New Member Monday: Choosing a Champagne

Happy New Year everyone!  I trust you’ve all recovered from your massive hangovers.  If not, then what the hell happaned!?  It’s a new calendar year at the HoP and our first crop of new members is a great way to start things up (especially nice when paired with the amazing post by Lo on Monday).

But first, I need to do a little bit of a public service.  Now, It’s a couple days late, but the information is still invaluable.

Anway, it may come that next year you are invited to a New Years Eve party and have been asked to bring a bottle of champagne.  Or even some other, lesser fancy party later in the year.  It will be very important that you don’t fuck this up.

How to Pick a Bottle of Champagne
his is not a complicated guide and will be skipping over much of the minutia of wine drinking and will probably curdle the blood of an aficionado. But them’s the breaks.

Now, wine is a tricky beast – with all the hard to pronounce varieties, the food pairing rules, the question of vintage, the wild differences in quality between regions & vintners and so on and so forth.

It’s all very important stuff… if you’re a hard core wine drinker.  You’re probably not. And if you are, then good on you – you’re the fanciest drunk there is and I’m jealous.  But we don’t need to hear about it. All you need to know is to follow these three rules:

1) Go to a good liquor store.  Or even a wine shop if you’ve got one handy.  Just make sure it’s a little upscale.  Once you’re there, go to the champagne section (this will be clearly marked in a good store). DO NOT go to a grocery store.

2) Buy actual champagne.  ALL champagne comes from a single region in France.  Otherwise, as Rob Lowe tells us, it’s just a sparking white wine.  If the bottle you are considering lists another white wine type (Pinot Grigio, for example) and/or was made outside of France, it IS NOT champagne no matter what the label says.

3) Spend more than $10.  Hell, you should probable spend more than $20 if we’re honest.  But so long as it’s French, the $10 rule is good enough.  If you’re prepared to spend even more, a good indication that the Champagne will be good is if the bottle comes in a fancy box (but is NOT boxed wine).

There you go.  Now you can avoid embarrassment and impress your friends next year.


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No essay this week as no one wrote one.  So we’ll let things stand with the champagne advice.

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