Education

Sparkling wine instills a life of celebration to any moment, and having a broad selection of delicious bubbles on-hand will ensure you are always prepared to turn the ordinary into the extraordinary.

How Sparkling Wines Age

Not only do our wines taste superb upon release, they are also made to last for 30+ years within the cellar, gracefully aging through the decades.

Knowing when to open that bottle is more a factor of the style of sparkling wine that is desired at the time – which depends on the food that the wine is being paired with and the stylistic preference of those who are going to be enjoying it.

Sparkling wines have two main factors that assist in the aging of the wine within the bottle:

  1. The acid level of sparkling wine if very high, providing a very stable environment for the wine to age.
  2. Unlike still wines, sparkling wine is surrounded by CO2 bubbles, greatly reducing the process of oxidation within the wine.

With these two factors, we find that our sparkling wines retain their fresh, fruity, zippy profile much longer than still wines.

As the wines do age, you will find that the brighter fruity flavors will slowly convert into more rich, caramelized ones. For example, the red berry and strawberry flavors within our Blanc de Noirs will shift to more complex flavors of stone fruits, such as peaches and nectarines. In the Blanc de Blancs, the crisp green apple flavors will slowly transform into a baked apple pie.

When considering what bottle of bubbly to open, think about what that wine is going to be paired with, and that will give you a better idea of which vintage to open.

Fresh seafood, ceviche and oysters on the half-shell will pair perfectly with a young Blanc de Blancs. The crisp acidity of the wine and fresh fruit profile will cleanse the palate between each bite.

Richer foods such as caviar, mushroom tarts, veal or rabbit lend themselves to the older vintages, which provide a bit more structure on the palate to hold up against the more complex dishes.

Knowing how the wines will evolve over time provides a foundation to then choose the right wine to serve at the best situation.

We suggest that people do their own experimentation, trying two or more of the same wines from various vintages, to see how the wines differ from each other. It is through this firsthand experience that one can truly begin to understand the wonderful journey that our wines take as they rest within the cellar.

The Dos and Don'ts of Sparkling Wine

Sparkling wine can trigger heated debates where passions run high. At the end of the day, we respect individual choices when it comes to our wines, but for those looking for a little guidance, we have put together a list of recommendations to help you enjoy the sparkling wine experience.

Do:

  • Serve sparkling wines during the holidays – it pleases everyone!
  • The best and quickest way to chill a bottle of sparkling wine is to put it in water and ice for 20 minutes.
  • Bring a special bottle of sparkling wine on a date for instant romance.
  • Use a sparkling wine stopper to keep an unfinished bottle of sparkling wine in the refrigerator.
  • To open a bottle, hold it at a 45 degree angle, and turn the bottle, not he cork.
  • Use sparkling flutes (tall narrow clear glasses) instead of saucer shaped glasses.
  • Clean flutes with hot water and if possible with no detergent.
  • Before using, buff the inside of the flute with an unscented clean cloth to make the wine more effervescent.
  • Hold your flute by the stem, it’s more graceful and won’t warm the wine or leave fingerprints.
  • Serve sparkling wines with all courses of meals; they are refreshing, and versatile because of their bright acidity.
  • Age your sparkling wine. Good sparkling wines can age for 20+ years, acquiring more creaminess and complexity.
  • Balance your cellar; most cellars have far too much red wine and not enough sparkling, dessert and white wines.
  • Use large format bottles: magnums, 3L and 9L. They’re so festive!
  • Cellar vintage sparkling wines from your wedding year of the children’s birth years; they are perfect for celebrating anniversaries.

Don’t:

  • Think of sparkling wine as a special occasion beverage; it can be enjoyed as often as wine.
  • Store your wine in direct light or in hot or scented locations.
  • Store your wine in a freezer to chill it (use ice water instead)
  • Point a bottle of sparkling wine at people when opening it.
  • Use dusty or wet glasses or pre-chill your glasses.
  • Store your sparkling wine in the refrigerator for extended periods of time.
  • Use a spoon to keep the bubbles from escaping from the bottle once it is open – it does not work.
  • Serve a Brut style wine with a cake or sweet dessert. Your wine should be sweeter than the dessert itself.
  • Decant a sparkling wine.