Holiday Toasting!

by Cynthia Sin-Yi Cheng
December 21, 2005


Favorite Champagne of the year

  • 1999 Perrier Jouët Fleur de Champagne Blanc de Blancs ($220)

Ten Champagnes to toast to 2006

  • Leclerc Briant Cuvée Extra Brut ($24)
  • André Clouet Grand Réserve Brut NV ($29)
  • Pierre Gimonnet Cuis 1er Cru Blanc de Blancs Brut ($35)
  • Jacquesson Cuvée No. 729 ($36)
  • Laurent-Perrier Ultra Brut ($40)
  • Guy Larmandier Brut Premier Cru ($40)
  • Vilmart & Cie Grand Cellier 1er Cru Brut MV ($42)
  • Mumm de Cramant ($55)
  • Billecart-Salmon Rosé ($65)
  • Krug 1990 ($180)

Here are a few “Best Buys” and “Best Splurges” from some serious bubbly enthusiasts:

Vice President, Sherry-Lehmann, New York, NY

Best Buys

  • Henriot Souverain Brut NV ($35)
  • Egly-Ouriet Brut Tradition Grand Cru NV ($40)

Best Splurges

  • 1995 Krug Clos du Mesnil ($750)
  • 1996 Louis Roederer Cristal Rosé ($330)

Wine Director, Aqua, San Francisco, CA

Best Buys

  • 1998 Duval-Leroy Blanc de Blancs ($40)
  • Henriot Rosé ($40)

Best Splurges

  • 1997 Laurent-Perrier Grand Siècle Alexandra Rosé ($109)
  • 1990 Bruno Paillard N.P.U. ($180)

Associate  Editor/Tasting Director, Wine & Spirits Magazine, New York, NY

Best Buy

  • Agrapart Brut Blanc de Blancs ($30)
  • Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve ($35)

Best Splurge

  • 1998 Vilmart & Cie Coeur de Cuvée ($98)
  • 1992 Philipponnat Clos des Goisses ($125)

On December 1st, Sasha Davies, the affineur of Murray’s Cheese and I taught a class together on sparkling wine and cheese pairing. Here is Sasha’s favorite pairing from the class:

Tomme Crayeuse and 1998 Perrier Jouët Fleur de Champagne

The richness of this cheese melds beautifully with the delicate effervescence of this sparkling. The wine brings out the modest salty notes in the cheese and if you’re truly paying attention you might even get some caramel notes right before the finish.

My favorite pairing was:

Tomme Crayeuse and Laurent-Perrier Ultra Brut

The purity of this wine with no dosage (sugar) added complemented the deliciously salty and buttery texture of this raw cow’s milk cheese. Perfecto!

Happy Holidays everyone!

                                            — Cynthia Sin-Yi Cheng

Note: The prices listed are for reference only and may vary depending on the vendor.

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