Champagne Season

Every year at this time, Surdyk’s has one or two “bubbly” tasting nights.  They have local wine distributors hosting tables with a variety of sparkling wines, all at sale pricing.  We have embraced sparkling wines this year as a nice part of almost any gathering.  One of our local distributors, The Wine Company, has really embraced small Champagne vintners: Farmer Fizz.  Since we like small winemakers, we’re naturally attracted to them.  I was especially impressed with The Wine Company’s showing at Surdyk’s tonight, they poured small producers exclusively and a lot of small producer Champagnes.

Note: Champagne only refers to real French Champagnes, produced in the Champagne region.  Every other sparkling wine in the world has a different name.  Champagne means Champagne, period.

My notes from The Wine Company's "table 4"

My notes from The Wine Company’s “table 4”

I thought the Gobelsburger sparkling Gruner Veltliner was really nice, and I’ll try it on a future visit.  I wanted to bring home a couple of new Champagnes tonight.  Here’s what I picked.

My Champagne picks for the evening.

My Champagne picks for the evening.

A Champagne tip: There is a “secret code” that appears on the label of every Champagne.  The two codes of interest are:

  • NM – Négociant-Manipulant – These are the mega-Champagne houses.  They are well known and offer a repeatable, consistent product, but you pay for all the advertising and cachet of the brand name.
  • RM – Récoltant-Manipulant – These are smaller Champagne houses.  They grow the grapes and make the wines themselves.  They are more individual and unique.

Now you are among the Champagne cognoscenti.

Find the RM on this label.  The big houses will have NM on the label.

Find the RM on this label. The big houses will have NM on the label. Hint: look above “Product of France”

Another view of the wines I picked tonight.

My Champagne picks for tonight.

My Champagne picks for tonight.

Our other Champagne find this year was another from Chartogne-Taillet.

Chartogne-Taillet Cuvee Sainte-Anne was perfect with oysters

Chartogne-Taillet Cuvee Sainte-Anne was perfect with oysters

What are your thoughts on bubbly in general?  How about Champagne?  I’d love to hear about your favorites!

Thanks to Surdyk’s for a wonderful annual event!  Thanks to Chris from The Wine Company for bringing super nice small producer sparkling wines, and especially for the Farmer Fizz!

Comments
3 Responses to “Champagne Season”
  1. Very well done and great photos!

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