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Two of France's beloved champagne houses will visit our Valley

Published: Wed, July 16, 2014 @ 12:00 a.m.

If You Go...

What: Poolside Wine Academy: Summer Bubbles

When: 7 p.m. July 31

Where: Avalon Golf and Country Club at Squaw Creek

Reservations: Log on to www.myvalleyvino.com or call Avalon Member Services at 330-539-5008

Drinking wine in the summer months can be a different experience. Many wine lovers who regularly enjoy reds opt for something chilled, lighter and a little more refreshing. That’s where the enjoyment of bubbly, in particular authentic French champagne, comes in.

Although most people enjoy champagne when they drink it, they truly don’t understand what it is they are drinking, how it is made or the rich history of France’s great champagne houses. By international trade law, only sparkling wines from the very small Champagne Region of France can be labeled as “champagne”.

That’s where Melissa O’Rourke of Moet Hennessey USA comes in. O’Rourke is a champagne professional who travels the Midwestern states helping Americans appreciate the bubbly.

“We really try to get the American consumer to understand the champagne is wine. It’s not just for a celebration and can be enjoyed with a variety of foods on any occasion.”

O’Rourke and her associates will be visiting our Valley on July 31 for a celebration of two of France’s most beloved bubbly makers, Moet & Chandon, and Veuve Clicquot. The event will showcase two champagnes from each house. Each champagne sample will be served with selected cheeses and fruits.

O’Rourke welcomes the chance to bring the history of these great champagne houses to life for the residents of our Valley.

“The houses go back centuries and have amazing wine-making traditions. These champagnes have been part of some of the world’s most important historical moments. It’s great to share these stories with people while they’re enjoying the champagne.

Here’s a look at the four exquisite champagnes:

Moet and Chandon Imperial Brut

A classic blend of 30-40 percent Pinot Noir, 30-40 percent Pinot Meunier, and 20-30 percent Chardonnay. Vibrant green apple and citrus fruits with mineral nuances and white flowers on the nose.

A subtle and sumptuous palate with delicious pear, peach, apple and soft, vivacious citrus.

Moet and Chandon Nectar Imperial

A slightly higher content of red varietals with 40-50 percent Pinot Noir, 30-40 percent Pinot Meunier and 10-20 percent Chardonnay. A bouquet of exotic fruits like pineapple and mango, hints of plum and apricot and subtle vanilla. the voluptuous flavor profile combines creaminess and vibrancy from the diverse fruit flavors.

Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label (Brut)

Stylistically different from the Moet wine, this Brut offers 50-55 percent Pinot Noir, 15-20 percent Pinot Meunier and 28-33 percent Chardonnay. The higher percentage of Chardonnay is the key to providing elegance and wonderful balance. The initial notes of fruit give way to elegance and refinement.

Veuve Clicquot

Although the precise blend is a guarded secret, there is a higher percentage of Pinot Noir as well as some selectively picked “black” grasped. The result is a more intense flavor profile bursting with wild strawberry, raspberry and red cherry.

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