“I drink Champagne when I win, to celebrate … And I drink Champagne when I lose, to console myself.”
(Napoléon Bonaparte I, 1769–1821, French General and Emperor)
By Bob Lipinski
I love “bubbly” … sparkling wines that dance on my tongue, revealing their subtle or bold flavors. Some are crisp and quite dry, while others are off-dry or even sweet. Virtually every country makes them and they are available in all sorts of style and prices. I would like to share with you some champagne and sparkling wines that I’ve recently tasted, which are worth purchasing.
NV Ruinart “Blanc de Blancs” (Champagne, France). Clean and crisp with hints of brioche, citrus and celery. Quite dry, with a long, pleasing aftertaste.
NV André Jacquart Mesnil “Brut Nature” (Champagne, France). Green apple and citrus aromas with subtle flavors of pears and nuts. Very dry and palate cleansing.
2008 Pol Roger “Brut” (Champagne, France). Straw-colored with an aroma of biscuits, butter and citrus. Dry, with flavors of spices, toasted bread and green apple.
2006 Taittinger “Comtes de Champagne” (Champagne, France). An aroma of red apples, wheat and citrus. Medium-bodied with flavors of green apple, orange and spices.
1995 Charles Heidsieck “Blanc de Millénaires” (Champagne, France). Bouquet of toasted bread, citrus and green apple. Medium-bodied and dry, with delicate pear and apple flavors.
Cheeses that pair nicely with champagne are Beaufort, Boursault, Camembert, Carré de l’Est, Langres and Maroilles.
NV Bortolotti “47” Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore, DOCG, “Extra Dry” (Italy). Wow… what a long name! Medium-full bodied with bouquet and flavor of peaches, apricots, flowers and a hint of coffee.
NV Terre di San Venanzio, Valdobbiadene Superiore di Cartizze DOCG “Brut” (Italy). Medium-bodied with a floral bouquet of stone fruits, apples and citrus. Dry with hints of fennel and ginger.
NV Nino Franco Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG “Brut” (Italy). Lovely bouquet of apricots, wild flowers and citrus. Off-dry with hints of almonds.
Cheeses that pair nicely with prosecco include Asiago, Bagozzo, fontina, Parmigiano-Reggiano, pecorino and Asiago Pressato.
The next two wines are slightly effervescent or as the Italians call them, “frizzante.” They are best served with panettone, fruit-based desserts or some Robiola de Roccaverano, a goat’s milk cheese from Piedmont. Two other recommended cheeses are Aostino and Gorgonzola.
Coppo 2015 Moncalvina Moscato d’Asti DOCG (Italy). Straw-colored, with greenish reflections. Floral notes along with peach and pear overtones. Semisweet with some citrus for balance.
Michele Chiarlo 2015 Nivole Moscato d’Asti DOCG (Italy). Intensely aromatic and fruity, suggestive of sage, grapefruit, apricot and meringue.
Bob Lipinski, a local author, conducts training seminars on wine, spirits and food and is available for speaking engagements. He can be reached at www.boblipinski.com.