From the title of this post you can probably guess what is coming next. So I shall not tally.
While I tend not to be the type of person that goes all out for decorating the house during the Winter Holidays, I do believe that I should be fully prepared for that glorious time of year. Wait, am I talking about the cold snowy weather in Chicago? That’s glorious? I think not, at least as I see it.
But if you believe as I do that you need to be prepared for the festivities that come with it, then I’m all in. Since this is a Wine Blog then being prepared has to mean that there is plenty of wine! In my case, REALLY GOOD WINE! Fear not as I have that covered in many ways.
When we talk about the holidays, it’s hard not to think about the wine that almost single-handedly defines this time of year. SPARKLING, and for me, that means more specifically, Champagne. I can’t even remember a time I didn’t like that nose-tickling, palate prickling totally satisfying taste. I have even made it my “what wine would I want if stuck on a deserted island wine.” Just think, it goes with fish (hand caught of course), coconut cream pie (assuming I can find a cow, sheep or goat to supply the cream), a potential variety of red meats (okay, this gets a little sticky as I’m not sure I could do what needs to be done to prepare the meat), and last but not least, roasted vegetables (what island doesn’t have some sort of veggies?).
I guess what I’m trying to say is that Champagne is a wine that goes with just about anything. I have a book about food pairing in two sections. The first is the food and what wine you should pair it with. The other section is for the various grapes and wine and what goes with them. Turn to the Champagne section and you find it has pages of possibilities, largest of any grape variety. It might have been easier to list what it doesn’t go with, although while I’m typing this out, I can’t think of anything at the moment.
Before I get to my actual “Wine of the Week” selection for this post, I’ll mention that I do like so many different types of sparkling wine. Prosecco from Italy, Cava from Spain, Cremant from France, Sket from Germany and Austria, I’ve even been pouring a nice sparkler from England. There are many more and all of them having their own personality. My first love (boy do I need to get a life) is Champagne, always was always is and always shall be.
So then we come to the almost impossible decision. “What Champagne is my favorite?” Like the smart ass that I am, the answer, like it is when asked about still wines, is; “the one that I’m drinking!” Not original but accurate.
In order to actually have a “Wine of the Week” I do need to come up with one. I’m not like Time Magazine that can name an abstract “Person of the Year” such as they did in 2017 with “The Silence Breakers.” A great choice in my opinion as well. No, I need something specific. Just so happens that I have one and it is shared by my daughter as well. In fact, it is our go-to Champagne whenever we get together, have a special event or, and here’s the best part, ANYTIME.
Champagne Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve NV
From its beginnings in the mid-1800’s Charles Heidsieck, set out to create world-renowned Champagne. Blended from 40% reserve wine aged an average of ten years and a third each of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier, this is Champagne that is hard to forget and you most likely won’t want to forget. This Champagne has received consistently high praise from the likes of Wine Spectator as well as other reviewers. Yours truly obviously. From the brioche notes to the honey and slight ginger flavors, you end your experience with a creamy texture and palate-pleasing finish.
Are there other Champagnes that tickle my fancy? Of course. Excellent examples across many spectrums of flavor and excitement. But for myself and my daughter, when it’s time to come together and celebrate, THIS is the Champagne we turn to.
So whether you’re like me and don’t decorate for the holidays or you’re one that does, you might like to take time and pick up some of this wonderful elixir to help you celebrate. Oh, one final word (at least for now, you know you can’t shut me up), don’t look at sparkling wine just for holidays and special occasions. It’s universal in food pairing and a great option when you just want a great wine.