Every year, for New Year’s Eve, I have Champagne. At home, my parents had that mini champagne glass and as far as I remember, I have been drinking champagne. No wonder it is my favorite drink. That’s why I couldn’t miss the Pop-Up BubblyFest, the Festival series for Sparkling wine and Champagne, held at LA Mother, Carriage House in Hollywood. I had a chance to meet Holly, one of the girls that organize that BubblyFest and here is the story behind that amazing event. Holly was having some bubbles with friends when she realized there is no Champagne Festival out there and this is why she launched BubblyFest. What a great idea.
A little bit of history first. Champagne is coming from the Champagnes region in Northeast France. The legend says it was invented by a monk in the mid-17th century name Dom Perignon (that name should ring a bell to Champagne lovers). Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier represent 98% of all champagnes produced. The Montage de Reims is best known for Pinot Noir, La Vallee de la Marne for Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier and Cote de Blanc from Chardonnay. Wine is made through a simple fermentation process that converts sugar into alcohol. To obtain Champagne, there is a secondary Fermentation where bubbles of carbon dioxide begin to form. When this is complete, the Champagne bottle is gradually turned upside down until the yeast has collected on the crown capping of the bottle; they call that process “riddling”. After 18 months (the legal minimum time for non-vintage) or 3 years (the legal minimum time for vintage) or even 10 years sometimes, the bottle is “disgorged”, the cap removed, the yeast forced out, the wine is topped off with a small “dosage” of wine and sugar (the higher the sugar level, the sweeter the champagne will be) and the bottle is finally corked. In order of ascending sweetness, you find Extra Brut, Brut, Extra Dry, Dry, Demi-Sec and Doux. There are also several champagne colors; Blanc de Blancs (Chardonnay), Blanc de Noirs and Rose.
The Pop up BubblyFest La event was offering all those different types of Champagnes and Sparkling Wine at the Lovely LA Mother location. I was greatly surprised to see that many French Champagnes and they were amazing. The other champagnes and Sparkling Wines were from Napa, Italy, Spain and mostly from Russian River Valley in Sonoma.
Champagne always had that capacity to inspire cheer. Voveti Prosecco from North of Italy is a refreshing prosecco prefect for parties. As a matter of fact, they take over Summer Daze pool parties at the W Hotel Hollywood. Hagafen Brut Rose Champagne from Napa is very refreshing Rose Champagne. With a palate of lychee and strawberry, combined with creaminess, the Brut Rose is the perfect bubbly for the summer.
JCB is a French Sparkling wine from Boisset Collection. Jean- Charles Boisset wines don’t have names but number. All of the numbers have a meaning. 21 is the region number where the sparkling wine is coming from; in France, Bourgogne has the number 21. 69 is the creator’s birthday but also is a more sensual sparkling wine.
A few years ago, Tawnya Falkner took a leap and gave up her career as a designer/developer in San Francisco to move to Nuits St Georges in Burgundy, France to follow her passion for traveling, food and wine. The result is Le Grand Courtâge. Le Grand Courtâge is another French Sparkling Wine with a dry, crisp, yet fruity taste. It was a pleasure to meet her and go over her passion about wine and Champagne and her approach.
J Brut Rose and Cuve are from Russian River Valley in Sonoma. The J Brut Rose has notes of strawberries, Fuji Apples and Rose petals; it gives it that vibrant salmon color and that amazing taste e. They also offered us a memorable Champagne saber show. Rack & Riddle is another sparkling wine from Russian River Valley. Gruet Brut, Gruet Rose and Gruet Blanc de Blancs are from New Mexico Vineyards.
I also had the chance to taste some exclusive French Champagnes that we unfortunately can’t find in the US yet. M. Bonnamy Cremant de Loire and Domaine Barmes-Buecher Cremant D’Alsace were 2 amazing ones. Growing up in France, I had a chance to go to Alsace region and I had no idea they were making those mazing champagnes there. I cannot wait to go back now and meet that couple that makes amazing organic champagne.
It was great to taste all those different Champagnes and Sparkling Wines and learn about them. BubblyFest has an upcoming BubblyFest by the Sea Weekend event at Avila Beach on October 6st to October 8th. I cannot wait to taste for champagne; as Dorothy Parker said “There are three things I shall never attain: envy, content and sufficient Champagne”.