Happy holidays to you!  I trust it has been a wonderful season with family and friends…  This Christmas has gone down in my memory as the best one ever!

The completion of my sparkling wine category this month ends with the ohhh so incredible and delicious Bollinger champagne.  This is the real deal.  Made in the Champagne region of France – I understand why there is a premium price on these sparkling bottles of joy.

The history of champagne is astounding.  The romance around the ‘tiny bubbles’ is one of folklore.  Dom Pérignon did NOT, in fact, discover champagne.  It is a pure stroke of marketing genius that told the story of a lonely monk working hard on perfecting his sparkling wine.  It was, shockingly, the British that invented sparkling wine and worked hard to perfect the beautiful bubbles.  Dom Pérignon, a decade later, was trying desperately to stop the bubbles from appearing in his wine – he called it ‘the devil’s wine’.  This is just one tiny fact on the history of champagne – the subject of sparkling wine is fascinating and I could write many, many, many posts on my favourite beverage and I hope too!

My final review of 2012 is on the beautiful Bollinger Special Cuvée champagne.  It is a non-vintage champagne but is made only from the Grand and Premier Cru grapes which equals phenomenal.   This champagne is made up of 60% Pinot Noir, 25% Chardonnay and 15% Pinot Meunier – the primary grape varietals that are allowed in Champagne. (Legally, there is a total of 7 grape varietals allowed.)  I picked up this beauty at Everything Wine in North Vancouver, with some great advice and assistance from Chris in the Vintage Room.  It is also available at the BC Liquor Stores and retails for $74.99 a bottle.  Yes, this is a steep price to pay for a bottle of bubbles, however, once a year – treat yourself! (This Special Cuvée can also be aged for more than 8 years in the cellar).  You will not be disappointed – I promise you!

The lovely bottle with my new, beautifully designed business card!
Thank you David and Tanya Van!

Bollinger champagne is a clear, pale lemon colour with small and continuous bubbles.  It has a pronounced intensity on the nose and smelled of red apple, lemon and lime zest, green grapes and a delicious autolytic note of biscuit and toast.  On the palate, this beauty was dry with high acid and medium body.  Again I tasted green grapes, apples, a bit of stone fruit (nectarine) and this time the autolytic note was more like pastry in the mouth.  It had a gloriously long finish that kept my mouth and tongue discovering this champagne’s complexities and balance.

I have gone along with a rock and roll metaphor for my sparkling wine category – Bollinger’s Special Cuvée is without a doubt the amazing lead singer of the band who just radiates sheer charisma and confidence while strutting across the stage. The late Freddie Mercury of Queen comes to mind – an absolute one of a kind performer who will never be replaced or forgotten.  Bollinger’s champagne is exceptional, just like Freddie, and is a glass of sparkling wine that you will never forget.  This is my most emphatic ‘Hell Yes!’  If you can do it, go out and treat yourself to a bottle of Bollinger’s for New Year’s Eve!

Never before have I been so incredibly moved by a glass of sparkles.  There is a reason that Bollinger is  James Bond’s champagne of choice. There is a reason that for almost 200 years, this champagne house is celebrated, respected and admired throughout the world.

On that note, may I wish you a beautiful 2013.  My wish it that your everyday moments are spectacular in their simplicity.