Champagne (for wedding) Question
Hello! I am getting married in two weeks and I need some help selecting champagne for the honeymoon. We are not going to be able to actually take a trip due to my job, but we are staying in a nice hotel for two days. I want to buy several bottles of champagne to drink during this time. HOWEVER I would like to be able to buy this same champagne on our future anniversaries and such.
So this is my question: what kind of champagne will most likely be produced for a long time in the future?
I know different years produce slightly different tastes but I'm looking for something that we will be able to buy in the store in 10 years and be reminded of our wedding. As far as taste I'd prefer it be on the sweeter side but longevity of production is much more important. THANKS!
Not Champagne, but sparkling...Roederer.
A standard fave of mine. Tastes the same to me now as it did 10 years ago. Delicious.
You don't mention a price range, or vintage vs non-vintage. If you want to go for a high-end big Champagne house, I love Bollinger (founded 1829) La Grand Annee (coincidently, so does James Bond!). 1999 vintage is out now, 2004 should be available soon. Depending on the source, $80-120/bottle. Expensive, but it's definitely a special wine for special occasions like anniversaries. You could even buy some now and it will keep in a wine fridge for many anniversaries to come (theoretically it could live for 20+ years). Their non-vintage Special Cuvee runs $50-60.
Bollinger tends to be quite "toasty". Although not sweet, all brut champagnes will have fruit flavors that will seem a bit sweet.
How about 1 bottle of the good stuff and then a few more of a nice domestic sparkling wine? Argyle, Gloria Ferrer, Domaine Carneros, Mumm Napa, Scharffenberger/Pacific Echo, Schramsberg, Roederer Estate and Iron Horse all make nice ones for $20-30. I particularly like Argyle (from Oregon), although it's a bit harder to find.
"I drink it when I’m happy and when I’m sad. Sometimes I drink it when I’m alone. When I have company I consider it obligatory. I trifle with it if I’m not hungry and drink it when I am. Otherwise, I never touch it – unless I’m thirsty.” ~~ Lilly Bollinger
I'd also add Veuve Cliquote Yellow Label (has always looked orange to me). Along with Zin1953's recs. the lineage goes back to before even I can remember. Each of these reflects a "house sytle," so one is not really likely to detect a big difference at 10-year increments.
Each is slightly different, and each probably has a touch of RS (Residual Sugar) in their blend.
The various price points shoud be within about US$8/btl. of each other, depending on your supplier.
Enjoy and congratulations,
PS going back 38 years ago, my young wife and I were in the same boat. We got married over Mardi Gras, as she had no vacation yet, so we chose an upcoming long weekend in New Orleans. Now, next year, we did a month in Mexico, so all was not lost.
Ruinart Brut Rose; $70-90/bottle (NV)
Phenomenal (we just purchased a few bottles to celebrate the purchase of our first home). There are hints of apple, peach, and cherry, but it's by no means sweet; the finish is perfectly dry with no aftertaste (similar to the effect of eating a slightly under-ripe strawberry). This one is not the easiest to find. Ask your local wine shop if they can order it; our shop in Brooklyn couldn't, here in Princeton it was not a problem (arrived in 7 days), there was only one shop in Chicago which always had it.
History (from http://www.riwine.com/specialoffers/r...):
"This, the oldest Champagne House, was founded in 1729 by Nicolas Ruinart, a linen merchant and nephew of Dom Thierry Ruinart, a well known wine-maker and colleague of Dom Perignon.
The firm prospered through the turbulent Napoleon’s era, though the family’s royalist sympathies were made clear when Irenee Ruinart, as Major of Reims and depute for the Mrne, welcomed Charles X to his coronation in Reims Cathedral in 1825. Irene’s son, Edmond Ruinart, was an early prospector of the US market. He was received in 1832 by President Jackson, to whom he presented a case of Ruinart champagne.
Nearly 39 years later his heir, Edgar, was traveling to Russia where he had an audience with the Tsar.
Thanks to adventures men like the Ruinart, the total exports of Champagne quadrupled between 1850 and 1899.
During the first World War the firm’s premises in Reims were all but destroyed. Undaunted, Andre Ruinart, then head of the firm, set up an office in one off his Roman chalk cellars and, when this was badly flooded, installed his working desk on a raft, so that business could carry on as usual. The house remained a family affair until it was bought by Moet & Chandon in 1963."
You may also want to look into mead; although it's lost a lot of its cachet, it was one of the traditional honeymoon beverages.
My husband prefers slightly sweeter sparkling wines and champagnes than I do, but loved Ruinart (his first try ~10 days ago).
I've found that Brut pairs better with more foods, and the roses have a touch of fruit without necessarily being sweet. That said, different vineyards produce wildly different sweetness levels (ie Gloria Ferrer's Brut is sweet but crisp to my palate).
The cava served at our wedding was Juve Y Camps Brut Rose. It's far sweeter than Ruinart, but paired well with both the Californian and Southern menus.
Of course, neither Gloria Ferrer nor any cava is Champagne.
The sweetness of "Brut" varies in Champagne, and even more in sparkling wines from outside Champagne. Demi-sec has more residual sugar than Brut, so you might prefer that for a sweeter taste.
As Bill H. touched on above, in Champagne, the differing houses release a variety of different cuvees. Vintage Champagne will vary according to the characteristics of the vintage, but each house's non-vintage (NV) cuvee is blended specifically to achieve a consistent house style. The goal is that the NV bottling tastes the same every year, and they are very good at making that happen. So if a consistency of taste is important, you might consider NV.
As far as having the wine be available in the future, if you stick to big brands as others have noted, this won't be a problem. It's unlikely to be a problem with most of the smaller ones either.
Is there a winebar in your area (or a restaurant/bar that has champagne flights)?
It may make more sense to taste a variety before making a potentially expensive gaffe. I understand that there isn't much time, but you can take someone's word (or review)--which may be 100% correct--but which may not be pleasing or agreeable to you or your fiance(e).
I once had a case of Pommery 'Louise' vintage 1988 and forgot that I had 2 bottles left some 10 years later. Surprisingly, it was fab.