Tagged "champagne"

9 Holiday Champagne Tips From The World's Greatest Sommelier

Posted by Ilya Dorfman on

Aldo Sohm, the aptly named wine director of Le Bernardin, was the 2008 winner of the “Best Sommelier in the World” award given by the World Sommelier Association. He is the man—and as such, Eat Like a Man's official wine guru. What with New Year's Eve right around the corner, we felt a need to get some Champagne advice from the expert. Continue reading...
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How to Saber Champagne

Posted by Ilya Dorfman on

Ever wondered how to saber champagne with a spoon? Madeline from Wine Folly shows you how. In slow motion.


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Boutique Champagnes

Posted by Pat Bradley on

Since 1. Falling in love with the "Conversation" champagne I'd tasted at Piora last week and 2. Going on a shopping spree in attempts to stock my newly-acquired wine cabinet (a wedding gift)... I've suddenly found myself an avid fan of "boutique" champagnes. (I'll still pick up a bottle of Moët when I've no time to think about it.)  

It began the other day when, with a pair of friends, I decided to pick up a 'few' bottles of sparkling wine to stock my recently acquired wine cabinet. I'd already stocked it with plenty of white and rosé (leftover from the wedding), and I recently procured a nice selection of 'spicy reds' (and some everyday valpolicella); all that was missing was bubbles. Starting at one point in the West Village and working northward, I stopped at approximately four different wine shops where I'd picked up about two bottles of sparkling wine at each. 

Sparkling wine (be it champagne or otherwise) is nearly always my wine of choice (save that it's dry, and not red). Being a regular buyer of bubbly, I've come to the conclusion that most shops will carry about two decent sparklers priced at about $12 or less--but no more than the two. During my sparkling wine spree, I picked up what seemed to be the "two good bottles" at every shop. What I came home with was a smorgasbord of (mostly) middle-of-the-line proseccos and two unknown French whites. (I think the best that I picked up was the Castellroig cava--but that one was $16.)

At the end of it all, I thought that it might behoove me to simply shell out the extra Andrew Jackson(s) required and spring for some of the lesser-known champagnes (still champagne, nonetheless). 

Which brings me to the second part of this story...

discovering boutique champagnes!

Today, after a long day, I stopped at April Bloomfield's The Spotted Pig for a glass of "Gosset" champagne which I'd enjoyed on a previous visit.

I'd recalled no 'ill memories' of the wine, and being that it was the only champagne available (by the glass), it seemed to be a very intentional decision on the sommelier's part. At second taste (the first being several months ago), I noticed light aromas of fruit on the nose and on the palate, crisp, young fruits and a nice balance between brut and extra dry. It wasn't a remarkable champagne, but it was good enough to enjoy a second... and a third glass! 

Nonetheless, I'd prefer having just one or two "good champagnes" in stock rather than several merely-passable sparklers. It's definitely a quality over quantity issue!

I've yet to try (most of) the wines I'd picked up during my haul... hopefully they're more than simply passable!
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The Best Thing I Drank All Week

Posted by Pat Bradley on

Okay, so I am borrowing from Zagat's "The Best Thing" for the title of my latest post--but it truly was the best thing I drank all week (or perhaps in two weeks)...



With all the recent buzz surrounding the newly-opened Piora, I thought it might be worth my while to pop in and give the place a try. My first visit was last week, when I was placed in charge of organizing some early birthday cocktails for a fellow colleague; I recommended Piora to which he readily and most eagerly agreed upon. Being the host, I simply could not arrive late and--alas--was the first to arrive for some time. Being that it would be my first meal of the day (this blogger likes to work at night), I was feeling somewhat "brunchy" and decided to begin with a cup of earl grey and a glass of champagne. (Piora does not serve tea, but the bartender was happy to acquiesce; how he procured my tea, I do not know.)

At first sip, the champagne was the best I'd ever tasted (even better than the Dom I'd tasted earlier this year). As friends and associates began to trickle in, we began tasting--one by one--nearly every cocktail on the menu. In my opinion, the winner was the "wear and tear" with rye, Aperol, chartreuse, vermouth and bitters. I ordered it for all the late-comers.

Finding myself with a free afternoon this week, I decided to make another trip to Piora for some more of that delectable champagne... Piora's "house" champagne is a non-vintage Vergnon "Conversation" grand cru champagne ($29/gl.). I'm not ashamed to say that I'd never heard of the champagne before, but I do love a good boutique wine every now and again. As I examined the bottle's labels (Shinya, the head bartender, was kind enough to allow me to snap some photos) I'd noticed that the champagne listed its disgorgement date on the rear (a recent trend in finer champagnes). More and more, it seemed like all signs were pointing to "Conversation" being quite the special bottle of wine. Perhaps you'll see me at Piora again during 'low tea.'
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