Just the sound of a popping cork evokes a sense of celebration. Guest host Audie Cornish talks to Chris Adams, CEO of Sherry Lehmann Wine and Spirits in New York City, who offers these champagne recommendations for the summer season.
What's The Difference Between Champagne And Sparkling Wine?
The difference between champagne and sparkling wine is all in where the wine is made. If it is made in an area in France known as Champagne, then it can be called champagne. If not, it's just sparkling wine.
Zardetto Conegliano Prosecco Brut, $12.95
Zardetto, located in the heart of the famous Prosecco vineyards in the beautiful Conegliano hills 40 miles from Venice, has been a leader in sparkling wine production for more than 30 years.
Straw-lemon in color, Zardetto Prosecco offers fresh, fragrant aromas of peach, citrus and tropical fruits. Delicately soft and harmonious on the palate, Zardetto Prosecco is extremely versatile: it can be enjoyed anytime, from important celebrations to last-minutes parties. Zesty and stylish, Zardetto Prosecco is the quintessential sparkling aperitif and can be served alongside a wide array of foods.
Louis Bouillot Cremant de Bourgogne Rose "Perle d'Aurore," $13.99
Delicately fresh and lively with fine bubbles, this fruity, strawberry and black currant-infused sparkling wine offers delightful acidity and a creamy texture. Made from a combination of a masterly blend of chardonnay and pinot noir grapes, it is an appealing, dry, sparkling rose.
Roederer Estate Brut Anderson Valley, $18.95
Roederer Estate Brut is the first California sparkling wine produced by Louis Roederer. It blends chardonnay and pinot noir grapes, all grown on the estate. It is crisp and elegant with complex pear, spice and hazelnut flavors. It's also fresh and lightly fruity, with great finesse and depth of flavor.
CELEBRATING WITH A SPLURGE
Nicolas Feuillatte "Blue Label" Brut Champagne, $29.95
Nicolas Feuillatte Champagne is a blend of 40 percent pinot noir, 20 percent chardonnay and 40 percent meunier grapes — the three varieties of the Champagne wine growing region. This is deliciously floral, light-bodied, wonderfully subtle, yet effervescent. It has complex aromas of pastries, accompanied by delicious hints of red fruit. On the palate it is silky and well-balanced.
Ruinart Blanc de Blancs Champagne, $59.95
Ruinart was the first Champagne house, founded in 1729. Dom Thierry Ruinart, a Benedictine monk in the 16th century (buried in the same church as his contemporary, Dom Perignon), was the first to predict the importance of champagne production.
Chardonnay, the dominant grape variety used in all Ruinart cuvees, is the foundation of the Ruinart style. Grown in the Cote des Blancs and the Montagne de Reims vineyards, the grape lends its inherent finesse, elegance and purity to every wine. The Ruinart Blanc de Blancs champagne is rich and ripe with candied citrus, ginger and herb notes. Balanced and bright, it offers a mouthwatering finish.
Pommery Cuvee Louise 1998 Champagne, $109.95
Pommery Cuvee Louise 1998 is a wine of extraordinary delicacy, complexity, purity and elegance in perfect harmony. On the nose, it has floral notes enhanced by hints of yellow fruits. Delicacy is the key note. The chardonnay grape contributes spicy notes, and the pinot noir harmoniously enhances all the sensations perceived.