Sparkling Wine for New Year’s Eve versus Champagne

Most people think of champagne as the drink of choice to ring in the New Year. But when the price of one bottle averages $60, you might want to consider sparkling wine, which offers great taste for a fraction of champagne’s price. Although champagne only comes from the Champagne region of France, almost every other region of the country and many countries around the world produce sparkling wines, often using the same techniques and grapes as champagne. Most sparklers are a blend of the traditional champagne grapes—Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay. Like champagne, they’re labeled according to their dryness, […]

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Why is Rose Champagne More Expensive than Regular Champagne?

Rosé Champagne is often more expensive than white champagne because making it is  more labor-intensive and time-consuming, and therefore, more costly to produce. The most common method in Champagne is to blend non-sparkling red wine into the champagne. The other approach is more difficult because it involves carefully limiting contact between the red skin and the juice during the part of fermentation called maceration (soaking the grapes in their own flesh, juice and skins to extract the colour, tannin and flavour compounds into the must or juice) to create the coveted pale salmon color known as oeil-de-perdrix or partridge eye. […]

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What is Blanc de Blancs Champagne?

Most Champagne is white wine made from red grapes. Two of the region’s three grapes are red: pinot noir and pinot meunier. Pinot meunier, found mostly along the rich floor of the Marne Valley and in Aube, is considered a simple workhorse grape, giving the wine a fruity, perfumed roundness and early maturity. Pinot noir, grown mostly on the slopes of Reims Mountain, contributes aromas of cherries, berries and other red fruit; it also gives the wine structure, length and body. The third grape is white, chardonnay from the south-facing Côte des Blancs; it offers aromas of daisies, white peaches […]

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Best LCBO Wine Reviews and Ratings: Vintages December 6

You can access the 136 wines that I reviewed for December 6 as a text wine list with my complete tasting notes, scores, food matches. You can also see my wine reviews for November 22. If you are a Paid Member, you can add my wine picks to your custom shopping list with one click and access that list on your smartphone to find the stock for each wine in your closest LCBO store. These are just some of the benefits of supporting out wine community as a Paid Member. Inventory stock numbers are usually posted online a day or […]

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Dom Perignon Champagne1998 Vintage Wine Tasting Sparkles

By Melissa Pulvermacher When I think about Dom Pérignon Champagne, I think of luxury and pleasure. Now, more-so than ever, that opinion has amplified beyond pleasure into absolute bliss. After attending a private tasting of the soon to be released to Ontario, Dom Pérignon P2-1998 with Chef de Cave, Richard Geoffroy, I have an entirely new excitement for the potential of Dom Pérignon Champagne. Dom Pérignon is always a vintage Champagne, which means production only occurs in ideal years. 1998 was one of the rare years that led a triple vintage where 1998, 1999 and 2000 were all great years […]

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Best LCBO Wines: Vintages Release August 30

You can access the 66 wines that I reviewed for August 30 as a text wine list with my complete tasting notes, scores, food matches and the stock for each bottle in their closest LCBO stores. You can also see my wine reviews for August 16. You can add my wine picks to their custom shopping list with one click and access that list on their smartphone. This is one of the benefits of becoming a Paid Member. Inventory stock numbers are usually posted online a day or two before the release based on the LCBO doing so. Here are […]

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10 Best Champagne Wines to Buy Now + 5 Surprising Facts about Champagne

The sparkling wine Champagne is named after the northern region of France where it’s produced. Other regions of France, as well as other countries, make sparkling wine, but only those from Champagne may be called Champagne. You’ll find my most recent Champagne reviews and ratings here. 5 Surprising Facts about Champagne: 1. Supposedly the eighteenth-century blind Benedictine monk, Dom Pérignon, accidentally discovered how to put the bubbles in Champagne when his wines started fermenting again in the spring after the cold winter had stopped them. Other records attribute this discovery to the British scientist Christopher Merret thirty years before Pérignon. […]

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Champagne and James Bond: The Spy Who Loved Bollinger and Dom Perignon

James Bond was one of the first action heroes to make wine connoisseurship seem masculine and sexy. (Most of he-man flicks don’t lend themselves to the quiet reflection of wine: try to imagine Arnold Schwarzenegger sipping a silky burgundy to relax after an extended car chase.) In the Bond flick, Die Another Day, 007 is freed after fourteen months of torture in a North Korean prison. The first thing he wants? A shave and a bottle of 1961 Bollinger. In GoldenEye (1995), a female psychiatrist asks him what he does to relax. Bond presses a button on the dashboard of […]

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Champagne for New Years and Beyond

Got your champagne ready for New Year’s? Don’t wait until midnight to crack open a bottle of bubbly as champagne and sparkling wine are among the most food-friendly wines on the planet when it comes to pairing them with food. You can get a shopping list with my top champagnes and other wines showing the stock at your closest liquor stores when you join as a  VIP Member. This story from Canadian Press that was published in the daily newspapers across the country last week gives more tips on how to make your meals sparkle with champagne or other bubblies […]

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