By Abby Cifarelli
This past year was reminiscent of an unopened champagne bottle. Heightened pressure and stuck inside – ready to pop! As we say so long to life indoors and return to a bustling event calendar, we move from the comfort of cozy loungewear back to a life in-style. The summer ahead has undeniable parallels to scenes from a great American classic, “The Great Gatsby”. Long Island, summer of 1922 can easily be mistaken for Rye, N.Y., summer of 2021. “The Great Gatsby” was set among prosperity, lavish parties, and iconic fashion, often accompanied by an overflowing coupe of Champagne. Jay Gatsby’s choice of Champagne was Moët; our two selections promise just as much excitement.
The most iconic sparkling wine in the world takes us to the famous Champagne region of France. Champagne is almost always a blend of Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, and Chardonnay. Although all Champagne is made from a blend of the three same grapes, not all Champagne should be treated equally. Styles can range from flavor profile to type of bubbles; Champagne making is a beautiful craft that takes patience and time and, when done right, offers a truly magical experience in your glass.
So, reach for a flute, coupe, or white wine glass and prepare to be dazzled.
Pour a glass of Paul Laurent Champagne Brut NV and you’ll notice fine and regular bubbles rise to the top. As you take your first sips, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by flavors of green apple and fresh baked bread. The palate is dry with rich texture and complexity. The finish is long with a bold, seductive acidity that makes you return for more. The Paul Laurent Brut is a staple bubbly at all my tastings; it’s high-quality but affordable, making it the perfect Champagne to kick off an evening.
Just as Champagne can vary in style and flavor, it can also vary in color. The second bubbly of the month is a beautiful light salmon pink. Pour yourself a glass of Billecart-Salmon Brut Rosé Champagne NV, and graceful effervescence and persistent fine bubbles rise slowly in the glass. Expressive aromas of strawberries, raspberries, and orange peel are present. As you take your first sips, the light and fine bubbles will bounce playfully around your mouth. Flavors of red berries, citrus, and yeast show on a long and flavorful finish. The palate is light, dry, and balanced with a tangy acidity to round it out. The Billecart-Salmon Brut Rosé is the perfect selection for every special occasion.
Champagne can always be drunk on its own, but if there is a charcuterie board nearby make sure to reach for the brie. Champagne also pairs seamlessly with summer’s delights — oysters, grilled salmon, sushi, lobster, seasonal salads, and fresh berry desserts.
Enjoy your summer in style with delicious Champagne and good company. Cheers!