Pierre Peters champagne with Rodolphe Peters


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One winery I wanted to be sure to visit when I was in Champagne last month was Pierre Péters. I have always tremendously enjoyed the racy wines in the US and Rodolphe Péters not only commands a lot of respect in the wine world for his Champagnes but I had heard he had a new (sparkling) wine project in California I wanted to learn more about. Despite wanting to find it, I drove right by the winery in Le Mesnil-sur-Oger–there’s no sign and it looked like a construction site.

Rodolphe Péters, who has made the wine since taking over from his father in 2007, met me and apologized for the mess. He said the project was taking longer than expected (which renovation hasn’t?). Rodolphe is a sixth generation farmer and a fourth generation winemaker. The estate is a renowned producer of blanc de blancs Champagne from their 19.98 …

Champagne Paul Launois Announces Single Barrel Champagne Auction


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Sarah and Julien Launois hand-selected the Chardonnay grapes for the ten barrels to be auctioned. Image provided by The Gallavant Group.

Wine enthusiasts who love champagne might enjoy the possibility that Champagne Paul Launois is offering. The champagne house has set aside ten barrels of Chardonnay, that they will auction off on June 14th, 2019. The minimum price for each barrel is 23,400 Euros (about $26,142) for the 216 bottles of champagne that will come from the barrel. That would put the minimum price for each bottle of champagne at least at $121.

Those purchasing a barrel will have the opportunity to work with the champagne house to determine aging and dosage. Aging can take place between three and ten years. The dosage will be determined by the barrel owner’s preferences. 

Although the auction is out of the reach for most wine enthusiasts, collectors, industry professionals and restaurants may …

A Little Effervescence for Mom


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My parents were teetotalers, my father because his father was a drunken lout, my mother because she believed that the merest drop of alcohol meant one was fated to a life in the gutter among cigarette butts and dead pigeons. No wonder I took to drink! But seriously, folks, even though my late mother would not have enjoyed a sip of Champagne or other sparkling wine on her day, in this post I’ll mention several products in those genres that will bring delight to your Mom’s celebration. We have a cava brut rosé from Spain, a pinot noir-dominated sparkler from Alta Langa in Italy, and a majority pinot noir rosé Champagne. In fact, pinot noir could be the sub-theme of this post. In any case, Happy Mother’s Day to all the Moms out there; I hope your enjoy your day, imbibing in moderation, of course.

These sparkling products were samples …

What Dessert Goes with Champagne?


This post is by Marisa D'Vari from Wine Region Travel & Reviews: A Wine Story


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Picture of Macarons

Curious about what dessert goes with Champagne, Sparkling Wine, or Bubbly?

I love Champagne.

And as much as I love Champagne, I love dessert even more!

Though I am using the word “Champagne” here, you can apply the same dessert pairing concepts with Sparkling Wine or bubbly from many regions.

This is as long as the signature “Champagne grapes” Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes are included.

The Differences Between Champagne and Sparkling Wine Made from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in the “Traditional Method”

There are many differences between sparkling wine made from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from regions outside Champagne, and within Champagne.

In some cases the differences are very subtle, others more dramatic.

You may be surprised that some sparkling wine from England, Australia, New Zealand, and California may be several times the price of the most popular branded Champagne houses.

For the most part, the differences are subtle, …

Champagne and dessert pairing
Ayaya Champagne with macaron desert
Champagne bubbly pairing with desert
Panel of Champagne representatives tasting bubbly with macarons
Explaining Champagne bubbly with dessert

Working With The Classics: Advice From Women In Champagne


This post is by Jill Barth from L'OCCASION


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1er Cru, Grand Cru, Premier Cru, Le Mesnil, Sur Oger, Vertus
Grower Champagne, such as this exceptional bottle, from Champagne André Jacquart, is often terroir-driven. Credit: Jill Barth

This has only happened to me once, but because this isn’t the first time I promise this is indeed not a habit. Winophiles publish day rolls around and I don’t have what I need to satisfy my planned post. This happened in 2016, when I didn’t get my Jura wines and actually ended up writing a post from France and still without any wine.

This time, it’s a bit different. I have my wines but couldn’t connect with my sources — two women working in the wine industry in Champagne — in order to tell their story. And I’ve promised, based on the title, to offer some advice direct from these professionals.

Turns out, they are both busy at work.

And I took a week off for the flu.

And, in the end, …

AndreJacquart-people

National Potato Chip Day and Wine


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Potato chips and champagne

Many who know me understand that I absolutely love potato chips. On top of that I am very choosy about my potato chips. I had to laugh when I told one of my daughters that my favorite potato chip was a simple, thin-sliced potato chip offered by our local grocery store. I was amazed when my daughter agreed with me.

March 14 is National Potato Chip Day

However, before I go into details about the history of potato chips, let me tell you about the best wine pairing for potato chips. While traveling in wine country, we were offered potato chips with a sparkling wine. It was delightful. Early on I would never have considered pairing wine with potato chips. It seems the salt in potato chips increases the flavor with the dryness of the wine. The chemistry works.

Four years ago when we were in …

Champagne Étienne Oudart’s Tasting in Washington DC


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Terry enjoys a champagne with Jacques Oudart at the APVSA tasting in Washington DC, January 2019.

Champagne Étienne Oudart had several champagnes for tasting at the January APVSA tasting in Washington DC. This champagne house passed from father to son. It began in 1958 and has progressed. In 2018 the vineyards were certified “High Environmental Value” and “Sustainable Viticulture in Champagne.” The winery is located south of Épernay in Brugny.

Today, the champagne house is headed by Jacques and his wife Karinne. Last year Champagne Étienne Oudart celebrated its 60th anniversary. I met Jacques at the Washington DC tasting. Asked about his wine journey he said that at a young age he wanted to escape the champagne world. As a young adult at 22, he decided to return to the world of champagne. 

Jacques sees his champagnes as different than others. Many of the grapevines are 60 …

Champagne Colin Tasting in Washington DC


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Delphine Colin pouring Champagne Colin at the APVSA tasting in Washington DC – January 2019.

Champagne Colin can trace their earliest wine growing to 1829 when Constant Piéton grew grapes. Constant was the great-grandfather of Geneviève Prieur who along with Marie-Louise Radet inherited vines from their parents. The estate remained in the family and in 1995 was taken over by brothers Richard and Romain Colin; Geneviève Prieur was their maternal grandmother. They changed the future for the estate from sending their grapes to a cooperative to becoming independent winegrowers. 

We met and spoke with Richard’s wife, Delphine at the APVSA tasting in Washington DC earlier this month. Delphine helps out where needed from the cellar to the office, administration and export. While on tour of the Eastern United States, Delphine hopes to meet with distributors who may want to carry Champagne Colin. 

I asked Delphine when she …

Washington DC Tasting Includes Champagne Sourdet-Diot


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Amelie pours the Brut Rosé.

Champagne Sourdet-Diot is located at La Chapelle Monthodon in the Marne Valley. The first vines were planted in the 1960s by Raymond Sourdet who sold the grapes to champagne houses. Over the years the vineyards were expanded. During the 1980s, Patrick and Nadine Sourdet began to make champagne with their grapes while also selling some of the grapes. By the 1990s, all the grapes harvested were used by the Sourdets. In 2003, Patrick and Nadine’s daughter, Ludivine and her husband Damien joined the family champagne house.

While at the APVSA tasting in Washington DC, I had the opportunity to speak with Amelie Sourdet who poured three champagnes to taste. Amelie works in the champagne house’s export group. She said that her interest in wine started when she was young and was permitted to taste wine.

Champagnes

Champagne Sourdet-Diot Brut Cuvée de Reserva

The Brut Cuvée …

Champagne Sylvie Moreau Tasting in Washington DC


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One of the vineyards of Champagne Sylvie Moreau. Photo courtesy of Champagne Sylvie Moreau.

A half century ago, the origins of Champagne Sylvie Moreau began when Sylvie Moreau’s parents, Micheline and André Moreau planted grapes in the town of Saint Euphraise et Clairizet. In 1973, André sold the first bottle of champagne under the label of Champagne André Moreau. They continued to craft champagnes until the 1990’s when they decided to retire. It was natural for their daughter Sylvie to take over the champagne house. Today the champagne house is operated by Sylvie Moreau and her husband Olivier, the winemaker. The label was changed to Champagne Sylvie Moreau.

Total vineyard land comprises of three hectares (7.4 acres) in different areas ((Petite

Montagne de Reims, Vallée de l’Ardre and Vallée de la Marne) that showcase Pinot Munier, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

Olivier pouring champagne at the APVSA tasting in Washington …

Domaine Collet Champagne Tasting in Washington DC


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Florent Collet pours the Empreinte de Terroir Brut.

Domaine Collet is in the Côte de Sézanne area of Champagne. Prior to the 1960’s a small vineyard was tended and the grapes were used to make wine for the family.  During the 1960s, the family planted more vines and grapes were sold. By 1973, the family decided to make their own champagne through a cooperative. In 2000, sales were brisk and two years later the family decided to control the entire process of producing champagne from the vine to the bottle. Now, the champagne house is under the leadership of three brothers, Vincent, Thomas and Florent. Their father, René founded the current business in 1973 and adds his knowledge and experience to the production.

We tasted several of the champagnes during the APVSA tasting in Washington DC in January of 2019. Florent presented the champagnes and we were able …

Champagne Mallard Tasting in Washington, DC


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Charles Malard pouring champagne. The champagne house is looking for distributors in the United States.

Champagne Malard was founded by Jean-Louis Malard in 1996 in Aÿ, Champagne. Jean-Louis Malard was born in Épernay and spent much of his life in the “world of bubbles.” The champagne house sources it grapes from Premier Cru and Grand Cru Vineyards.

I tasted several of the champagnes during the APVSA tasting in Washington DC in January of 2019. Charles Malard presented the champagnes and we were able to interview him. Charles represents Champagne Malard in the Paris restaurant industry and is helping to bring the brand to the export market. While in the United States, he hope to find distributors.

Interview with Charles Malard

Wine Trail Traveler: Tell us about Champagne Malard.

Charles Malard: Malard champagne was created in 1996 by my father Jean-Louis Malard. Today we create champagne mainly …

Champagne Patrice Guay Tasting in Washington DC


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Véronique and Patrice Guay are the passion behind Champagne Patrice Guay.

The proprietors of Champagne Patrice Guay (Véronique and Patrice Guay) are the fifth generation involved in champagne production in Champagne. Starting in 1930, Henri Joly and brother-in-law Alfred Godinat began to vinify grapes and craft champagne. Today, the house creates champagnes under the label of “Patrice Guay and “Guay-Quignot.”

The champagne house has about 7 hectares (17 acres) of vines, mostly Pinot Munier. A quarter of their acreage is planted with Chardonnay and a small percentage is planted with Pinot Noir. The champagne house produces 20,000 bottles of champagne and is looking for distributors in the United States.

Interview with Patrice

Wine Trail Traveler: When did your distribution begin?

Patrice: We have started the prospecting for the big export one year ago because our vineyard is developing since my parents stopped their activity . Our son Thomas …

The 11th & 12th Days of Christmas with Champagne & Sparkling Wine


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Sorry about that. You know the drill, the world is too much with us late and soon, getting and spending we lay waste our powers, blah blah blah, so today, the actual 12th Day of Christmas — Twelfth Night — we double up with a twofer to compensate for the absence of the 11th day yesterday.

These wines were samples for review.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

I reviewed the Frank Family Vineyards Brut Rosé 2012 on February 14, 2017, obviously aimed at Valentine’s. Today it’s the turn of a new vintage for that wine, the Frank Family Brut Rosé 2014, Carneros, a blend of 88 percent pinot noir and 12 percent chardonnay, aged 30 months in the lees in bottle. The color is a pale but radiant copper-salmon hue, enlivened by a constant stream of tiny bubbles; the first impression is of a compote of strawberries and raspberries, spiced and macerated and slightly …

New Year’s Eve at Iridescence


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Teeling Irish Whiskey started off our New Year’s Eve celebration.

What did we drink to end 2018 for New Year’s Eve dinner? It was quite a plethora. As we were seated at Iridescence Restaurant in the Motor City Casino in Detroit, the men were served Teeling Irish Whiskey while the women were served a champagne from Moët & Chandon. The light gold colored brut champagne had multiple streams of small bubbles rising to the surface forming a circumference mousse. The bubbly mouthfeel had mineral and apple notes. The taste lingered in the mouth. The wine was used as an appetizer.

For the men, the Teeling Irish Whiskey was also used as an appetizer. The whiskey was a light yellow color with a floral and corn aroma. Floral notes, corn and heat were noted on the taste. The Irish whiskey had an extremely long aftertaste lasting several minutes. I added a …

The Seventh Day of Christmas with Champagne & Sparkling Wine: New Year’s Eve


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The two Brut Rosé Champagnes and one sparkling wine from Carneros reviewed below are intended for more intimate circumstances than a blow-out orgy of total strangers drooling their way through “Auld Lang Syne” at midnight. You’ve been there; now you’re a grown-up. However, for New Year’s Eve events that require bottles of bubbly to slake the festive thirsts of larger groups than a small dinner party or a romantic rendezvous pour deux, I recommend these products that are fairly widely available and won’t cause your credit cards to groan: 1. Domaine Paul Mas M Côté Mas Blanc de Blancs Brut, Côteaux du Languedoc, rated Very Good+, about $16; Juvé Y Camps Pinot Noir Brut Rosé Cava, rated Excellent, about $18; Vincent Crémant de Bourgogne, rated Excellent, about $20; and Bianchi Extra Brut Sparkling Wine, Mendoza, rated Excellent, about $22. For those of you looking for more elevated, refined and …

What Are You Drinking for New Year’s Eve?


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French champagne

As a child I well remember New Year’s Eve as an at home event. Every year in early fall, my mom and dad would “harvest” the grapes from our few grapevines. There were enough grapes for making yummy homemade grape juice. There was never any talk of making wine in those days.

As a result, by New Year’s Eve there were still bottles of the grape juice stored in the cellar of our 1800s home. Mom would retrieve a bottle of the grape juice, and as a special treat, mix grape juice with ginger ale or 7-Up. The sparkles in the non-alcoholic drink were delightful and just a perfect way to celebrate this special day.

Today it seems that many enjoy celebrating New Year’s Eve with sparkling wine or champagne. We enjoy a glass of sparkling wine/champagne anytime but New Year’s Eve also is a great day to …