What would New Year’s Eve be without Champagne? Boring! Everyone will be packing the stores today and tomorrow looking for the right bottle of bubbly to purchase. The questions becomes, which bottle is right for you? First of all, Champagne that is produced and sold in the United States cannot be called “Champagne.” Champagne is a region in France which his known for its superior grapes. Any bottles sold in the US and categorized as Champagne should actually be labeled as Sparkling Wine. The French are quite adamant about this. Now, back to the basics…which bottle of Champagne should be purchased for your celebration? Well, that all depends on your personal preference. Do you like dry or sweet? How much money do you have to spend? If you’re not a connoisseur of fine wines just ask for some help; really, it’s ok. Usually, the employees or owners of the state stores and liquor stores can lead you in the right direction. They’re pretty hip on what is most popular (and well liked) during these Holidays, and can make some good suggestions for you. The best way to find the right bottle of Champagne is to taste as many as possible. In between tastings, take a small bite of a strawberry- it will cleanse your palate. Don’t get caught up in the hype either. Buy and enjoy what tastes good to you….stay away from the wine snobs who try to sway your decision by using any of these adjectives: peachy, oaky, buttery, brooding-complexity, perky, balanced, clear, elegant, or Audrey-Hepburnish.
Have fun and Happy New Year!
Chef Chuck Kerber