Ever wonder why we celebrate with champagne? The answer dates back at least 1,500 years. And it involves a mix of history and location.
The most famous champagne celebration -New Year’s Eve – probably originated millennia ago as religious ceremonies, part of solstice rituals. And associating drink with religious observances has endured as a tradition since pagans made offerings to their gods with a special mead or wine. Over the ensuing centuries, as New Year’s Eve evolved from a religious festivity to a secular one, the concept of a drink fine enough for the gods became intertwined with champagne’s reputation as a celebratory extravagance. And that reputation is what champagne marketers continue to offer. The drink’s status has been maintained for centuries by intentional association with opulence.
But, enough of the history lesson, here is the fantastic hand picked champagne selection by Sommelier Mike Lang, perfect for celebrating any occasion!
Jacques Selosse Initiale
The “Initiale” from Selosse is a Blanc de Blancs made from a blend of 3 vintages from the fruit of the villages of Avize, Oger and Cramant. All of the Champagnes from the Jacques Selosses domaine are fermented and aged in wood casks (mostly old), left on the lees for extended aging and then bottled with minimal sulphur. This is a complex Champagne, considered idiosyncratic by some but heralded as the ultimate, rich style of Champagne by fans.
Billecart Salmon Brut Rose
The NV Brut Rose emerges from the glass with the essence of freshly cut flowers, berries and minerals in a mid-weight, gracious style. It shows gorgeous inner perfume, along with persistent notes of chalkiness that frame the long, sublime finish. Year in, year out, this estate’s NV Brut Rose is one of the most consistently outstanding wines in the region.
Larmandier-Bernier Blanc de Blanc (WBG)
This new cuvee known as Longitude replaces the wine previously referred to as Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut 1er Cru. The names references the fact that the vineyards form a line close to the 4th meridian. Longitude is also an allusion to the length and the very pure, frank and mineral style of these great terroirs, where the chalk is very close to the surface. An exuberant version, with a fine, creamy bead, this offers flavors of pineapple, mango puree, floral and poached apricot notes, backed by juicy, balancing acidity and hints of honey, candied ginger, spice and herbs.
Vilmart & Cie Grand Cellar
Truly a luxury Champagne. It is made from free-run juice only and is a barrel-fermented wine. Rich and luscious, with aromas of orange blossom, mint, herbs and spice, this wine has fullness and great depth of flavor. This is a favorite food wine for it’s rich and giving.