Cheers Nov-Dec 2014

Cheers is dedicated to delivering hospitality professionals the information, insights and data necessary to drive their beverage business by covering trends and innovations in operations, merchandising, service and training.

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Page 50 of 63 47 November / December 2014 • As its name would suggest, RM Champagne Salon's specialty is grower Champagne. Staff at the 50-seat wine bar in Chicago will take the time to explain to guests exactly what the term means, and its signifi cance compared to other styles. "I think that everyone likes to fi nd something that's just a little bit different and off the beaten paths," notes general manager Timothy Epp. RM Champagne Salon offers 12 sparkling wines by the glass priced $10 to $29, and about 40 options by the bottle, starting at $40. RM Champagne Salon staff converse with guests using clear, easy-to-understand language. "We like to have our guests communicate what they are looking for, even if they're not exactly sure, and translate and apply that to our current offerings," explains Epp. "We're the navigators and try to get them exactly where they want to go." Commander's Palace, which sells 20 growers' selections, has found that taste tests work well to introduce an unfamiliar guest to a grower Champagne. Tasting also helps customers distinguish the styles and fl avors of all of the various sparkling wines on the menu, Davis says. COCKTAILS AND PUNCHES WITH SIZZLE Sparkling wine-based libations and punches offer a fun way to promote bubbles. Bourgeois Pig, a 56-seat wine bar in New York, has six effervescent elixirs, priced at $13 each, and four Champagne punches priced at $40 for two to four servings. Most popular, according to head bartender Andrea-Dawn Sabino, are the Bourgeois Royale, with Champagne and a strawberry reduction; Provence Punch, with elderfl ower, white peach, lemon, orange bitters and Champagne; and the citrusy and fl oral Marie Antoinette, with blood orange, elderfl ower, oranges bitters and Champagne. Sparkling wine also factors into La Pêche Royale, a beer-tail that tops peach lambic with Champagne. Bourgeois Pig also offers two sparkling wines by the glass, the pinot blanc-based NV Jean Albrecht Crémant d'Alsace Brut Reserve ($13), and Domaine de Vieux Pressoir Brut Rosé, a cabernet franc- based sparkler from Saumur in France's Loire Valley, and six by the bottle, priced $56 to $140. RM features two sparkling cocktails: The RM 75 ($12) tops Aviation gin and a house-made grapefruit shrub with JCB No. 69 Brut Rosé Crémant de Bourgogne from Burgundy, France. The La Ville Blanche ($12) pours Dopf au Moulin Crémant d'Alsace from Alsace, France, over Troy & Sons white whiskey, Hennessey Black cognac, Carpano Bianco, Bénédictine and grapefruit bitters. Whether enjoyed in a fl ute or traditional wine glass, by itself or with other ingredients delivered via an intoxicatingly aromatic trail of effervescence, sparkling wine enhances any occasion. "I think that people are coming to realize that Champagne [and sparkling wine] doesn't have to be just for special occasions," notes Epp. "It can be enjoyed all the time—and it should be." Kelly Magyarics, DWS, is a wine, spirits and lifestyle writer and wine educator in the Washington, D.C. area. She can be reached through her website,, or on Twitter or Instagram @ kmagyarics. FRESH FIZZ OPTIONS Just in time for holiday gatherings, a few recently released offerings are ready to be uncorked. New Zealand winery Kim Crawford just launched the 2009 Kim Crawford Fizz, a traditional-method sparkling wine that's part of the winery's limited-production Small Parcels wines. Comprised of 40% chardonnay and 60% pinot noir, with a suggested retail price of $35, Fizz has a bright gold color, aromas of citrus, apple and white peach, mineral notes on the palate and a soft fi nish. The wine's moniker is a reference to the nickname of Kim Crawford's winery host Felicity Nelson, and it's recommended as an aperitif with fi nger foods, or paired with seafood or duck. Moët & Chandon Ice Imperial, which retails for $65, is the fi rst Champagne created specifi cally to be enjoyed over ice. When creating the dosage, which is higher than a brut, chef de cave Benoit Gouez and the rest of the winemaking team were mindful of the effect of melting ice in the glass. "Adding ice would lower the wine's temperature and soften fl avors," explains regional marketing director Donae Burston. "So they created a richer blend." The Champagne is made from primarily red grapes—pinot noir for intensity and pinot meunier for fl eshy roundness—with 10% to 20% chardonnay grapes to add freshness and acidity. Ice Imperial can be sipped by itself or mixed with fruits and herbs including mint, lime, strawberries and raspberries. Burston advises eschewing the fl ute, however: "We recommend using a large cabernet- style wine glass, which make room for the addition of ice, and allows the wine to open up in the glass." Anna de Codorníu Brut was the fi rst cava to incorporate chardonnay into the blend. The bottle has received a seasonal facelift, with a white bottle, label and foil. The Spanish sparkling wine is a blend of 70% chardonnay and 30% parellada, with a pale yellow straw hue, aromas of pineapple, grapefruit and lime and a citrusy, soft elegance on the palate. Anna de Codorníu Brut is recommended as an aperitif, or with sushi, sashimi and other seafood and shellfi sh, as well as lightly spiced carpaccio; it retails for $13.—KAM ELIXIRS ELIXIRS ELIXIRS ELIXIRS ELIXIRS ELIXIRS ELIXIRS ELIXIRS ELIXIRS EFFERVESCENT EFFERVESCENT EFFERVESCENT EFFERVESCENT EFFERVESCENT EFFERVESCENT EFFERVESCENT EFFERVESCENT EFFERVESCENT

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