BUT FIRST, CHAMPAGNE. is a new book out October 18th by author and blogger, David White. David, in real life, works in DC and is as close to a "Scandal" character as I know. He founded the blog Terroirist, which he currently writes and edits. He is also a contributor to Grape Collective and keeps busy winning awards and wine writing for dozens of publications, including The World of Fine Wine, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and the Washington Post. Now, David inspires us with words on a favorite subject: Champagne
"From dinner with friends to a child's laughter or a lover's embrace, every day has moments worthy of a toast."...
I had the chance to catch up with David, to assuage my curiosity about Champagne:
BCL: I recently tasted Chateau Palmer that does higher chardonnay than pinot noir in their blends. Would love to hear an expert opinion on the characteristics both those varieties bring to blends?
DW: In blends, Pinot Noir is credited with providing backbone and structure and offering aromas and flavors of red berries. Chardonnay is credited with providing finesses by imparting acidity, floral aromatics, and flavors of green apples, citrus fruits, and hazelnuts. And don't forget about Pinot Meunier, which accounts for 32 percent of Champagne's plantings. It's credited with rounding out wines by offering moderate acidity, unctuous aromatics, and bright fruit flavors.
BCL : I love all kinds of sparkling wine, but always come back to champagne for special occasions. What do you think about others sparklers like Cap Classique, Sekt, etc.?
DW: Other bubblies can be "just as good," to be sure, but they're different. Just as an apple grown in Virginia tastes different from an apple grown in Massachusetts, sparkling wines from, say, Sonoma will always taste different from Champagne.
For me, Prosecco and Cava, even at their finest, always lack the depth -- and complexity -- of great Champagne. Franciacorta can be exceptional, but such examples are few and far between. There's plenty of great sparkling wine from the United States, Canada, and elsewhere in Europe – and I tasted some great Cap Classique when I visited South Africa a few years ago – but Champagne just has a perfect terroir for sparkling wine.
BCL: BrixChick Heidi is getting married in January. What does every bride need to know about champagne?
DW: You can never have too much! In all seriousness, though, I've long been baffled by the fact that Champagne and its alternatives are typically an afterthought at most weddings – it's the very first beverage you're celebrating your union with. Don't you want something delicious?!
BCL: I love the title and have that art in my home. What does " ..but first, Champagne" mean to David?
DW: Champagne carries an emotional charge. So every time a cork is popped -- no matter the occasion – it feels special. So for me, "but first, Champagne" is a great catchphrase for those first few minutes at home after a long day at the office. Sure, maybe you're putting on your pajamas and eating takeout – but having a glass of Champagne while doing so can sure brighten the day.
BCL: I met David in London in 2011 at the Cape Wine event. Now that the book is finished, what is next for the Terroirist?
DW: Terroirist.com continues to publish every single day, thanks almost entirely to the efforts of my team – Shelby Vittek handling the daily wine news, Isaac Baker handling the reviews, Eric Annino with book and movie reviews, and others. I love that we continue to provide such great content to the wine community.
We appreciate the efforts of this team to bring us sparkling news and, of course, it's the season for everything we can literally and figuratively drink in about Champagne. The book will make a great gift!
Here is the link to the interview on NPR's The Salt for more Champagne news:
A Growing Champagne Trend Is Uncorking More Ways To Celebrate featuring David White's forthcoming book
Or if you are more visual, here's a clip of him doing Wines.com TV here: Terroirist David White o
n the Next Big Things - w/ Bill Elsey.