Its almost New Years, so break out the bubbly! And who better to do it with than our good friends from Henriot, Jeff and Nikki Nelson. Together we discuss different styles of champagne, what the consumer should be looking for when buying a champagne, food pairings, top deals in the market and where to purchase.
We also thought it would be a good time to talk about closures! This is an important subject and one that we cover in detail. Everything from all the different kinds of closures, what makes them good or bad, and where they come from gets covered.
Hopefully this episode will help you when choosing a champagne and demystify how closures like cork, effect the wine we drink.
Jeff Nelson, has long been known as an expert on Champagne as he has worked for Veuve Cliquot, Laurent Perrier and now as Southern California Manager for Henriot, a leading impoter of fine European wines including Henriot Champagne, Bouchard Pere & Fils & William Fevre from Burgundy, Luis Canas from Spain and many others. He is joined by his new bride, Nikki who runs a start up here in California called Liquid Farm, she also owns a brokerage called Band of Vines which manages wineries like Demetria out of Santa Ynez and Beauregard out of Santa Cruz.
03:19 Tell us about Liquid Farm.
04:24 Tell us about the Burgundian qualities and Chablis style and why thats important.
08:05 What is your case production?
09:35 Growing in Santa Rita Hills: diatomaceous earth.
11:45 Where can we buy Liquid Farm?
13:10 A number of different ways to make champagne.
14:30 What is so special about Henriot and their process?
17:57 Color, age, and structure.
20:10 The riddling process.
23:40 What is the difference between vintage and non vintage?
28:00 Does every champagne house do a vintage every year? Are only the grapes from that year included in that vintage? Percentages of the grapes used in a vintage.
29:45 What are some of the best vintages over the last 30 years?
33:30 Different types of champagne.
36:30 Paring Champagne with food?
37:40 What are some of the bottles that we can buy that you would recommend?
39:17 Levels of sugar: Brut, etc.
41:35 Closures: managing the O2 and cork taint.
45:45 What is diam?
47:00 Are screw caps recyclable?
48:15 Cork harvesting and processing video.
54:00 Where else besides Portugal do they grow/harvest cork?
54:30 All the different closure alternatives.
56:16 Why is cork such a great closure for wine?
57:10 How accepting are people of different closures?
1:02:26 Lessons of the day and Wrap Up.