For Pete’s sake, stop waiting for super-special life events to drink a bottle of Champagne! Weddings, engagements, landing a new job or promotion, hitting a business milestone, major birthdays, retirement, a new baby and ringing in a new year—it’s a given for bubbly to be a part of the moment. But there are so many special times throughout a year in the life that call for celebrating … perhaps a bit less momentous, relatively speaking, like just a regular birthday, closing on a new home, an anniversary, finally becoming debt-free, bringing home a new pet, before or after taking off for that dream vacation, seeing old friends after a long absence or toasting the memory of a loved one … for example. Best to keep a bottle of Champagne in the pantry ready at all times for when the inspiration hits.
A wonderful sparkler that won’t break the bank is the GOSSET Brut Excellence. For being the oldest wine house in the Champagne region of France, circa 1584, Gosset is hardly what you could call a household name brand. Their Champagnes, however, are among the most highly respected and critically admired among a crowded field. Having tasted a majority of their lineup, the exception being the ultra-premium editions, Gosset Champagne is startlingly consistent in achieving superb quality throughout the portfolio, in addition to being reasonably priced. The Brut “Excellence” is the house’s entry-level Champagne and it’s, well, excellent. Give Gosset credit for refusing to be obtuse in coming up with a moniker for this cuvée. Inviting raw honey, toast, almond and citrus notes make for a refreshingly crisp, very quaffable and so instantly enjoyable sparkling wine, pleasingly round and soft around the edges (thanks to malolactic fermentation). Superbly crafted, you can’t miss the artisanal quality—no large-scale manufactured aspect to the wine, despite being entry level. All in all, a wonderfully bright and lively Champagne perfect for those smaller but no less significant special occasions. –J.M.
Great Wine: Bruno Giacosa Roero Arneis