Recently in Champagne Category

Kick Off Your American Summer with Chandon

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chandonLimitedEdition_MemorialDay.jpgNothing says summer like picnics and pool parties. With Memorial Day - the official start of summer - right around the corner, Chandon celebrates its American Heritage with the launch of its Limited Edition Bottle.

The perfect accessory for summer, this special edition of Chandon Brut Classic sparkling wine is wrapped from head to toe in patriotic red, white and blue. Available June 1 through September 1, 2012, the bottle will be sold nationwide and on http://www.chandon.com in both 750ml (SRP: $22) and 187ml (SRP: $7).

With its fruit-forward taste, Chandon is also ideal for mixing in refreshing cocktails that are perfect to pair with summer fare. Here is a favorite:

Chandon Citrus Fizz

Ingredients
  • 3 oz Chandon Brut Classic
  • 2/3 oz Belvedere Vodka
  • 1/3 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
  • Dash of Simple Syrup

Directions: Shake Vodka, lemon juice and syrup ingredients over ice, strain into a flute and top with 3oz Chandon Brut.

April Showers Bring...Springtime Bubbles

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By Courtney Cochran

The intermittent showers that doused Northern California earlier this week may have been met with dismay by those unlucky enough to be caught in their midst sans paraplouie, but their arrival signals an altogether more sunny trend we can anticipate along with May flowers:  the opening of brunch season.  And just in time for the ordering of countless benedicts, the donning of polo shirts and pastel getups and the lazing away of innumerable hours at cozy outdoor tables comes a bubbly literally tailor made for the season:  Pommery's Springtime Brut Rosé Champagne ($65)

Bridge Wines: The Ultimate List

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Red with meat, white with fish?  Not necessarily! 

By Courtney Cochran

For years, the annals of wine drinking 101 have told us that we must drink whites with light dishes like fish and reds with sturdier fare such as steak.  Not so!  Turns out there are many wines that manage to work well with foods on both sides of the intensity spectrum - and they're primed for your food and wine pairing pleasure.  We call them bridge wines, and we've prepared a whole list of our favorites for you below, along with tips - natch - on the best fare with which to pair them.  

Get ready to start drinking outside the proverbial wine box. 

Deals on Champagne & Sparklers

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champagne2.jpgAccording to Paul Gregutt in a recent article for the Seattle Times, prices for Champagne and sparkling wine have decreased. In fact, worldwide demand has fallen by at least 10% which can only mean one thing for you and me - it's time to buy and stock up! And for those gearing up for the holidays, it couldn't be more perfect timing.

The articles suggests a few tips in what to buy:

(1) Be adventurous. Try something new instead of sticking to the brand you always buy.

(2) Buy a vintage Champagne rather than a brut

(3) Look on the bottle to see if the grapes are grand cru. Apparently grand cru vineyards are considered to be the best and well worth if it, even if a few more extra dollars..

(4) Splurge without breaking the bank. Purchase a half bottle

Paul also recommends asking the wine seller what is on sale. One deal out there right now is from Duval-Leroy where they have half bottles of brut at $18 and a full bottle of Cuvee Paris at $35.

Other articles on picking out sparklers for the holiday season:
Bubble, Bubble Everywhere



Bubble, Bubble Everywhere

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Sifting through the sparkling wine clutter this holiday season

by Courtney Cochran

It never fails: the holidays arrive yet again and you still have no idea how to tell your Prosecco from your Cava. When to serve vintage versus non-vintage Champagne? You're clueless.

With all the stress that comes with the holidays, worrying about your sparkling wine selection seems like an unnecessary burden. Happily, help is here when it comes to the sparkling wine thing. Read on for the low-down on some of the most popular styles of sparkling wine, so that this holiday you can really mean it when you insist that - ahem - you're quite certain a sparkling Chenin Blanc is just the thing to pair with your honey-baked ham.

The Upside of Global Warming?

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By Courtney Cochran
grapes.jpeg

I've long suspected that there might be an upside - at least a temporary one - to global warming when it comes to wine production in some parts of the world.  Marginal climates, after all, yield some of the world's most sought-after wines (think Champagne, Bordeaux and much of Germany), but these areas are also known for their penchant for producing lackluster wines in years when the weather doesn't get warm enough to make decent juice.

As reported in Decanter, Château Margaux general director Paul Pontallier recently spoke to this phenomenon when he announced, "We are so fortunate with global warming. Look at the number of great vintages we have had [in Bordeaux] in the last 12 or 13 years. It is absolutely amazing."  Counterintuitive though it may sound, Pontallier's statement speaks to the benefits of warming temperatures in spots like Bordeaux, where vintners often struggle to obtain fully ripe fruit each year.  However, a far more chilling effect of global warming was proposed by renowned viticulturalist Richard Smart at a recent climate change workshop in Spain, where he asked attendees, "Have you thought about the fact that in Bordeaux, we may have already seen the best vintages of Cabernet Sauvignon?"

Weighing In

Chilling, indeed.  Not to mention the implications of this news for wine regions on our own shores, many of which have warmer average temperatures than their European counterparts.  We'd love to hear from vintners stateside about the onslaught of global warming and how it's changing their wines and making practices.  Could there be - as the Bordelais suggest - an upside to our own battle with the phenomenon?  Or is the future of wine in our own backyard at serious - and imminent - risk?  We hope you'll take a moment to comment. 


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