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Feb 29, 2008 01:19 PM

champagne tasting order

hello knowledgeable champagne internet people.
i've received great champagne advice from this board previously, and am back with another question.

we're having a "champagne night" tonight with some friends and i was wondering if there was any sort of order that would be better to taste them in. i know people usually say go light to dark for still wines, but does the same hold true for sparklers?

frankly, i tend to want to go expensive to cheap, just to make sure i'm getting everything out of the expensive ones. but i don't want to squash all of the blanc de blancs by starting with something really toasty.

any help, as always, is appreciated.


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  1. Well, how "cheap" is cheap? How "expensive" is expensive? Can you be specific with the wines you'll be tasting?

    Generally, it's still "light before full, dry before sweet," but there are specific exceptions to everything.

    1. ok, a bit more info.

      i think the cheapest thing tonight is a bottle of j laurens which i got for ten bucks. i think it's pretty tasty, but that's "cheap" for champagne in my book. my other cheap entry is a mumm napa "cuvee mumm" which i got for $14.

      nothing super expensive going on tonight. the hostess has a couple bottles of etoile sitting around, so i imagine some of that will be served. i'm bringing a bottle of iron horse russian cuvee and still debating on whether or not to bring something actually, you know, from champagne. if i do, it will likely be in the $30 range, and i will try to find something a little more full bodied to contrast all of the california bubbles...

      6 Replies
      1. re: bwan

        "frankly, i tend to want to go expensive to cheap"

        The grain goes always: from simple to more complex, light to heavy, one-dimensional to multi-layered, blah to wow. And if the only known parameter is price, definitely from cheap to expensive. Although don't say that to the guests.

        1. re: RicRios

          hmmm. don't you then run the risk of having imbibed a tad too much by the time you get to your good bottles, and thus not appreciating them enough?

          i guess the overall grain makes sense, just needs to be accompanied by moderation?

          1. re: bwan


            Ask me easy questions, the only ones I can answer...

            1. re: RicRios

              ha, fair enough! thanks for the advice. i will try to incorporate them into my strategy tonight. and yes, i take it too seriously.

            2. re: bwan

              It's a TASTING, right? Not a "let's-see-who-can-get-loaded-the-fastest," right?

              People shouldn't have "imbibed a tad too much." Pace yourself, and go back later to have more if you are so inclined.


              1. re: zin1953

                well, tasting/party. i expect a fair level of inebriation by the end.

                but pacing yourself is always good advice.

                just got back from the store, btw, and on their advice added a 99 castellanne brut millesime to the mix....