Step into any one of our love-’em-or-hate-’em state stores this time of year and it’s no secret that sparkling-wine season is upon is. Of course, around these parts we subscribe to the Madame Lily Bollinger Champagne school of philosophy: “I drink Champagne when I’m happy and when I’m sad. Sometimes I drink it when I’m alone. When I have company I consider it obligatory. I trifle with it if I’m not hungry and drink it when I am. Otherwise I never touch it — unless I’m thirsty.” i.e., This is hardly the only time of year to pop a couple of bottles.
That being said, let’s get back to the world of Fine Wine and Good Spirits. A quick survey of the sparkling offerings at our local shop turned up decidedly un-Bollinger-approved offerings like the dreaded André and — please feel free to judge a book by its cover — Cupcake Prosecco. No thanks.
In order to make sure that you’re not toasting 2014 with something scary — like, say, Allure Peach Bubbly — we turned to some of our favorite wine folks for sparkling suggestions.
Kate Jacoby, the force behind Vedge’s excellent wine list, loves Crémant de Limoux by Domaine Collin. “It’s a chard/chenin blend with pinot noir for depth, from Languedoc. Made in the traditional method, perfect for sipping and mixing if you’re feeling adventurous behind the bar.”
Tim Kweeder, sommelier at a.bar/a.kitchen, has devised the simplest formula for choosing a great Champagne. His advice? “Relax, take deep breaths, steer clear of the familiar names and point scores and simply turn the bottle around and look at the importer label for a Terry Theise Selections.” We are particularly fond of Pehu Simonet Selection Brut.
American Sardine Bar and South Philly Tap Room chef Scott Schroeder’s pick is the aptly named You Are So Bubbly from Domaine le Briseau, a blend of cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc and carignan. “Pink, crisp, a little funky, and I could drink this everyday. Drops my panties every time!” This bottle is special order only, but with an endorsement like that, it’s totally worth a little extra effort.
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