I'm often asked what is my favorite wine. And when pressed
say a Red Burgundy from a
Grand Cru vineyard, except in December when my thoughts and heart go directly to
Champagne and Sparkling wines... and then to Burgundy. Okay, I'm a wine snob and at least
I admit it. This is the time of year when many people break out their best wines to share with
family and friends.
Holiday celebrations and parties, personal or business,
wine is my gift of choice when going
to a friend's house for dinner or a party. I try to bring something that both my hosts and I will
enjoy. If I don't know the hosts or what's being served for the meal, my default choice is
sparkling. This time of year, many wine shops bring in more choices then usually stocked and
with some great deals, too. While there is some debate, it is generally conceded that the first
intentionally made sparkling wine came from Limoux in the Languedoc regions in Southeast
France around 1530 CE. Dom Perignon didn't “discover” Champagne until many years later
and that was by accident. Since then, winemakers from all over the world are producing
excellent bubbles for our enjoyment. Even England is now producing some delicious sparkling
No matter your price comfort zone, there are seemingly
unlimited choices. From the very best
like Krug Clos du Mesnil in Champagne at $700 a bottle, to under $15 for a wonderful
sparkling wine from Domaine J Laurens in Limoux. There's a wine for just about everyone.
My featured wine shop this month, The Wine House on Cotner
Ave. in West Los Angeles
(winehouse.com), has one of the largest selections anywhere of Champagne and Sparkling
winesfrom all over the world. The Knight family has owned the store for over 35 years. As you
can see from the photos, this is a large, warehouse-like store with an incredibly deep
selection of wine, beers, and spirits. You can find just about anything there and, if you need
some assistance, their staff is extremely knowledgable and helpful. Prices are very
reasonable and they're open every day. This is truly a one stop wine store.
Jim Knight, along with his brother Glenn, do most of
the buying for the store. This year, Jim
highly recommends a Champagne, 2009 Ruelle-Pertois Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs (all
Chardonnay) for an unbelievable $39.99 and a non vintage Bernard Gaucher Brut
Champagne for only $29.95. Another great choice is a non vintage, Champagne Colin, 1er
Cru Blanc de Blancs, for only $35.99. Go check them out, you'll love the place!
I wish for you and yours a very happy and joyous holiday
season and that you enjoy
celebrating with great friends, good food, and delicious wines.