Seattle Wine Blog

This blog is dedicated to commentary on all aspects of wine, especially short entries to help you find the best wines without the usual hype and spin. These are my frank, independent opinions, usually based on tasting wine at a public event, off the shelf or at the winery. "All creative acts must arise out of a specific soil and flicker with a spirit of place" -D.H. Lawrence

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Delightful Champagne - Happy New Year

You can't call it Champagne, unless it comes from the Champagne region of France, but we all do, anyway. We once stayed in the lovely village of Epernay, home of many Champagne houses that export to the states. There we discovered many boutique champagnes not generally imported into the U.S. My son- in-law is French and he will drink Champagne any chance he gets. We Americans tend to wait for special occasions. The holidays are coming, so now is the time to stock up. From my point of view, there are basically two styles of Champagne and three levels of delight. To oversimplify, bubbly can be either light and elegant or big and yeasty. Of course, there are many gradations in between and many subtle nuances not easily described. Each Champagne house has its own consistent style, so once you find a Champagne you like you can count on it year in and year out. Oh, I almost forgot, "Brut" means dry, and "Extra Dry" means sweet. Go figure. Here are some of my picks:

Delightful (under $30)

  • Zardetto Prosecco - Not actually Champagne, but a delightful light sparkling wine from the Veneto region of Italy ( about $10)
  • Freixenet - From Spain, this one is basic, but does the trick, when nothing else is available (about $10)
  • Mumm Napa Valley Brut Prestige - Great for big events or family gatherings, nicely balanced ($15-$20)
  • Domaine Chandon Brut- Another California bubbly made by a famous champagne house. Slightly drier than the Mumm's, very close to French Champagne ($15-$20)
  • Roederer Estate - A third French Champagne house making sparklers in California. This one is a little softer and rounder than the others, almost creamy ($15-$2


  • At 12:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    You might add that Brut is the same word in french although Dry means Sec and Extra Dry means Extra Sec, sweet means doux. A Brut champagne contains less than 1.5% of sugar and dry contains between 2% and 3.5% of sugar.


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