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, pears or sorbet.||Noble Estate Semi-Sparkling Moscat 2012, Korbel Sweet Cuvée|
|Chocolate Cake topped with raspberries||Korbel Brut Rosé, Hotel Chocolat Valbabbiadene Prosecco Superiore|
|Apple Tart||Korbel Russian River Valley Champagne Natural, Argyle Brut Oregon Sparkling Wine 2010|
THEGRAPE.com Wine & Champagne Cocktails
* Note: When making any of these cocktails make sure to add the Champagne or Sparkling wines into the wine glass last to avoid cocktails from becoming flat too quickly. Also, there is no need to stir these cocktails, since the bubbles do most of the work. For best results, serve cocktail right away.
Cranberry Champagne Mimosa
Splash of cranberry juice
¾ cup Villa Italia Blood Orange
½ cup Extra Dry Korbel Champagne
Garnish with slice of blood orange
Pomegranate & Champagne Sangria
½ cup Pomegranate Juice
¾ cup André Extra Dry California Champagne
2 tbsp of purple or red grapes halved, strawberries cut into fourths and blueberries.
¼ cup Cranberry juice
½ cup Moscato Rosé
Splash of Sprite
Spritz of Limejuice
Garnish with a Red Gala apple slice
So, who’s ready for a glass of bubbly, whether Champagne or sparkling wine? Hopefully after reading this article you’re inspired to incorporate more sparkling wines into your life. After all, life is one big celebration! From aperitifs to mixed drinks, there’s always a good reason to break out the bubbly and now you have multiple options that are sure to entertain your palate. If you’re looking to invest in new wines or already started a collection, make an effort to add some of the above effervescent wines to your collection. Cheers to life!