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Entertaining Like a Pro

Part Three: The Bubbly

Whether you're throwing New Year’s Eve party or a party just because you can, a Champagne toast is always a welcome event. Don’t let the search for that perfect bubbly to fit both the occasion and your pocketbook spoil the celebration.

Here are some champagne tips from m National Wine Director Marian Jansen op de Haar of Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar.

Vive La France: Champagne is a dry white wine made from grapes grown only in the region of Champagne in France. Perrier Jouet, Grand Brut France NV is an excellent choice. Crisp and lively, it features lingering flavors of fresh apples and lemons making it a great companion to hors d'oeuvres. Another good choice is the extra dry Moet & Chandon White Star France NV, which has mellow well-developed flavors and just a hint of sweetness.

Make It Sparkle: Sparkling wine uses the same process, fermenting sugar in white wine, as Champagne. The only difference is that sparkling wine can be made anywhere from California to Russia while Champagne cannot. A superb sparkling wine to try is Gloria Ferrer, Blanc de Noirs Sonoma County NV. The rich, bright strawberry, raspberry, and black cherry aromas are enhanced by a lush palate, small, lively, bubbles, and a persistent finish.

Corral the Cork: Once a Champagne or sparkling wine has been selected, resist the urge to “pop” the cork as that releases too many bubbles too quickly resulting in a flat wine. While holding the bottle at a 45-degree angle and covering the cork with your thumb, loosen the wire cage and slowly twist the bottle. Slowly pour into a Champagne flute, and delight in the explosion of tiny bubbles.

If you’re feeling daring, raise a glass of more than just bubbly with this signature champagne cocktail recipe created by Oren Cohen of Nobu 57 in New York.

Agua Luca’s 07 Heaven

1.5 oz. Água Luca™
1.5 oz. Champagne
½ oz. Fresh lemon juice
½ oz. Honey
Sugar the rim of the flute. Melt honey gently in a shaker by immersing the shaker in hot water; add lemon juice and Água Luca™ and shake. Add half champagne to shaker and pour into flute; top off with remainder of champagne.

~A. Covington for Belisi Fashions


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