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Mouthing Off

By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine

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What Editors Are Drinking

Ray Isle Loves Ageable Australian Riesling and Grower Champagne

Ray Isle Loves Ageable Australian Riesling and Grower Champagne

F&W's Ray Isle shares what he's drinking now: rosé Champagne that's for the beach and a fantastic Australian Riesling.

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Expert Guide

Stylish Sabers for Opening Champagne

There’s no more dramatic way to open a bottle of sparkling wine than with a saber. Here, three top design houses that are offering beautiful blades.

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Pairing Guide

What to Pair with Refreshing, Versatile Sparkling Wines

How to Pair Refreshing, Versatile Sparkling Wines

For F&W's simplest pairing guide ever, we placed wines into five basic categories. Here's what to pair with all kinds of sparkling whites.

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Essential Drinking

How to Save on Champagne So You Can Splurge on Caviar

How to Save on Champagne So You Can Splurge on Caviar

Fleury's Fleur de L'Europe is an entry-level Champagne that tastes a lot like a lovingly-aged vintage bottling.

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Dr. Vino's Verdict

For Champagne, Skip the Flute

Here's why a regular white wine glass is the best thing for sparkling wine.

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Dr. Vino's Verdict

Champagne's Great Growers

Champagne's Great Growers

Ever wondered where the experts stand on the best wine practices and controversies? In this series, wine blogger, teacher and author Tyler Colman (a. k. a. Dr. Vino) delivers a final judgement.

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The Bubble Report

Champagne Trends: Big News from Big Producers

Here, F&W's Megan Krigbaum offers a visual guide to buying Champagne for New Year's Eve, and the latest news from the region's top producers.

Champagne Matrix

Photos, clockwise from top left: Courtesy of Chartoque-Taillet, Gimonnet & Fils, The Rare Wine Co., Krug, Maisons Marques & Domaines, Perrier-Jouët, Bollinger, Moët, Nicholas Feuillatte.

Charles Heidsieck

This house’s Brut Réserve ($65) has long been a favorite among Champagne insiders. Now it’s even better. By raising the amount of reserve wines in the blend (which have an average age of 10 years) to 40 percent, new chef de cave Thierry Roset has given it remarkable depth and complexity for a basic brut.

Lanson

Lanson recently released a terrifically complex Extra Age Brut ($100), a blend of wines from three great vintages. Even more enticing: The house has also started selling library vintages from its cellars in Reims, some dating back to the 1970s.

Ruinart

With new Interprétation kits, Ruinart helps neophytes judge scents like sommeliers. The NV Brut Rosé kit ($99) has eight vials of scents, from pomegranate to rose, for you to sniff; then you can look for the same aromas in the wine. sherry-lehmann.com.

Trendspotting

Where to Drink Champagne Now

Portland, Oregon's Pix Pâtisserie/Bar Vivant.

Bar Vivant, Portland; Photo © Dina Avíla Photography.

Festive and versatile, impressive Champagne selections are now everywhere, from a tree house in France to Chicago’s O’Hare airport. F&W’s Megan Krigbaum celebrates the news. Plus, Champagne Lexicon so you can know what you're ordering.

Chicago: Bubbles Wine Bar
Finding a good glass of wine at an airport is nearly impossible, but at this new spot in O’Hare, travelers can order Champagnes like Taittinger’s NV Brut La Française and sample artisanal cheeses while waiting for flights. Terminal 3, O’Hare Airport.

 

New York City: Corkbuzz Wine Studio
Owner Laura Maniec (whose expertise we tap for Tasting Workout), wants everyone to drink Champagne every day. So she’s started her Champagne Campaign: Each night starting at 10 p.m., every bottle of Champagne on her list is half-off, including pricey têtes de cuvée like the 2002 Dom Ruinart Brut. 13 E. 13th St.; corkbuzz.com.

New York City: L’Apicio
At his new East Village restaurant, co-owner and sommelier Joe Campanale serves 30 sparkling wines by the bottle. At least eight are grower Champagnes (small-production wines from individual estates). 13 E. First St.; lapicio.com.

Pittsburgh: Perlé
Co-owner Peter Landis developed a special draft system just for his new Market Square spot, which always keeps five sparkling wines on tap. His other 22 sparkling selections are served by the bottle. 25 Market Sq.; perlepgh.com.

Portland, OR: Pix Pâtisserie/Bar Vivant
“Every December, we’ve had 100 Champagnes on offer, but starting last year, I decided to keep them year-round,” says owner–pastry chef–Champagne fiend Cheryl Wakerhauser of Pix and the new Bar Vivant, a tapas bar. 2225 E. Burnside St.; pixpatisserie.com.

Verzy, France: Perchingbar
This unusual treehouse bar sits 18 feet above the ground in a park outside the town of Verzy. Guests can have glasses of Bollinger or Pehu Simonet in the clubby lounge or on the huge wraparound deck surrounded by trees. Plan ahead, though, as it’s open only during warmer months. perchingbar.eu.

CHAMPAGNE LEXICON

Blanc de Blancs White Champagne made exclusively from Chardonnay grapes.

Dosage A blend of wine and sugar that is added to most Champagne at the final bottling to offset the acidity of the wine.

Blanc De Noirs White Champagne made from red Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier.

Mousse The foam that appears at the top of a glass of Champagne when it’s poured.

Brut Dry, meaning that the wine has a minimal dosage—less than 12 grams of sugar per liter.

Wine Wednesday

Alternative Sparklers for Summer

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Image courtesy of Rustico.

Courtesy of Rustico.

Ray's top three sparkling wines under $20. Also, how to avoid fast-flying corks and unintentional champagne showers. »

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Winemakers

All Good Things

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You know the rest of that line, right? Well, it's with some small amount of sadness that I am saying that about this blog: It must come to an end. I've had a terrific time writing it, but we've decided that in the end it's a bit strange, for a magazine that's all about bringing together food and wine, to have separate blogs on those topics.

So, from here on out, any wine blogging that I (and Megan Krigbaum, Kristin Donnelly, and various other stalwart folks) do will instead appear in F&W's primary blog, Mouthing Off. No less wine coverage, just a different venue. See you there.

Ray Isle

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