Thursday, May 7, 2009

Champagne and Sparkling Wine

I love champagne and sparkling wine.  Whenever we go out to dinner I like to start the evening with a glass of sparkling wine.  We went out to dinner Saturday night, and that's just what I did.

Did you know that unless the wine is from Champagne, France they can't call it Champagne?  It has to be called Sparkling wine. I learned that from Judy, the very thorough proofreader at Hoffman Lewis (where I work.) 

As I've mentioned before, through my job I get to taste some good stuff. We had a BevMo meeting at Mumm Napa a while back. They showed us how they turn the bottles to get the bubbles just perfect. It's pretty amazing to me that someone, somewhere, thought of all this stuff. 

We had the most amazing lunch with a private wine tasting. It was awesome. Then we went shopping for wine. My favorites are the Mumm Brut Rose (formerly called the Blanc de Noirs) and the Mumm Blanc de Blanc.  These are not $5 bottles. But they don't cost a fortune either.

But back to Saturday night. I love the bubbles, and love starting an evening with a glass. On Saturday I had a glass of Schramsberg Blanc de Blanc Napa '05. It was delish. Cool, crisp and just sweet enough.

I didn't know much about Schramsberg. So I looked it up online. The Schramsberg Blanc de Blanc has an interesting history. It is made from the chardonnay grape (where the Blanc de Noir is from the Pinot Noir grape.) The Blanc de Blance was the first wine Schramsberg produced in 1965 and was America's first commercially produced, Chardonnay-based, sparkling wine. Schramsberg Blanc de Blanc gained national recognition in 1972 when then President Nixon served the wine at the historic "Toast to Peace", in Beijing, China.  Wow, that's more than I thought I would discover. I just thought it tasted good!

Bottomline, don't save champagne or sparkling wine for New Year's Eve alone. It's great all year long.  

Most good wine shops and restaurants, sell half bottles when you just want 2 glasses. And, the special cork stoppers they sell for sparkling wines really do work.  They keep it carbonated in the fridge for a day or two.

So there you have it.  Cheers!


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~Kris

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