Thursday, December 29, 2011
WHEN IT'S TIME TO CELEBRATE, champagne is the traditional drink
for all kinds of joyous occasions, and it's especially perfect for
the holiday season.
Champagne-that is, real Champagne-is produced only in the
Champagne region of France, and it's pretty much universally hailed
as the greatest sparkling wine in the world.
Purists agree that so called "champagne" produced elsewhere is
nothing more than sparkling wine. For example, spumante and
Prosecco come from Italy, and cava from Spain. But in the United
States, some vineyards still label their domestic sparkling wines
Champagnes are usually a blend of grapes, typically Pinot Noir and
Chardonnay, often with a touch of Pinot Meunier as well. They range
from dry (brut) to mildly sweet (demi-sec) to very sweet
Champagne, unlike any other wine, is marketed, promoted, and sold
as a luxury product, the viniferous equivalent of a Mercedes, and
the companies that make these super bubbles spend a great deal of
time and money fluffing the expensive image.
So the idea of "cheap" champagne is considered sacrosanct to many
high-brow consumers but the thing is … there is an awful lot of
good, or at least drinkable, fizz coming from places other than the
Champagne region of France these days, and it's getting better all
Bang For the
Cristalino Brut Cava, Spain $10
Mumm Cuvee Napa $18
Gruet, New Mexico $15
Mionetto Prosecco Brut, Italy ($13)
Here are some delicious New Year's drinks using champagne, the
classic Chambord cocktail is a festive and tasty drink and we have
a twist on the classic Mimosa.
Chambord® raspberry liqueur
 Pour the champagne into a champagne flute. Add a healthy
splash of Chambord raspberry liqueur, drop in a raspberry and
Orange Liqueur (Grand Marnier or Triple Sec)
1/2 cup fresh raspberries
 Put 1-2 cubes of raspberry ice in a large wine glass (see
below). Slowly fill about 3/5 of the wine glass with chilled
 Add chilled orange juice but leave a little room from the top
of the glass.
 Add 2 tablespoons of orange liqueur and very gently stir.
Garnish with a sliced orange and Enjoy!
 Crumble fresh or thawed raspberries into the compartments of
an ice cube tray. Fill the tray with water and freeze. Add one or
two raspberry ice cubes to your Mimosa as described above.