We’ve long been enamored with grower Champagnes – those wonderful bubblies that are made and bottled by the very same people who cultivate and harvest the grapes. So trendy have these Champagnes become that it can easily be forgotten that the oldest winemaking tradition in this part of the world involves a relatively small group of specialty establishments who have a different approach to making the world’s premier sparkling wine. Known as the Grandes Marques, these houses rely mainly (but not solely) on grapes and wine purchased from select growers. What they contribute is artful sourcing and blending. These establishments bear some of the most recognizable names in Champagne: among them, Taitinger, Bollinger, Pol Roger, Moët & Chandon, and – the original – Ruinart.
Posts Tagged ‘Champagne’
Posted in France, Valentine's Day, Wine, tagged Alexandre Chartogne, Brut Réserve, Champagne, Chardonnay, Chartogne-Taillet, Cuvée Sainte-Anne, half bottles, Jean Vesselle, Laherte Fréres, Pinot Meunier, Pinot Noir, Ultradition, Wine on February 12, 2014 | Leave a Comment »
A half-bottle of Champagne is the perfect size for starting off an evening of romantic dining for two. The bubbles refresh and perk up your palate, but you still have room to share a full bottle of wine with dinner. Likewise, a half bottle of bubbly can give you just the right amount of buzzy cheer if you’re serving it with a bit of cheese in lieu of a large meal. Here are three of our favorite Champagne halves paired with three Valentine’s Day moods. (more…)
At Formaggio Kitchen South End, we stock only small grower Champagnes made by winemakers who grow their own grapes. Chartogne-Taillet is one of our favorites! This small winery is located in the Champagne region of France in the town of Merfy and is that town’s only récoltant-manipulant, meaning that they are the only winery in town that grows their own grapes. To spot a grower Champagne when shopping, look for the letters RM for récoltant-manipulant on the label. (You will see the letters NM for négociant-manipulant on the labels of Champagnes that are made by larger producers who buy most of their grapes.) (more…)
Posted in Beverages, Education, Food History, France, Wine, tagged Champagne, disgorgement, disgorging, Dom Perignon, fermentation, négociant-manipulant, récoltant-manipulant, riddling, second fermentation, sparkling wine, Wine on August 22, 2013 | 1 Comment »
In part one of this sparkling wine series, we explored the many ways wines can become bubbly. In this post, we focus just on Champagne. The Champagne region of France is considered to be the home of the world’s finest sparkling wines. Champagne is so famous, in fact, that it’s common for folks to refer to any bubbly wine as Champagne, however true Champagne is produced only within the boundaries of the designated province. European Union law forbids the use of the word Champagne on wines made anywhere else, as do the laws of many countries (including the United States). (more…)
Posted in Beverages, Education, Food History, France, Wine, tagged carbonation, Champagne, Charmat Method, disgorging, fermentation, first fermentation, lees, Méthode Traditionnelle, Methode Ancestrale, riddling, second fermentation, Traditional Method, Wine on August 2, 2013 | 6 Comments »
When we pop the cork of a sparkling wine at a party a flurry of bubbles are released. We love sipping those bubbles, but how do they get in the bottle? There are several ways that it can happen.
Sparkling wine is bubbly because carbon dioxide gas, a byproduct of fermentation, is trapped within the wine. During fermentation yeast feeds on the grape juice’s natural sugars and produces heat, alcohol, and carbon dioxide. During the initial fermentation, this gas is released into the air. When wine is allowed (or encouraged!) to undergo a second fermentation within the bottle the carbon dioxide gas is trapped inside in the form of bubbles.
The following methods are a few different ways to produce bubbles in a bottle of wine. There is a lot more information behind each of these techniques, but this is a good start to get the general idea. We’ll start with the oldest method and move forward through time and technological advances. (more…)
Wondering how to ring in the New Year? Our Cambridge wine buyer, Gemma, recommends welcoming 2013 with Az. Agr. I Clivi Spumante, a bubbly made from the native varietal Ribolla Gialla, cultivated in Italy’s prestigious Collio growing appellation. The grapes are 100% organically farmed and no sugars are added. (more…)
Posted in Cheese, New Year's, tagged Champagne, Cheese, cheese plate, food, goat milk, New Year's Eve, raw milk cheese, sheep cheese, sheep milk, sparkling wine on December 26, 2011 | Leave a Comment »
We checked in with our lead cheese buyer, Kurt, to see what he was recommending for this New Year’s Eve. He put together a selection that hits all major milk types – cow, goat and sheep – while covering a range of textures and cheese styles. And, they all pair beautifully with sparkling wines! (more…)