It’s pop-a-bottle-of-bubbly season! Before you grab your old standby Champagne made by a large company, take a look at delicious and affordable grower options from Whiskey & Wine Off 69 — a new wine shop on the Upper East Side that we’ll be featuring in our upcoming drinks issue.
Beth von Benz, the shop’s wine curator, hosted an event that highlighted grower Champagnes. She explained that what makes these Champagnes so special is that in contrast to “large Champagne brands that purchase grapes from multiple sources and blend them to create a house style, these small, often family-run producers, grow their own grapes, and their wines have far superior flavor, nuance and character.”
There were four different grower Champagnes that von Benz shared at the event. Each one had a different character, but they all had the same thing in common: a small producer who grows their own grapes.
First up was Gonet-Médeville “Tradition” Brut NV. This Champagne is a combination of 70% chardonnay, 25% pinot noir and 5% pinot meunier. A husband and wife team created this Champagne, which contains notes of citrus.
The second taste was a pour of Pierre Moncuit Blanc de Blancs “Cuvée Moncuit-Delos” Reserve NV(2009). This Champagne is composed of 100% chardonnay grapes. This was a favorite with its mineral taste with a touch of lemon.
Our favorite was a glass of José Michel & Fils Brut NV. This grower Champagne is made of 100% pinot meunier. With its crisp clean taste and notes of citrus this is a great choice for a holiday party or New Year’s Eve celebration.
Lastly, we tasted a small production rosé, Thierry Triolet Brut Rosé NV. Von Benz explained that this Champagne is created by combining the chardonnay base with a 15% red wine blend of pinot noir and pinot meunier. She told us that the mixing of the wines is allowed and produces a lightly fruity rosé.
For more from Whiskey & Wine Off 69, you’ll have to check out our drinks issue that will hit stands in time for the new year.