Apr 07 2009
By Brett Ashley McKenzie
Everyone knows someone who refuses to drink any sparkling wine other than authentic Champagne. They wrinkle their nose at the suggestion of Prosecco, raise an eyebrow at the mention of Cava, and wouldn’t be caught dead with a sparkling Californian Chard in their Mimosa.
You’ve always wondered, “If I slid him or her a glass of bubbly from Australia or Languedoc, and swore up and down it was Champagne, could they really tell the difference?”
Maybe… but probably not.
The Comité Interprofessionel du Vin de Champagne (CIVC), which is responsible for branding and protecting Champagne (and preventing the rest of the world from borrowing the term), has established an identity for its product that is universally associated with luxury, prestige, and excellence. However, contrary to popular belief, Champagne was not the origin for sparkling wine, nor can it claim to be the sole proprietor of truly exceptional bubbly.
Spanish Cava is made through the very same méthode champenoise (Champagne method) as its French counterpart. French winemakers in Languedoc swear up and down that they were making sparkling wine in a monastery decades before Dom Perignon thought to, and Italian Prosecco is believed to have been enjoyed during the times of the Roman Empire.
Just Grapes wants to put you–and your “Champagne-only” friend–to the test. On Thursday night, (from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.) we’ll be featuring our class “Clash of the Titans: Champagne vs. the World,” where six sparkling contenders will challenge Champagne’s perceived world domination.
We still have a few seats left, so don’t miss out. This is your opportunity to have your questions about sparkling wines answered while sampling Just Grapes’ finest offerings. Why the funny cork? Where do the bubbles come from? Which is best enjoyed on its own and which is best in a Bellini? Register here.