“My only regret in life is that I did not drink more champagne.” – John Maynard Keynes
Truer words were never spoken!
This has been a season of wonderful holiday parties. One of my favorite events is always a champagne tasting party. While it is true that holidays, celebrations and champagne go hand in hand, I love champagne any old time of the year.
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 2017!
Let’s get back to champagne! Can any sparkling wine be call champagne? Heck no! It is illegal to officially label any product Champagne unless it both comes from the Champagne region and is produced under the rules of the appellation.
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. 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 rosé champagne!
Back to the party, we tasted seven very different champagnes so you really got an idea of different flavors and blends. It helped that they were all really nice champagnes. See the list below. I love Pol Roger 4, so that was my favorite. I also really liked 5, 6 and 7. The list goes from least expensive to most expensive.
Charles De Cazanove Brut
Eric Rodez Ambonnay Cuvee Des Crayeres
Ayala Brut Majeur
Pol Roger Brut Réserve NV
Bollinger Special Cuvée
Gosset Grande Réserve Brut
Guy Larmandier Vertus Brut Premier Cru
Here a couple of wonderful quotes about champagne.
“In success you deserve it and in defeat, you need it.” – Winston Churchill
“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.” – Lily Bollinger
Who knew that John Maynard Keynes was a champagne drinker?