Champagne and Sparkling Wine

  • Blogs

    October 14, 2014

    Matteo Lunelli, "King of Italian Bubbly," Visits Houston

    Every week, it seems that another fine wine luminary sets her or his sights on the Houston market. Yesterday, ex-Goldman Sachs banker and one of the most powerful players in the Italian wine trade today, Matteo Lunelli (above), descended on Houston for a luncheon and tasting with Houston wine buyer ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 22, 2014

    Moët & Chandon's Elise Losfelt Talks Champagne & Truffle Fries

    Winemaker Elise Losfelt of Moët & Chandon, the world's leading Champagne house since 1743, visited Houston this past week and sat down with the Houston Press to discuss their champagnes, and to introduce the Grand Vintage 2006, which is now available in the United States. She also has a few tips fo ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 20, 2014

    10 Best Summer Drinks to Keep You Cool

    During the summer, we all want to get outside and enjoy the sunshine, but living in Texas, more specifically Houston, that length of time outside tends to shorten as we get closer to three digit temperatures. Sure, water can help you stay hydrated and cool off your body, but so do other tastier cold ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 24, 2014

    Champagne In A Can And The French 75

    Can an inexpensive sparkling wine be used successfully in a cocktail?

  • Blogs

    December 27, 2013

    5 Best Things to Eat or Drink This Weekend: Food Truck Friday, Free Champagne Tasting

    Food Truck Friday @ Houston Press Friday, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. 2603 La Branch Bare Bowls Kitchen is up next in the Food Truck Fridays series at the Houston Press. The truck will be serving lunch from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. outside our offices. Come by and grab a Yucatan Bowl with banana leaf-roasted pork, ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 27, 2013

    Houston Bubbles: Your New Year's Eve Champagne and Sparkling Wine Buying Guide

    Let's just cut to the chase. As one of the largest retailers and wholesalers of wine in the country, Spec's nearly always has the best pricing, especially when it comes to higher-end bottles. Houston Chronicle wine (and sports) writer Dale Robertson once called the outfit "Houston's 800-pound wine ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 13, 2013

    It's That Time of Year: Everything You Need To Know About Champagne and Sparkling Wine

    In the wine trade, they call it "OND": October-November-December, the last quarter of the Gregorian calendar and the 92 days of the year during which more wine is sold than in any other period of the year. And from the romantic dinner for two to the whole mispucha blowout, from the company holiday ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 28, 2013

    Patriotic Cocktails, Part 2: The Thomas Jefferson Collins

    This Independence Day, set yourself free from garish red-white-and-blue cocktails by mixing up some patriotic drinks whose taste as well as appearance honors the spirit of the holiday. In this series, I will explore some off-the-beaten-path adult beverages for your July 4th party. In addition to ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 31, 2012

    Champagne Cliffs Notes: The Best Bubblies to Buy for New Year's Eve

    The weather outside was frightful when I rolled up to the mothership Spec's on Smith Street one afternoon last week. But it wasn't half as scary as the demolition derby that was unfolding in the parking lot there, between the old school Caddys, the C-Class Benzes, and the obligatory and ubiquitous ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 18, 2012

    Flying Champagne Corks: You'll Shoot Your Eye Out, Kid!

    It's there, lurking in your kitchen this time of year, an innocent-looking bottle of champagne that, if not handled properly, can be a brutal instrument used to maim, or even kill. Or at least that's what the Texas Ophthalmological Association told us in a press release yesterday -- a press release ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 31, 2012

    An Under-$30 Delicious American Sparkler Returns to Houston

    Houston wine maven and man-about-town Denman Moody loves him some Dr. Frank from the Finger Lakes, New York. He poured and spoke about the winery's dry Riesling when I met him for the first time a few weeks ago in Austin (where he was presenting his new self-published book -- a memoir-cum-guide to ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 11, 2012

    What Wine Are You Pouring for Mother's Day Brunch?

    Wine pairing aside, can you think of a better excuse for day-time drinking than Mother's Day brunch? And joking aside, can you think of a more challenging occasion for wine pairing than Mother's Day brunch? A classic Mother's Day meal at our house may consist of myriad flavors and aromas: Smoked f ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 10, 2012

    A Tipsy Mom is a Happy Mom: Mother's Day Bellini Bar

    If you're skipping the restaurant rush and looking for a way to jazz up to your annual Mother's Day Brunch, look no further. Two words. Bellini Bar. I know my mama would appreciate the morning buzz more than she would my not-so-famous quiche Lorraine (by the way, when did quiche become the official ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 25, 2012

    The Chill: When Is Wine Too Cold?

    In the wake of the Twitter response to yesterday's post on "The Pour: Glass Half Empty or Half Full?" (in other words, when should waiters refill or wait to refill your wine glass?), I thought I'd post on another issue that wine lovers often face in restaurants: Wine so chilled that its aromas and f ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 15, 2012

    Wine Time: Sparkling Wines for Cocktails

    Back at the end of 2011, when we were writing a lot about Champagne and other sparkling wines for the holidays, reader John wrote us asking for advice on what sparkling wines to use for sparkling wine cocktails. "Since spirits and lemon juice and bitters mess with the subtleties of Champagne," he ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 29, 2011

    10 Things You Didn't Know About Champagne

    ​If you're anything like me, you don't know how to make graceful small talk at parties without resorting to an awkward recitation of facts within your narrow range of interest: Ethiopian food, maps, the history of the Gulf Oil building... New Year's Eve parties aren't any better or worse than ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 23, 2011

    5 Tips for Serving Champagne and Sparkling Wine

    Photos by Jeremy Parzen.For the second night of Hanukkah, we made potato pancakes (latkes) and paired with sparkling Vouvray.​Even if you missed our Top 5 Champagnes Under $60 for the Holidays, you'll find that your favorite wine shop will have a tide of options when it comes to sparkling wine ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 15, 2011

    Top 5 Champagnes Under $60 for the Holidays

    Photos by Jeremy Parzen.Remember: Champagne doesn't have to be white. Rosé Champagne is often considered the more "muscular" expression of the appellation. Look for Bollinger Rosé, Ruinart Rosé, and our favorite, Billecart Salmon Rosé.​Okay, folks. There's good news and there's bad news. ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 18, 2011

    Odd Pair: A Favorite Wine for Breakfast

    Photos by Jeremy Parzen.Serve gently sparkling Moscato d'Asti in a larger glass and you will be rewarded by its fresh stone fruit aromas. Moscato d'Asti, it's what's for breakfast.​In one of my favorite novels of all time, a character in Kurt Vonnegut's 1973 masterpiece calls the martini the B ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 26, 2011

    Wine of the Week: An Under-$25 Fresh, Clean Sparkler

    ​Whenever it comes to sparkling wine, the comparison to Champagne is inevitable. Together with Bordeaux and Burgundy, wine regions that the British embraced as benchmarks for fine wine in the 19th century, the Champagne "brand" is so powerful that it pervades nearly every discussion of spar ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 19, 2011

    Odd Pair: Top 5 Wines to Pair with Pizza

    ​Above: "Pizza al Trancio" (Pizza by the Slice) in Rome, paired with Coca Cola. Here in the U.S., we don't think of it as an "odd pair." But in Italy, homeland of pizza and a country where wine is considered an essential element of healthy dining, pizza and wine are rarely if ever paired. Do ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 20, 2011

    The Generous Pour Event at Capital Grille

    Our server, Susan, kept us happy with "generous pours" during the Generous Pour Event​To truly understand wine, its complexity, what distinguishes a good wine from bad one, and how it should pair with food, takes years of study. That's why there are only 171 Master Sommeliers in the world, and ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 14, 2011

    Canned Champagne: For All Your Picnic Needs

    ​Alright, so Sofia Mini isn't technically champagne. It's a sparkling Blanc de Blancs from California made with a blend of Pinot Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc and Muscat grapes. But for the purposes of this post, as well as ease of description, I like to call it champagne in a can. Last year, I did ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 16, 2011

    Wine of the Week: Domaine Ste. Michelle Brut

    ​Thanks to the generosity of my neighbors, this week's wine is a bubbly made in the Méthode Champenoise, which, according to the wine's website, is pronounced, "may-tawd shaw-pah-nuaz." This method is a replica of the traditional way that Champagne (named after the region in France where it i ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 3, 2011

    Wine of the Week: Nino Franco Rustico Prosecco

    ​This bottle's appropriately rustic label design fits with the old-world-Italian feel that Nino Franco's PR people (who sent me the sample) and the winery are going for - which makes sense, since the winery was founded almost 100 years ago. Prosecco is produced in the Veneto region of Italy ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 29, 2010

    New Year's Eve Cocktail Recipe: Lavender Blossom

    ​This time of year, everyone is busy creating new ways to enjoy an old favorite: champagne cocktails. Since sparkly beverages are a favorite of mine, I couldn't help whipping up my own version. I recommend using a dry sparkling wine to complement the sweeter elements of this drink. It's bub ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 21, 2010

    Wine of the Week: Biltmore Estate Blanc de Blancs Sparkling Wine

    ​'Tis the season of overindulgence, and I say, why wait to pop open that bottle of bubbly taking up room in your refrigerator? The week of Christmas is as good as any to start the celebratory drinking and a perfect time to test out samples of sparkling wine in preparation for New Year's Eve. ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 21, 2010

    Christmas Cocktails: Pomegranate French 75

    ​ This recipe is courtesy of one of my favorite bartenders, Anthony Montz, formerly of Double Cross Lounge and currently of Zimm's (4321 Montrose). It's sweet and tangy, and the beautiful ruby-red pomegranate seeds make it the perfect drink to indulge in this season. Try it at home or go by ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 27, 2010

    Odd Pair: Sparking Pinot and Pringles

    ​Sparkling red wines are becoming more and more prevalent. I first became aware of them during a trip to Australia where I sampled delicious sparkling Shiraz. Stateside, I was lucky enough to find red bubbles on the wine lists of Houston's better restaurants. T'afia actually had a very lovely ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 27, 2010

    Sparkling Sake: Move Over, Prosecco

    ​I don't remember the first time I drank sake. That seems odd, in retrospect, considering how virulently I hated the stuff up until a year ago. You think you'd remember the first time you ingested something you truly despised. Perhaps my mind has blocked the occasion from my memory, for the s ... More >>

  • Dining

    July 12, 2001

    Stirred and Shaken

    La Colombe d'Or's French 75

  • Dining

    December 28, 2000

    Uncorking a Bargain

    A champagne buyer's guide