wine wednesday: champagne, france

Break out your bottles of bubbly because IT’S GAME 7 OF THE WORLD SERIES AND I’M SO EXCITED/ANXIOUS/NERVOUS/INTERNET SHOUTING BECAUSE I CAN’T CONTAIN MY EMOTIONS. GO CUBS GO!!!!

Phew…glad I got that out, thank you. It’s been a roller coaster of a ride this season, and you better believe that bottles are going to be popped tonight #FlytheW

Moving back to the topic du jour, Champagne is a region AND a sparkling wine from said region. It was rumored to be created by Monk Dom Pérignon in the 1600s when he added yeast and sugar to his bottle of wine causing a second fermentation in the bottle. Though that’s not 100% true, it’s a fun story to roll out for trivia.

the process

how-champagne-is-made-infographic

As you can see, making one bottle of Champagne is no walk in the park. It’s a labor of love to keep all of the non-vintage (NV) bottles tasting the same year to year. Think about it, isn’t it pretty incredible that all bottles of Veuve Clicquot/Perrier Jouet/Moët et Chandon taste the same year to year???

Champagne houses can also release “vintages” dedicated to a specific year and must be aged a minimum of three years before their release. These are typically nuttier, creamier with notes of honey due to aging. More expensive too!

buying tips

Expect to spend around $40 for your baseline Champagne!

If you are going to buy a vintage of Champagne the years: 1996, 2002, 2004 and 2008 are “good years”

CHAmpagne picks

$$-Moët & Chandon: Available at most grocery stores, you won’t be hard pressed to find a bottle from the largest Champagne house.

$$$-Ruinart: Oldest Champagne house and makes kickass Blanc de Blancs and Rose Champagnes in addition to the traditional stuff.

$$$$-Krug: This is liquid gold, so many different notes in their NV and if I ever get my hands on a “Grand Cuvée” I may or may not share.

GO CUBS!!! Let’s pop some bottles tonight.

wine wednesday: provence, france

It’s no secret that I have a love for rosé. What can I say? When the weather is sunny and 70 degrees ninety-percent of the time in LA there’s not an easier choice.

But there IS an even better choice when it comes to rosé selection, and that would be from: PROVENCE, FRANCE.

Nearly all the wine that comes out of that region is ROSÉ, so it is there specialty if you will.

Located on the Mediterranean coast, the climate is easy, breezy and beautiful…and yes it’ll make you feel like a covergirl. It’s got hills (grapes loooove to grow on hills) breeze, loads of herbs like lavender, thyme and rosemary-plus the glorious Med sun. These factors all lend a hand to create wines uniquely provencal.

c/o wine folly
c/o wine folly

As you can see, there are a lot of smaller regions within Provence. Individually they are known as an AOC.

What is an AOC you ask?? Besides being a great restaurant in LA, it stands for “Appellation de’Origin Contrôlée”. These are a set of rules and regulation wine makers/growers have to follow and its specific per region in France. Examples are: what kinds of grapes growers can grow, the blending percentages, how many grapes can be harvested per season etc.

buying tips

For stellar Rosé look for these regions:

  1. Côtes du Provence $$
  2. Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence $$ (Brad and Angie’s Miraval is from here RIP)
  3. Bandol $$$

cÔte de provence rosé pick:

2014 Château d’Astros Côtes de Provence approximately $15. It’s clean, crisp and dry with notes of strawberry, raspberry. Well rounded and drinks like a more expensive bottle, score!

Any favorite Provence wines?? Share away!

-video and photography help from Sophie Kuller