CHAMPAGNE & SPARKLING WINES FOR THE SEASON

(Guest column by Aishwarya Nair Matthew, Head Corporate Food & Wine Merchandising for The Leela Palaces, Hotels & Resorts)

Notably different from its parent, Champagne, in style – sparkling wines are the new world, less expensive and alternative options to the effervescent drink. Although, if your budget permits I would recommend you to indulge a bit and spend on a good quality Champagne. 

Sparkling wine, with its indigenous names such as Prosseco from Italy, Cava from Spain & Espumante from Portugal, and Sekt from Germany, is a perfect option to pair with food  and also brightens ones evening. With a recent surge of young, refreshing, approachable and reasonably priced wines in the Indian market, it is no wonder that people opt for sparkling wines as their wine of choice. 

“Too much of anything is bad, but too much Champagne is just right.” is said to have been famously documented by American novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald. Champagne the queen of wines is synonymous to celebration and romance, therefore fitting the season of festivities. The number one rule of Champagne is that only wine made from the region can be referred to as Champagne. This means that it is against the law for any sparkling wine to use the title of Champagne. 

The importance of Champagne being grown in a particular region in France, is largely due to the terrior which is a unique blend of natural factors that are associated with the climate at the vineyard. In the case of Champagne, this accounts for the cold climate of the northern  region of France accented by its lime rich chalk soil. These two influences help in building the acidity in the wine that results in its crisp freshness on the palate.

A little know fact of Champagne is that it is made out of 3 grape varietals & two of which are red, Pinot Noir & Pinot Meunier & last one, the white varietal is the classic Chardonnay.  The most enticing part of Champagne or sparkling wine is its natural ability to pair with various foods, including spice. This versatility on the palate makes it the preferred aperitif for most, as well as an appropriate choice to celebrate any joyous occasion.

Wines to seek this festive season :

– Billecart Salmon Brut Rose Champagne (MRP ₹ 16,957 in Mumbai)

– Louis Roderer Cristal Champagne (MRP ₹ 31,000)

– Drappier Carte d’or, Brut Champagne (Approx. MRP ₹ 6000)

– Gramona La Cuvee Gran Reserve Cava. (MRP ₹ 4,471)

– Piccini Prosecco Extra dry (Approx. MRP ₹ 3,000)

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