There’s always a good reason to open a bottle of sparkling wine. What better way to find the perfect bottle for your celebration than to taste a bunch of them, and discover ahead of time what you like and what goes with what? Then, when you suddenly realize that the graduation party you promised to bring bubbly to is tomorrow — no problem! You already know just what to get.
Tastings to Try
Wines only from the Champagne region of France. These can be even further narrowed to the following:
Only Grands Crus
Only Premiers (1er) Crus
Compare Grands Crus to Premiers Crus
Only vintage Champagne — choose a year and different makers, or compare years of the same maker
Only nonvintage Champagne — compare house styles
Compare vintage Champagne to nonvintage Champagne
Sparkling wine made in the Champagne method (methode champenoise), but in other regions of France, will be labeled as “Crémant de (region).” An interesting theme would be to compare the sparklers of the Loire or of Alsace with those of Champagne.
Every wine-producing country makes a sparkling wine. See how a Spanish Cava measures up to a traditionally made California or Australian bubbly. Explore the Charmat method, and compare a German Sekt to Italy’s Asti.