Happy Champagne Day!

Yes, today we get to raise a glass not only to this beautiful aloha Friday, and today we also toast International Champagne Day. In other words, you are just missing out if you aren’t drinking bubbles!

We begin our celebration with one of the finest, Moet Grande Vintage 2013 Brut. Crafted as a single vintage Champagne and only produced when the fruit is deemed exceptional, Moet’s Grande Vintage Brut is clean, crisp, and inviting. Exceptionally balanced and refined, the selection marks the 75th Grande Vintage from the prestigious Champagne house. The harvest was exceptionally late that year, creating ripe fruit that held its acidity, ensuring the final sparkling wine revealed juicy orchard and citrus fruit that melds with fresh cream, buttery brioche, and blanched almond. With a wonderfully dry palate, the Champagne is ideal sipped as an aperitif but can easily be enjoyed from the beginning to the end of a relaxing evening of seafood and shellfish.

The beauty of California, versus Champagne, is that the weather is usually more conducive to ensuring delicate fruit ripens fully and evenly each year. The consistency of each year’s vintage is likely why sparkling wine producers from elsewhere eventually find their way to California. Moet arrived in Napa in 1973, the first from France to make their way across the pond. Thanks to the talents of winemaker Pauline Lhote the winery is crafting elevated sparkling wine from classic varieties grown in the rolling hills of Carneros and produced in the traditional method. The premium selection, Chandon Etoile Brut, is a blend of over 50% Chardonnay and 45% Pinot Noir, with the remaining including Pinot Meunier. The wine is aged en triage for a minimum of five years and an additional six months of bottle aging following disgorgement. The result is a bready, creamy, luscious wine rich with decadence and balance. A delicious wine with creamy cheese, fried chicken, seared scallops, or poached lobster in a white wine butter sauce.

With a modern style and traditional character, Champagne Lallier captures the essence of elegance in each of its elegant sparkling selections. The 100% Chardonnay Lallier Blanc de Blancs is crafted from fruit grown predominantly in the Grande Cru region of Montagne de Reims. Chalky, limestone-rich soils lend crushed stone minerality to the sparkler that blends with a creamy, well-rounded palate. Flavors of lemon balm, freshly baked bread, and creamy honey awaken the palate, melding with soft herbs and crushed stone. Aged 36 months on the lees, with an additional three months in the bottle following disgorgement, the Champagne opens with floral notes of lemon leaf, apple blossom, and jasmine.

Paula Kornell grew up surrounded by bubbles. Her father, Hanns Kornell, began the prestigious Kornell Champagne Cellars in 1958 when he bought the Larkmead Vineyard. The property is now owned by Frank Family Vineyards. Still, decades before Rich Frank arrived, Kornell was crafting traditional method sparkling wine from California grapes for bubbly lovers, including Marilyn Monroe. Though her father passed almost 20 years ago, Kornell’s daughter, Paula Kornell, picked up where her father left off, establishing Paula Kornell Sparkling Wine. Paula Kornell Blanc de Noirs Sparkling Wine highlights cool-climate Pinot Noir (and a touch of Chardonnay) from Napa’s Los Carneros, delivering a bright, fresh, vibrant, and wonderfully dry sparkler. The palate is creamy and juicy with wild strawberry and golden apple fruit, melding with toasted French bread to create a fruity, savory, inviting sparkling wine perfect for celebrating #ChampagneDay. #Cheers!