Sparkling Wine Tasting 2001

We've run Champagne tastings for 4 years running now, and this was the biggest one yet. Not only did we try 8 different Champagnes and sparkling wines, but we tried them with a variety of cheese, food, and dessert combinations. Learn what we discovered!

We began the tasting by comparing the Champagnes and Sparkling Wines to each other without any cheese or food, to get a general feel for the flavors. We all used tall, thin flutes, and we had several Riedel styles to see how they compared. We definitely found that the same Champagne tasted better in a Riedel flute vs a regular flute. We didn't try to score the sparklers this year, but instead took notes on the flavors and styles, and our favorites.

First - the Sparkling Wines (from California & Australia)

Le Domaine non vintage, $5

This is a Californian drink that's not made with traditional methode champenoise. Instead, it goes through secondary fermentation before being bottled. This was talked about in our wine forums as being a favorite at weddings, and we were curious. It was sugary and tart, with a slight taste of apples. Unfortunately, none of us really liked it at all, and it only seemed to taste worse as we then tried other wines in the tasting. If you're considering this for your wedding because of the price - please don't! Whole groups of people probably dislike "Champagne" because they think it tastes like these drinks they are served at weddings.

Greg Norman non vintage, $20

This is a Chardonnay (57%) - Pinot Noir (43%) sparkler from Australia, and was one of our favorites. It had a smooth, melon flavor and nice finish.

Mumm Cuvee Napa non vintage Brut Prestige, $19

Mumm is a winery in France that has set up shop in California as well. This one was crisp, almost acidic, with sharp pear and apple flavors in it.

Mumm Cuvee Napa non vintage Blanc de Noir, $20

We got this Mumm to compare - where the other is a traditional blend of grapes, this one is made solely with Pinot Noir grapes. That gives it its slight rose color. Blanc de Noirs tend to be more fruity and berry flavored, and this was no exception.

Part 2 - French Champagne
Part 3 - Champagne with Food

The Basics of Champagne
Methode Champenoise - How Champagne is Made

Champagne Pairings and Reviews


Champagne History and Information

All content on the WineIntro website is personally written by author and wine enthusiast Lisa Shea. WineIntro explores the delicious variety and beautiful history which makes up our world of wine! Lisa loves supporting local wineries and encouraging people to drink whatever they like. We all have different taste buds, and that makes our world wonderful. Always drink responsibly.