Champagne is the most versatile wine in the world.
I've enjoyed it in tuxedos and pyjamas, on planes and in picnics, after dinner and before breakfast. And whether it's the occasion of a yacht christening, tailgating or idle Tuesday, champagne is always welcome.
With over 16,000 growers and 320 champagne houses spanning the French alphabet from A.R. Lenoble to Vranken-Lafitte, where to begin? There's no one right answer, but I can tell you for certain one house not to miss: Champagne Charles Heidsieck.
To understand what's behind the bottle, it struck me to first look into the bottle – with a serious pro. Over the Fourth of July holiday, Master Sommelier Robert Jones joined me on an unseasonably cool afternoon for a proper porch sippin' session with two wines: Brut Réserve NV and Brut Millésime 2005.
From a house founded in Reims in 1851 and kept in the same family for 125 years, we expected class and tradition. What we discovered, is that 165 years in, Champagne Charles Heidsieck continues to beguile with a rich, full and leesy elegance that hums with the brute force of finesse.
Pull up a chair (and a glass) and join me for a bubbly conversation
with Master Sommelier Robert Jones.