Champagne & Sparkling Wine

As that special time of year has rolled around, we celebrated our last class of 2011 with the delightful bubbly wines of the world.  A particularly amusing class session led by our very own James Beard Award-Winning author Jordan Mackay, our class certainly ended the year with a bang as we explored the sparkling wines of Champagne, Prosecco, Cava, and California.

In spite of the class’s anticipation for all of the sparkling wines to be tasted, Jordan started the class by offering fine points on the Champagne region and explained why there is valid reasoning behind the laws against calling sparkling wines from anywhere else “Champagne.”  Along that topic, he proceeded to teach the class about other important sparkling production areas such as Cava, Prosecco, and even some here in the US.  With that being said, Jordan described in ample detail the differences between traditional method and tank method produced sparkling wines.

Before diving headfirst into the wines, Jordan also dedicated a few extra minutes to discuss the rising significance of small grower Champagne.  Sharing his utter fondness for these small producers, he went on to illustrate his opinions on how they are currently changing the game for the big Champagne houses.  And after an incredibly informative, yet ultimately entertaining, class we moved on to the wines!

My Top Pick for the Night?

Deutz Brut Classic NV

A blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier, this wine marvelously starts the nose off with the hints of a salted caramel apple.  On the palate, this wine expresses fresh green apple, buttery toast, and an enjoyable macadamia nut finish that lingers for several moments after tasting the wine.  Priced at $34, this wine is definitely worth a “cheers”!

Thank you to Jordan and Brian for a great class and an amazing end to 2011.  We hope to see you all back here for class in January!

-Julie Albin

Wine List

  1. Nino Franco Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore
  2. Segura Viudas Aria Estate Brut NV Cava
  3. Louis Boillot Perle Rare Cremant de Bourgogne 2006
  4. Schramsberg Brut Blanc de Blancs 2007
  5. Louis Roederer Blanc de Blancs 2004
  6. Deutz Brut Classic NV
  7. Vilmart Cuvee Creation Champagne 2000
  8. Pierre Peters Les Chetillons Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru 2004
  9. Marc Hebrart Brut Rose Premier Cru NV
  10. Billecart-Salmon Brut Rose

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