“Too much of anything is bad, but too much champagne is just right.”
This has been a season of wonderful holiday parties. One of my favorite outings was a champagne tasting party. It was great fun because I love champagne! While it is true that holidays, celebrations and champagne go hand in hand, I love champagne any old time of the year. Yesterday, Reuters declared the champagne recession over. Really? Who knew we had been in a champagne recession? Humm… I need more information!
According to a 2012 study, sales of French champagne are a fairly accurate indicator of Americans’ future income. So, since the “we fell off the cliff” 2008 recession, champagne growth has continued steadily upward and seems to be back in good standing. This is good news for New Years Eve and for 2014!
Let’s not dilly dally, let’s get back to champagne! What exactly is in champagne you might ask? Actually, most of the people I know don’t ask, they just drink it! For those few of you that are interested most champagne is a blend of three grapes: chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier. In case you were wondering yes, the two pinots are red but the wines are white because the juice is pressed immediately off the grape skins, where the color resides. So, blending varies depending on the house, geography and taste. One house or area might emphasize one grape over another. Champagne that tastes of red fruits such as currants or raspberries probably are emphasizing the pinots. Fuller wines that taste of peaches and other tree fruits are probably dominated by chardonnay. Often, the label will tell you the blend.
A blanc de noirs champagne is made from red grapes so, no chardonnay. A blanc de blancs is a champagne made with all chardonnay grapes. A rose may be any combination. I do love a good rose! Many countries make sparkling wines but there is nothing like champagne in my mind.
Back to the party, we tasted seven very different champagnes so you really got an idea of different flavors and blends. They were all different price points as well. See the list below. I love Pol Roger so that was probably my favorite. I also really liked 3, 5, 6 and 7.
Charles De Cazanove Champagne Brut Tradition NV
Eric Rodez Ambonnay Cuvee Des Crayeres NV
Guy Larmandier Cremant Grand Cru Blanc De Blanc NV
Pol Roger Brut NV
Gatinois Brut Rose Grand Cru NV
Eric Rodez Ambonnay Cuvee de Grands Vintages
We finished up with a Dom Perignon 2003 which was kind of nutty tasting – delicious!
Here a couple of wonderful quotes about champagne.
“There comes a time in every woman’s life when the only thing that helps is a glass of champagne.”
“In success you deserve it and in defeat, you need it.”
“I drink champagne when I win, to celebrate…
and I drink champagne when I lose, to console myself.”
“My only regret in life is that I did not drink more champagne.”
John Maynard Keynes
“I only drink champagne when I’m happy and when I’m sad. Sometimes I drink it when I’m alone. When I have company I consider it obligatory. I trifle with it if I’m not in a hurry and drink it when I am, otherwise I never touch the stuff unless I’m thirsty.”
“Come quickly, I am tasting the stars.”
Dom Perignonttfn,Mrs. Jones