Photo by Erin Feinblatt
Valentine’s Day is the perfect excuse to branch out and try a new Champagne. If you been around here for a while, you know I’m always game for a reason to break open the bubbly. If your hobbies include giddy quests to the farmers market, collecting specialty sea salts and tracking down boutique butchers then you should add Grower Champagne to your culinary pursuits.
In the wine world Grower Champagne is the new black, the new kale, the new ikat. These sparkling wines are made in the Champagne region of France, produced by the same estate that owns the vineyards from which the grapes come. Grower Champagne is often described as “artisanal winemaking,” but I like to call it delicious. Even better, you can find great bottles of specialty bubbles with a less expensive price tag than the old standbys.
Great quality at a good price? Now, you’re talking romance.
Here are three of my picks, covering a variety of price points:
NV Nicolas Feuillatte Brut Rose, Champagne, France ($39.95)
Nicolas Feuillatte is a great place to start. Technically, it’s not a Grower Champagne, but it’s a good offering for those on a budget. I recommend the Rose, it’s light and crisp and works well with a variety of food.
Pierre Peters “Cuvée de Réserve” Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne ($54.99).
This producer is one of my favorites. If we see this Pierre Peters on a wine list it usually makes its way to our table. Blanc de Blancs means it is made from 100% chardonnay grape, call it a Grower Champagne with gusto.
NV Vilmart et Cie. Cuvee Rubis Brut Rose ($69.99)
For something really special go with this beauty. Vilmart is a lovely offering and quite a quaffer.
Clink in the new year with this sparkling twist that’s sure to be the toast of the party.
Specialty food stores offer great and unusual finds that add character to the other gifts piled under the tree — I mean, check out some of my amazing finds.
This amazing sparkling wine is frickin’ delicious — it blows the doors off most I’ve tried.
ROOT tastes like spiked root beer — it’s a sarsaparilla concoction that you can imagine sipping neat on a cold fall night, snuggled up around the fire.
These days more and more quality wines are going the way of the screw top, and I for one, am thrilled.
I tend to get stuck on the white and rosé wagon for summer, but sometimes I have a hankering for red. The other night I selected this wine, Le Claux Delorme Valençay, for a friend’s birthday and it was such hit I had to share.
We drank this rosé all weekend, so I had to share it. It’s a delicious, light wine with great fruit and wonderful tang — summer in a glass.
Photo by Erin Feinblatt
If you’re hosting a party and wine glasses will be on the table (as it should be!), here’s a great little tip to get those glasses streak free and the best part, it does not involve manual labor!
The wine world can be intimidating, but it doesn’t need to be. Here are a few quick tips that will make you a hosting pro.