Story by Jordan Lacenski
Written while sipping Campo Viejo Brut Reserva
Bubbles aren’t just for brunch and they don’t have to break the bank. You may typically think of bubbly for New Years Eve or a special event, but think again. Summer is about gathering with friends, celebrating life, and enjoying the crystal clear blue water that surrounds us. Under the warm Florida sun, sparkling is not only crisp and refreshing, but the perfect treat to beat the heat.
Living on the Gulf provides us with a luxurious array of fresh seafood. For your next summer cookout, bring on the bubbly and consider pairing it with grilled fish, fresh oysters, or scallops. If you prefer to drizzle a cream or butter sauce over your grilled grouper, the carbonation and acidity of champagne will cut through the cream and elevate the flavors of your seafood dish.
Which type of bubbly floats your boat? There is a difference between sparkling wine and Champagne despite the fact that they share the same exciting pop, clink, and fizz. Similar to the all Bourbon being whiskey, but not all whiskey being bourbon, all Champagne is sparkling wine, but not all sparkling wine is Champagne. If the juice isn’t bottled within 100 miles of the Champagne region in France, it cannot legally be labeled: Champagne.
There is a variety of regional influence, flavor, and feel inside each bottle of bubbles. Champagne, named after the region where it is grown, fermented, and bottled, can only be made a variety of the following grapes: Pinot Noir (which is the most widely used believe it or not), Pinot Meunier, Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Petit Meslier, and Arbane grapes.
Give Prosecco a second glance. If you prefer a fruity aroma, this Italian sparkling is perfect for you. Cava could be Champagne’s Spanish cousin. Made from Macabeu grapes, it is said to have a similar flavor to Champagnes. What about French sparkling wines that come from outside the Champagne region? These can be sweet, dry, or rosé, while American sparkling wines come in endless flavors and typically use blend of traditional Champagne grapes.
Cheers. Prost. Sláinte. Salute. Salud.
Summer Bubbly Suggestions Under $25:
JCB No. 69 ($21), named for the year the creator, Jean-Charles Boisset was born. This is a brut rosé is based exclusively on Pinot Noir. JCB N0. 69 commemorates the expression of freedom, creativity, artistry, intellectual revolution, and refinement. Who cannot get behind that?
NV Campo Viejo Cava Brut Reserva ($13), whose creator is much better known for Riojas, provides green apple flavors and a dry finish.
Domaine Chandon Brut California Classic ($22), is lively and crisp and was rated 89 points.