About This Wine
France's Champagne region remains the source of the world's finest sparkling wines, and the place from which only named Champagne itself can be produced. However, top Champagnes can be seriously expensive, and some big Champagne brands spend so much on, well, branding, that the amount of money that is left over per bottle to actually include decent Champagne can be ... very modest.
Enter the "Methode Traditionnelle" sparklings - made in exactly the same method as Champagne, and which are all but the same in their grape varieties, flavours, and handsome packaging .. but at a much lower price.
Our three top picks are the:
In terms of how each might be put to best use, the Quartz Reef is the ideal meet-the-guests-as-they-arrive sparkling. The Pichot is the food-friendly heavyweight, able to accompany and enhance anything from oysters to turkey to BBQ'd foods. The Paul Louis is made for desserts and sweets, and is also the inexpensive quaffer for parties and events.
To help with choosing and give you serving options, we've put together a mixed dozen - four of each of these three sparklings - here.
No matter your choice, we do suggest not serving any sparkling wine - or indeed any white wine - too cold. At the right temperature, which is 10°C, their acidity will be well-balanced and their bouquet and body fully developed.
So how do you get a sparkling (or any white wine) to 10°C? Four ways:
1. Put the bottles in the fridge for two hours before serving.
2. If the bottles have been in the fridge for longer, take them out half an hour before serving.
3. Immerse bottles in an ice slurry (in a Champagne bucket, if you have one) of one third water and two thirds ice cubes for 15 minutes.
4. Store them in a dedicated wine fridge.
|Type||Champagne & Sparkling|