So a guy walks into a wine shop and thinks: ’Tis the season for Champagne—until he looks at the price. He gulps and regroups: ’Tis the season for sparkling wine!
Though you gotta have bubbles, there's no rule that says that Champagne is required to ring in the New Year. Rather, the imperative is to open something which has a cork that pops and to drink something refreshing and bubbly at 12:01 January 1. So, why not save the money that you would have spent on Champagne and instead buy yourself something nice to kick off 2010. In that spirit, here's three picks from local stores that will get you a loud cork and a mouthful of delicious sparkling wine. Cheers!
SF Eater today writes that the Tsar Nicoulai booth in the Ferry Building is closing. It's understandable why—this is not exactly a period of widespread populist Champagne and caviar consumption. However, it's still a bummer. A little scoop of caviar every now and then (without having to buy a whole tin) is a wonderful thing, especially when you pair that with a nice glass of bubbly. (Vodka and caviar advocates: sorry, you're wrong.
The just-out July Esquire has a good article, pointing out that, in general, we don’t drink enough Champagne. It's titled, "The King of Wines: The problem with champagne is that we celebrate it, but we don’t drink it." Yes, we pop it on New Year’s, at weddings and birthdays, and spray each other with it when we win major championships. But the only thing we don’t do is treat it as a wine.
For the upcoming inauguration, if you're celebrating, I just want you all to know about this exquisite Blanc de Blancs Champagne. It's an NV brut from Pierre Gimonnet, exceptional for its clarity, its bright, vivacious citrus notes and its vinous, mineral character. While it's complex and sophisticated, it's difficult for me not to gulp it. Try it at the the Bubble Lounge, which carries it on its list.
Hey, this has been kind of a rough year, eh? The last couple of months have kind of made us want to hide under our desks. But as this year ends and the next begins, it would seem a shame to let it go by without a proper toast, something like “Thanks for nothing, 2008. See you on the flip side.”
If you're looking for a fine, but reasonably priced Champagne for the holidays this year, I recommend this new-ish offering from the famous Champagne house Taittinger. It's made entirely from Grand Crus-rated vineyards (ones that score 100% in the Champagne AOC's system), and it's 50% Chardonnay and 50% Pinot Noir. it's got great structure and length, but is marked by an elegance and a citrusy juiciness that makes it hard not to guzzle. I think the price of $50, which you can find at K&L, is a bargain for Champagne of this quality.