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Drinking Stars

December 8th, 2011 by Alan A. Barone

Back in the 1700’s a monk cellar master was making wine for his associates and similar to now, ideally wines were made free of bubbles. Any bubbles left from fermentation were an error in the wine-making process. So the monk worked feverishly to remove the bubbles and finally, he sealed the bottles. Well, some yeast and sugar remained in the bottles and soon fermentation resumed, producing carbon dioxide. This trapped the carbonation within the bottle and corks began exploding. When the monk had the chance to sip the bubbly beverage he cried out to his friends, “Come quickly, I’m drinking stars!”

And in a short time, the French aristocracy fell in love… the rest they say is history. The monk, if you didn’t guess, was Dom Perignon and after some refinement, the method of making Champagne was discovered (and purely by accident).

There are several steps and detailed regulations involved in the production of Champagne in France. In fact, Champagne is a region and only wines which come from this region can be called Champagne. In the remainder of the world, they should be labeled sparkling wines. Champagne is usually made from a blend of grapes sourced from different vineyards across this large region, and the varieties used are predominantly Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier.  The most popular Champagne designation is Brut which is dryer than Extra Dry.

And… just in time to add bubbles to all of your holiday tastings, gifts and events, go ahead and drink some stars.   Here are a few suggestions for around $50:

Laurent-Perrier Brut ~ Active bubbles with citrus, biscuit dough and toasty aromas.  Shows a delicate and creamy almond flavor with a lingering finish.

Pommery Brut Royale ~ Tiny bubbles with aromas of citrus blossoms, yeast and ripe red apples. Very light with clean, apple flavor and balanced finish.

Tattinger Brut La Français ~ Tiny bubbles with maple, caramel and biscuit dough aromas that lead to subtle flavors of bread, citrus and toasty wood.

Nicolas Feuillatte Brut Rosé ~ This delicate Rosé displays aromas of fresh strawberries and flower blossoms that lead to ripe flavor notes of berries, spice and a touch of smoke.

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