Champagne, mon cheri!

Today is International Champagne Day! Cheers! Now before you pop the cork on that bottle of Cook’s (or even Barefoot Bubbly, which is delicious!), let me repeat: Today is International Champagne Day. Champagne comes from Champagne, France. Put the sparkling wine back in the fridge and join me while tasting Champagne.

I couldn’t find real champagne at the local grocery store, so I stopped in at Ben’s Fine Wine & Liquor, which never fails me. An off-center sign led me to the belief that the half-bottle of Moet & Chandon Imperial Champagne was $9.99. It  was not. Twenty-five dollars later, I left the store with my mini-bottle of champagne, a heavy dose of buyer’s remorse and confidence that I would REALLY like this champagne!

The pour is wonderfully fizzy and frothy. The bubbles simmer down quickly, but the initial fizz is everything a chamapgne should be, playful but not trying too hard. The aroma is pear, vanilla and sandlewood. And the taste… Oh, the taste! The most important part. Will it live up to its $25 price tag?

What a wonderful blend of tart fruit and mellow vanilla. There’s no bite or pucker, just a refreshing pear and melon taste that cleanses the palette followed by a warm hint of vanilla and honey. The vanilla is wisp-like, almost like a vanilla-scented candle was burned nearby during fermentation and lent lightest warmth to the grapes without actually flavoring the wine.

I admittedly have a red bias. I love red wines and have a hard time finding whites that aren’t too sweet or too tart. This champagne, made primarily of pinot noir,  is what I wish all white wines could be: light, refreshing, whole.

So cheers to International Champagne Day! Settle into a soft corner of the couch, open a good book and enjoy a little bubbly. You deserve it!

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