20060914

Get your best bubbly and more on sale until Oct 1: Lanson Black Label Brut

It's always nice when someone hears your complaints.

Yesterday I was eager to link to Wine Blogging Wednesday #25 - Champagne at Becks & Posh yet I regretted that I had decided not to fork over the money for a bottle of Champagne of my own.

I did however manage in my last post to talk in passing about the Lanson Black Label Brut I saved up for last year. We uncorked it on Easter. I had recently returned from Paris with some of the local delicacies including goose liver pâté, which I knew I wanted to serve on toasted brioche bread and then accompany it all with a choice sparkling wine. I ended up splurging on real Champagne. The pairing was fantastic -- everyone loved it -- and we eased our way into a glorious Easter Sunday dinner.

becks and posh blog wbw 25 champagne becksposhnosh.blogspot.comI think the pairing of foie gras and bubbly is among the very best because it is both a complement and a contrast. The texture created by the tiny soft boules harmonizes with the fluffy creaminess of the pâté while the flavour profiles of the two provide a nice zippy contrast. The yeasty brioche under the foie gras then proceeds to echo the toasty notes of the wine. It really is pairing perfection.

Almost nothing beats Champagne. History, legacy, elegance. And you never forget the occasion when you drink it. That's because it's a celebratory drink and rare ritual rolled into one, at least for me. Or anyone who lives in Quebec. Which brings me back to my complaint again...

The price of Champagne in Quebec is high. Too high. You can't get a bottle until you've handed over $45, minimum. Ouch. I'm already reading much more affordable prices in the reports of WBW 25 participants. I have to say I'm a bit jealous these folks can get a fine bottle for $25 and I can't.

Because beyond the grand ideas of ceremony and celebration in Champagne, there's some real interesting gustatory experiences going on that I'm quite keen on sampling. Champagne aficionados describe three main styles for these wines. The styles are usually are divided along the same lines that separate the grandes familles des vins de Champagne.

1 OF 3: WHICH CHAMPAGNE STYLE ARE YOU?

Michel Phaneuf writes that the first style of Champagne is complex and generous and these are embodied by the wines of Krug, Bollinger, Veuve Clicquot and Roederer.

Secondly, there are the fine, dense, heightened experiences of Champagnes made by Pol Roger, Charles Heidsieck, Bruno Paillard, Taittinger, Piper-Heidsieck, Salon and Ruinart.

Finally, the third grouping, and the only style I have ever tasted, is the light, floral and easy-drinking style of Champagne, typified by Pommery, Perrier Jouet, Mumm, Moët & Chandon, Lanson, Nicolas Feuillatte, Duval Leroy, Jacquesson, Laurent Perrier, and De Saint Gall.

Ah, if only I had the means to celebrate all the styles! Grumble, grumble. But wait. Today I find my complaints have been answered, if only in the form of a $5 rebate on Lanson's Black Label Champagne -- my go-to brand.

Yes, it's true. Inexplicably, SAQ, the state corporation that sells wines and spirits across Quebec, has come out just today with one of their grander campaigns, dubbed the Foire aux vin français, and it includes a sale on Lanson Champagne. What power and influence Weingolb must have! If that influential edge is still sharp, I won't stop now: here some other wines on sale now that you should buy. Go!

WHAT TO BUY AT THE FRENCH WINE SALE

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