January 30, 2013
Valentine’s Day is the perfect excuse to branch out and try a new Champagne. If you been around here for a while, you know I’m always game for a reason to break open the bubbly. If your hobbies include giddy quests to the farmers market, collecting specialty sea salts and tracking down boutique butchers then you should add Grower Champagne to your culinary pursuits.
In the wine world Grower Champagne is the new black, the new kale, the new ikat. These sparkling wines are made in the Champagne region of France, produced by the same estate that owns the vineyards from which the grapes come. Grower Champagne is often described as “artisanal winemaking,” but I like to call it delicious. Even better, you can find great bottles of specialty bubbles with a less expensive price tag than the old standbys.
Great quality at a good price? Now, you’re talking romance.
Here are three of my picks, covering a variety of price points:
Nicolas Feuillatte is a great place to start. Technically, it’s not a Grower Champagne, but it’s a good offering for those on a budget. I recommend the Rose, it’s light and crisp and works well with a variety of food.
This producer is one of my favorites. If we see this Pierre Peters on a wine list it usually makes its way to our table. Blanc de Blancs means it is made from 100% chardonnay grape, call it a Grower Champagne with gusto.
For something really special go with this beauty. Vilmart is a lovely offering and quite a quaffer.