why we MUST drink champagnes

woman on wine with amy reiley

There is no secret that I love Champagne. (It is, after all, arguably the most romantic of all wine styles.) Of course, I love Cava, Cremant and Sparkling Wine, too. However, now I feel, is a time to drink the effervescence of France. A series of economic troubles have hurt Champagne’s producers over the past few years.

To top it off, the French are drinking less Champagnes than ever before. Lucky for my favorite wine making region, American consumption of French bubbles is on the rise. Clearly, if for no other reason than to support this centuries old industry, we must drink Champagne!

2005 Taittinger Millesime
There’s something so appealing about Taittinger. I feel that this house always raises the bar on the standards in its price range and this bottling is no exception. Sophisticated with fresh, bread dough aromas, pretty citrus and a gamey something at the back of the palate, it would be great with a meal or on its own.

2002 Lanson Brut
This is a big, sweet bottle of bubbly with great impact for its $80 price tag. A faint baking spice aroma tickles the nose while apple, lemon and butter cookie flavors dance across the tongue. Spicy, sweet and tart, its almost like dinner and dessert in a glass.

2002 Pol Roger Brut
Subtle, smooth and elegant this wine sneaks up on you like a consummate con man. It showers you with grape flower aromas, Asian pear and citrus flavors, and leaves you hanging with hazelnut on the finish. But beware, it will steal your senses with a caress across the tongue, leaving you giddy but incapacitated if you don’t watch out.

2000 Champagne Paul Goerg Cuvee Lady Brut
Sipping this cuvee is a bit like taking a walk on Champagne’s wild side. A house not shy of showing a nonconformist style, Paul Goerg produces bubbly that is consistent in quality. Think marriage of forest and citrus orchard with bursts of mushroom and minerality, lemon and lime.

2002 Dom Ruinart

This is one I put in the “serious wines” category. Not that anything on this list isn’t serious, but this wine could be classified as a major player on the international wine market. Sexy, slightly smoky, dry, direct and balanced (not to mention expensive), it is the cork you pop to impress. If you’re looking for a Champagne to put away for a special occasion, this might be your wine.

2002 Moet & Chandon Grand Vintage Rose
What would a list of bubbles be without something pink? A wine made in my favorite style from a very nice vintage, it is a pretty blush with some serious character. Fruit driven, it has dried cherry, pomegranate and berry with impressive length. Sophisticated yet fun, it’s hard to resist.

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