Woman on Wine with Amy Reiley
Like just about ever other wine writer, I tend to save my stories on Champagne for the holiday season. Unfortunately, that only helps to perpetuate the idea that Champagne is a celebration-only wine. Sure, it’s effervescence seems to put everyone in a party mood, but that shouldn’t mean that you limit your Champagne intake only to birthdays, weddings and New Year’s Eve! That’s why I’m dedicating this month’s column to the Champagne lovers. If you’re stuck on the idea that Champagne’s a celebration wine, look at it this way: with Champagne, you can turn any day into a special occasion.
And for those of you who are into food and wine pairings, I would like to argue that Champagne is a perfect “food wine.” What I mean is that it’s high in acid, clean and delicious. It doesn’t compete with or overshadow the flavors of a meal and tends to harmonize perfectly with good food and good company. It may be the perfect wine.
Five stand-out wines for Champagne lovers
Here are 5 Champagnes I had the good fortune of sampling last week. (They were part of a tasting of 73 Champagnes and sparkling wines.) But I’ve plucked these five from the bunch because they fit all the criteria for making every day a special occasion. Cheers!
Lanson Rose Label Brut Rosé
Of all the Champagnes and sparkling wines I tasted last week, this was the biggest standout in value for money. It’s an incredibly refined wine with yeasty notes and big, ripe raspberry flavors balanced by racy acidity.
Collet NV Brut Art Deco
This wine is beautifully balanced with a thirst-quenching freshness that makes you long for another sip. It offers pretty, floral aromas and stone fruit and butter cookie flavors as well as nice length.
Nicolas Feuillatte NV Brut Réserve
This is a great all-around wine, the kind everyone will like. It’s got notes of apple, pear and a satisfying nuttiness. It’s a supremely easy-drinking wine with tongue tingling effervescence and freshness.
Champagne Gosset NV Grand Blanc de Blancs Brut
If you like Blanc de Blancs, this is a great choice in an (almost) affordable price range. Its aromas and flavors are a beautiful marriage of herbs and citrus fruit with a tease of toast. It has impressive weight and creaminess on the tongue for a wine under $100.
Charles Heidsieck 2005 Vintage Brut
This is the wine that will truly turn any moment into an instant special occasion. (And at $110/bottle, it should!) It offers notes of vanilla and lemon pie. But it’s finest feature is its creamy texture, offering the feeling of pure indulgence.
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