Hello wine lovers tonight we are in for a special treat, Champagne for Mothers Day will be served tonight from 5pm to 8pm Monday the 4th of May compliments of Pierre Jouet. Champagne is a region of France about 60 miles to the north of Paris. Cooler climate dominates this area in the winter months sending most vines into a deep dormant sleep. In the growing season temperatures are warm to moderate and are influenced by the cold north winds of the English Channel. Three major grape varietals are grown here to make sparkling wine called Champagne. Chardonnay Pinot Noir and Pinot Muneirre(pronounced Moon air). These three varietals make up the majority of grapes grown in Champagne. Because of the weather conditions not being very reliable Pinot Muniere is grown because of the easy ripening properties of this grape. It is like gambling with Pinot Noir and backing your bet up with Pinot munier to guarantee a ripe grape to ferment. Pinot Noir and chardonnay are slow to grow fussy to maintain and finicky to manage when harvesting. Many times ripening is uneven in the vineyard and young tannic grapes are tossed in with semi ripe or green fruit.
Using Chardonnay keeps a balance of acidity and structure in the wines produced in the area. Chardonnay provides a mouth feel in the wines with a roundness on the finished product. Due to the cool mornings, warm afternoons and cool evenings, it is a perfect place to grow all three varietals for this wine. The soils are a white reflective clay chalk that strangely enough can be found in the cliffs of Dover over 90 miles away in England. This is due to a known plate tectonic event that pulled the landmasses apart 100 million years ago creating the British Channel and the British Isles. This chalk soil plays an important role in the wines growing and ripening process. Reflective heat from this matrix gives the grapes longer heat exposure and slower ripening. Leaving the grapes higher in acidity and never allowing a heat spike to over ripen the grapes. This acidity is tasted in fine champagnes and has become a signature style of this region. Rain and irrigation are used to provide a source of nourishment to the vines. Champagne is unlike other growing regions of France. The soil looks like white clay in the vineyard hardly what most think is proper growing media. This is just the terrior that is needed to produce such high acidity wines and clean crisp Chardonnay and Pinot that will lay down fro many years to come. Drainage of this soil cannot be better for the wines the porous nature of the matrix is key to the finished product. Unfortunately I have not traveled to this area personally. I have made a list of places to see before I die and this is one of them. Tonight I will be serving some tempting foods to pair with the Champagne, strange as it may sound fried foods go very well with Champagne as does most seafood. Salty foods pair well because of the intense acidity associated with the wines. I am truly amazed that the wines produced are timeless in style and have such a rough time reaching proper sugar levels and do not always ripen evenly in this area of France. When the wine makers are finished with the final product magic happens when every bottle is served. Clean crisp flavor filled liquid flows into glasses around the world at celebrations. Diners toast the good fortune of many a friend with the world’s most difficult of wine to produce.
Cheers My friends see you tonight Mike The Wine Guy !