Sparkling wines make a terrific holiday or hostess gift. Click Gifts that Sparkle for more info. And as usual we want to include some wine education to help you make informed selections and enjoy your wine more. So here goes . . .
Three grapes are allowed in the production of champagne and two of them are red! They are chardonnay, pinot noir, and pinot muenier. Grapes are handpicked and skins are removed quickly unless rose is the goal. Interesting fact: Rose champagne is the ONLY quality rose wine that is made from blending white and red wines. All other roses are produced by shortening the time the grape juice spends in contact with dark skins.
There are some terms usually found on labels that will give you clues about the champagne inside.
Vintage– marked with a year, should be fuller bodied, with more fruit and bready flavors
Here are three widely available non vintage champagnes with tasting notes.
1. Roederer Brut
Smells like – banana nut bread, honey glaze, custard and chalk.
Tastes like – mineral, chalk, slate, attic and earth, not fruity.
2. Veuve Clicquot
Smells like – bread, attic, mushroom, musty
Tastes like – lots of mushroom, attic, musty, bread, not fruity.
3. Taittinger Brut
Smells like – chalk, yeast, attic, mushroom
Tastes like – attic, mushroom, mineral, yeast, not fruity.
All three are dry and refreshing with high acidity.
These are really basic descriptors but do you notice some similarities? Find out why these wines share a flavor profile later in this series.