a99kitten's Musings

I blog about a WHOLE LOT of stuff :)

This year’s champagne event was fun! Last year’s was rainy and freezing. This year’s was HOT! Crazy bay area weather. Kinda perfect for bubbly tasting though.

They had a few new ones to the event this year such as Bollinger, Salon and Charles Heidsieck. And a few smaller, lesser known ones as well. I didn’t get to the Salon before they ran out but we have several bottles at home so no big deal. The line for it was ridiculous. I wanted to make sure to get to the ones I have never had before (and the Veuve Brut Rose of course) instead.

I definitely had a few favorites. The entire 3 tastings of Laurent-Perrier were fantastic. Also Baron Fuente. And of course the flight at the Louis Roederer table was great (although I did spit out the 2004 Vintage Blanc de Blancs.) This year, I don’t think the Cristal was my favorite of theirs (even though the 2004 Cristal was very delish.) They also recently bought another vineyard – Duetz – which was FANTASTIC. Highly recommend.

I also loved the entire flight from both Taittinger and Moet & Chandon (their was combined with Ruinart which was SO YUM!)

It was fun to be able to speak with the actual winemakers from some of the small houses that all flew out from France for both today’s event and yesterday’s in LA. The French will be invading Alcatraz and SF tomorrow :)

This event is always so much fun. Although I do have to say the first year I went it was combined with a charity auction that benefited a local animal rescue organization. I wish they would do that again. That was super fun. Last year’s was at their SF location. I much prefer the Redwood City one so I am glad they moved it back here (last year it was in SF due to renovations in RC.)

The people watching is also fun. Most people are your standard Menlo Park crowd. But you do get a few different ones :) I also liked “bag watching.” So many cool bags were being paraded around. A LOT of Chanel and LV.

I debated on outfits because I had no idea how hot it might be in the tent. It was HOT. And I finally wore heels again! 4.5″ heels – not wedges. Real heels! I knew I didn’t have to walk around too much :) Was good to wear again!!

The key to tasting is keep drinking water in between (although it was room temp so I couldn’t drink as much as I should have – I need ice water people!) and snack on the appetizers they had floating around. I was good to do both this year!!

Writing some of my favorites down for future purchasing (in no particular order):

Baron Fuente “Grand Reserve” Brut
Baron Fuente “Espirt” Brut
2004 Louis Roederer “Cristal” Brut
2004 Louis Roederer Brut
Deutz “Brut Classic”
2006 Fluteau Cuvee Prestige Brut Blanc de Blancs
Ruinart Brut Blan de Blancs
Ruinart Brut Rose (very, very good)
2002 Moet & Chandon Grand Vintage Brut
2000 Moet & Chandon “Dom Perignon” Brut
2004 Taittinger Brut
Taittinger “La Francaise” Brut
Taittinger “Prestige” Brut Rose
2000 Bollinger “Grande Annee” Brut
Fleury Brut Rose
2005 Elisabeth Goutorbe Brut
2002 Laurent-Perrier Brut
NV Laurent-Perrier Brut NV
NV Laurent-Perrier Cuvee Rose
Charles Heidsieck “Brut Reserve”
2000 Charles Heidsieck Brut
NV Veuve Cliquot Rose
1999 Pol Roger Brut Chardonnay
1999 Pol Roger Cuvee Winston Churchill

Interestingly, I liked the Dom better than the Cristal this year (and it’s cheaper!) The past 2 years it has been opposite. Perhaps bad years for Dom? Or maybe my taste buds are changing :) Although I just looked at the price list and the Salon was the most expensive being served. That explains why everyone was in line for it. They had the 1999 Salon. We have several bottles of the 1988 – I guess I better get on drinking that ASAP!! K&L is selling the 1988 for $400 per bottle. So maybe I should drink it to celebrate something….like Halloween. Or the huskies doing well. Or the nice weather! :)

I might have missed a good one, or mis-labeled one (doubtful though – I was determined to note every one I tasted.) My “rating” system as I taste is a star, 2 stars, an X (for yuck), or a circle (for uber fantastic) – highly technical :) No notes on oaky, toasty, peachy, dry, sweet, good for apertif, good for meals, drink now, drink in 2 years, etc, etc. That’s for the pros. I just note down if I will like to buy or NEED to buy :)

I have to say for the price, the 3 from Laurent-Perrier were awesome. I will definitely be buying some. We have a wine cellar in our new house and 1/2 of it will be dedicated to bubbly. So I need some good ones to fill it up!!

Bought this bubbly at K&L Wines a few weeks back to give it a try. It was an “employee pick” and K&L’s picks have never been bad. I had a pretty decent reason to celebrate last night after a long, stressful week so I tried it. Quite yummy.

I really liked this bubbly. And totally inexpensive ($12.99!) and quite worthy of a daily drinker (not that I advocate daily drinking at all but if you have to…go bubbly ;) ). I have found that I really don’t like so many Roses but if a Rose Brut, I usually do as it takes the overbearing sweetness away. I am totally a Brut bubbly girl. Dry is good. Too sweet = bad. Which is funny because I know when I was younger, I liked the sweeter stuff. Plus this one is a nice pink shade – so that makes it all the better for me!

If you have a chance to pick this one up – do so. Give it a try. You will like it :)

Here is what K&L says about it:
A wine with tiny, long-lasting bubbles, Cremant de Loire Rosé is a lovely gleaming pink, enticing with a delicate, nervy nose and aromas of fresh red fruit. It’s lively on the attack and has lovely aromatic intensity and brightness. Well-balanced in the mouth, this sparkler is enhanced by a fresh but subtle finish. The wine is stored for at least 12 months on racks in freestone cellars before disgorging to make incomparably fine bubbles. The fruit comes from 20- to 30-year-old vines.

I finished a long, drawn out project at work today (and the 2nd one should be done tomorrow as well) so I decided on a yummy glass of bubly when I got home. Plus I have a week of vacation in Tahoe to look forward to starting Saturday so I opened a bottle I have had for over a year (wth?)

Not a “fancy” bottle at all. Bought it at a tasting at K&L Wines last spring:


It was a clear favorite then as you can tell by my highly sophisticated note-taking and rating :) “-Cremant de Limoux Rosé Antech “Emotion” (Limoux, FR) *very good*”

I really, really like this one. Not too dry, not sweet and the bottle is pink-ish! That’s some kind of perfect at this price point!($14.99 – cheap!)

I highly recommend it :)

Now….back to watching the season finale of Merlin which is CRAZY!!!!!!!!!!!! Camelot CAN NOT fall!