roederer.gifChampagne has been pigeonholed. This time of year it gets its 15 minutes of fame, only to be pushed aside for Chardonnay in February. It’s time to stop the madness. There is a reason we break out the bubbly when we want to feel fabulous, toast in a New Year or rev up the sexual energy on a romantic evening. Champagne is so full life...the effervescence, the tingle of every tastebud from the crisp acidity, the lingering finish...why save all that excitement for a few guest appearances throughout the year?

Unfortunately two common myths have kept Champagne in the special occasion category: “it’s too expensive” or “it’s not something you would pair with a meal.” Luckily for us both are false.

The Price Factor
If Cristal popping in the stretch Navigator is not in your budget, it doesn’t mean the party has to be over. Champagne and sparkling wine can be delicious and affordable if you know where to look.

(Wine note: The main differences between Champagne and sparkling wine are location and wine making technique. Champagne is a sparkling wine made in the Champagne region of France that has been made sparkling by a secondary fermentation in the bottle whereas sparkling wine can be created anywhere in the world and made sparkling by a few different techniques.)

Tip: When buying Champagne look for smaller artisanal wineries.
In addition to the more reasonable prices, these smaller wineries offer unparalleled quality. The love and attention that goes into each bottle is reflected in the end product - not in the price tag.

Tip: Don’t just stick to Champagne
The best values for sparkling wine come from areas outside of Champagne. Go for a Prosecco from Italy or a Cava from Spain. They are as good or better then some Champagnes we have had and often cost less then $15.

The Food Factor

Sparkling wine paired with seafood is a transcending experience. The combination of sparkling wine and take out from Haru can turn an ordinary Thursday night into a feast for all senses. Don’t be afraid to pair it with a light chicken dish (something with olive oil), the sparkling wine will take it to the next level - even if you’re a bad cook, after a few glasses of Champagne, everything taste good.

So this year when your making your New Year’s resolutions to be more punctual, quit smoking or stop biting your nails why not add one that you might enjoy...bring on the bubbly and live it up in '05!

“My only regret in life is that I did not drink more Champagne.”
- Keynes, John Maynard