Wine Tasting 12/8

Posted in Hollywood Vine Events, Uncategorized by HVINE ADMIN on December 3, 2009

The Sparkling Wine Series : Part 1 of 2  

Champagne is a wine almost invariably associated with the good things in life; luxury, celebrations and fine cuisine. It’s not a coincidence, the Champagne region of France and specifically its capital, Reims is where French kings were crowned for hundreds of years. That is undoubtedly how Champagne came to be known as “the wine of kings.” However, it was not the monarchs that made this very prestigious region what it is today. In fact, it was two Benedictine monks, Dom Perignon and Dom Ruinart who ironically devoted their lives to removing the distinctive bubbles from Champagne that are credited with being its forefathers. Many consumers erroneously confuse the use of the term “Champagne” to refer to all sparkling wines, when it actually refers only to wines produced in this region of France. That is perhaps why Champagne is always associated with luxury, as there are very few wines from that region that retail below $30. However, there are many regions in the world producing high quality sparkling wines rivaling those produced in the place where it was perfected. This week we intend to show you that the sparkling wine category is perhaps the most underrated of them all and that price doesn’t have to mean you can only drink it on New Years or a special anniversary. That is why we are devoting 2 weeks of Tuesday tastings to this very special wine style. We’ll start with a playful blend from the Southern French town of Limoux, a village renowned for making budget friendly sparklers based on indigenous grapes. Ever had a wine from New Mexico? Believe it or not the Gruet family has Champagne ancestry and they make perhaps one of the best sparkling wines you’ve never heard of under $15. We’ll taste their basic Brut and Rose editions. Champagne Taittanger is one of the world’s best known Champagne houses. Like many of the larger producers of the famed region they also own counterparts in California where they are maintaining traditional methods and garnering exquisite results.  We’ll finish with one of the better values in Champagne today. Piper-Heidsieck’s iconic red label Brut is priced just right and delivers a consistently ripe, luscious style of bubbly year after year. Just in case you miss this one (more wine for us) we’ll be conducting the supplement next week. We hope to see you all there!     



Tuesday December 8th, 2009

6:00-9:00 pm

No charge for tastings


Toad Hollow “Amplexus” NV Limoux, France

Very aromatic, showing peach, hazelnut and butter notes in a crisp, light-bodied package. It’s more open and fruity, with less finesse than

Champagne, but intensity and length. Ideal aperitif.

BTG $6.50                            Retail $17.99


Gruet Brut NV New Mexico

Appealing for its bold tropical fruit, toasty, buttery aromas and full-bodied pear and spice flavors.

Wine Spectator 86 points

BTG $5.75                          Retail $14.99


Gruet Brut Rose NV New Mexico

…a lovely, bright floral bouquet with hints of strawberry, raspberry, and cherry. On the palate, it is rich and fruity in a dry, Brut style. The flavor of berries

continues on the palate, revealing more strawberry, raspberry, cherry.

BTG $5.75                          Retail $14.99


Domaine Carneros Brut 2005 Carneros, CA

Beautifully focused and refined, with Gala apple and raspberry aromas and flavors that are crisp yet layered, with creamy lemon and lime notes and a finish

that lingers with mineral and a hint of yeast. Wine Spectator 92 points

BTG $9.00                            Retail $24.99


Piper Heidsieck  Brut NV Champagne, France

A range of citrus, honey, pastry and ginger flavors mark this appealing Champagne, which is well-knit and smooth, with a fine mousse and a butterscotch finish.

Wine Spectator 90 points

BTG $10.75                          Retail $29.99