Tagged with 'French wine'

In Search of the Perfect Champagne

Are you looking for a way to add some sparkle and fun to your life? Treat yourself by popping open a bottle of champagne! This bubbly beverage has been enjoyed as an indulgence since before the French Revolution, but it isn't just reserved for special occasions: with its light tasting notes and effervescent quality, champagne is suitable for any type of celebration. Whether you’re in the mood to paint the town red or curl up with friends at home, enjoy adding that extra touch of class – even if it's just cracking open a bottle when Tuesday night rolls around. Feel free to get creative, mix it up with cocktails, try different types like brut or rose - there are endless possibilities so let your taste buds be your guide!

The Champagne region in France is known for its sparkling wine. In fact, they’ve done such a great job at marketing themselves as the best sparkling wine in the world, it is common to refer to any sparkling wine as ‘Champagne’. While many regions around the world aspire to produce wines like they do in this famous region, only wines from the delimited area of Champagne can be labelled as such.

We carry over 100 unique Champagnes from over 60 producers. This is probably overwhelmingly for anybody new to the region, so here are a few tips to find that perfect bottle.

Fun Facts about Champagne:

  • The region is located east of Paris (about an hour by TGV train to Reims)
  • The wines must be made in the traditional method
  • The traditional method winemaking technique imparts notes of brioche and toast flavours into the wines
  • The most common permitted grape varieties are Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier
  • The wines from this region have a signature crisp acidity
  • The region is dominated by large wineries and brands. These large producers are referred to as Champagne Houses (Veuve Cliquot, Moet & Chandon, Piper Heidsieck, Pol Roger, Taittinger, Louis Roederer, and more)
  • Wines can be made from a single harvest, labelled as a Vintage Champagne or made from a blend of many vintages, often called non-vintage, to create a house style that is consistent from year to year

Now, how to navigate the options…

  • First step is determining if you want a Vintage or Non-Vintage style. Price may be a factor, as the Vintage Champagnes are often more expensive, but if it’s not, the flavours may determine your preference. Are you looking for fresh lemon and apple flavours? Go for a Non-Vintage. Do you prefer flavours of baked apple, ginger and hazelnut? You may prefer the complexity that comes from the longer aging in a Vintage Champagne.
  • Next consideration would be sweetness. The final step in the wine making process is adding a dosage, which changes the final sweetness in the wine. Majority of Champagnes and many sparkling wines are labeled with Brut, which has 0-12 grams per litre (g/l) of residual sugar (rs). The wines of Champagne have such high acidity that even this small amount of sweetness can make the wine taste dry. If you want something drier and are pairing it with a meal, consider Extra Brut (0-6 g/l rs) or do you have a sweet tooth? Try a Demi-Sec (32-50 g/l rs).
  • Ranked from driest to sweetest, sparkling wines are classified as Brut Nature, Extra Brut, Brut (majority), Extra Dry (did you know most Proseccos are Extra Dry? Confusing, right?), Dry, Demi-Sec and Doux.

Next time you’re feeling fancy and want to spend a little more on a bottle of bubbly, think about the style of Champagne you want before selecting a label. Blanc de Blancs (made from 100% Chardonnay) will give you a crisper, brighter wine while Blanc de Noirs (made from red grapes) tend to be full-bodied with deeper fruit flavours. Most non-vintage wines are blends of all three types of grapes – so if you can’t decide, go for one of those! Maybe you want intense strawberry flavours in your wine. If so, try a rosé Champagne. Experiment and find what type of Champagne suits your palate best.

And if you are in front of the massive Champagne section at Everything Wine, feeling overwhelmed and unsure, just ask one of us what we're drinking. We love talking about wine almost as much as we love drinking it, and we'll be more than happy to share our favourites with you. So pop open a bottle of bubbly and toast to a great night! Me you ask? Well, I will be raising a glass with Champagne Castelnau Vintage 2006.


Staff Favourites - Castelnau Champagne

No matter your level of wine knowledge, everyone knows Champagne… the time you popped a cork and it flew all the way across the patio, or when you raised a glass to a friend’s engagement or toasted to the New Year. Champagne has a way, it seems, of appearing at some of life’s best moments. For our Abbotsford store manager, Melanie Scott, there’s a Champagne that sparkles a little brighter than all the rest.

“I love my champagnes.” Melanie puts it simply, “my favourite is Castelnau; it’s toasty with a hint of almonds, peaches, and green apples. The lush, creamy bubbles make it a beautiful wine.” she’s swooning over the Castelnau Brut Reserve from Reims, the unofficial capital of the Champagne wine growing region and well, the world. “The first time I tried Castelnau was back in 2017 at our staff educational event that our Buying team organized. I immediately fell in love with it,” she recalls “it was love at first sip!”

Wine Enthusiast declared Castelnau’s signature Brut Reserve “Mature-tasting with a fine toasty element in the background. Ripe and full with a creamy texture and warming aftertaste.” and awarded it with 90 points. Perfect as an aperitif, Melanie opts to enjoy her bubbles with “something simple like garlic cheese toast or plain Miss Vickie’s chips. My focus is the Champagne.” she adds.

The house of Castelnau, whose vines now stretch across 900 hectares, dates back over 100 years when a group of imaginative winemakers set out to launch a Champagne brand in honour of a French World War One veteran by the name of Castelnau. Decades later, the signature Brut Reserve is produced with a blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes which are combined to create a balanced and complex wine that has “the spirit of a vintage Champagne in the body of a more youthful wine.” Extended ageing of 6 years in cellar further enhances the character of this Champagne.

 “Other Champagnes may have a little more fruit and bigger bubbles,” Melanie notes “but this one is dry and bready with hints of fruit… toasty and delicious.” We invite you to raise a glass of Castelnau to life’s exciting milestones and to the little moments too.

Vi-know more about Bordeaux with Rob Carras!

Time to learn more about the world-famous wine region, Bordeaux! We sat down with our South Surrey store manager, Rob Carras to learn more about this varietal, its flavours, the region, and of course what foods it pairs best with! You can watch the full video on our YouTube channel or read the full transcript below!


Hi everyone, my name is Rob Carras and I'm the store manager at Everything Wine in South Surrey. Today I'm going to tell you about the World-famous wine region, Bordeaux!

Region and Flavour Profiles
Red Bordeaux wines are often medium to full-bodied, with notes of black currant, cherry, plum and cedar. The vintage and the region will have a lot of factor into the quality of the wine. On the left-bank, you'll get wines with more structure, more age-worthiness whereas the right-bank, more plummy, plushy fruit, and more approachable in their youth.

Varietals in a Bordeaux blend
Typical varietals you'll find in Bordeaux are Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, a little bit of Petite Verdot and a little bit of Malbec. Actually, the first Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot vines originated in Bordeaux, France.

Food Pairing
Now to my favourite part, the food and wine pairing! Red Bordeaux goes really well with pot roast, black pepper steak - the tannins in the wine really cut through the fat in the meat and the flavours are definitely complimented by that black pepper on the steak. If you're vegetarian try it with roast potatoes or a green bean casserole!

Here at Everything Wine, we have Bordeaux in every price range. We have lots of option under $20, much more approachable and everyday drinkers, all the way up to the most sought-after wines in the world, up to $8,500 per bottle!

Interested in try a Bordeaux wine for yourself? Be sure to check out our Bordeaux release, happening September 21st!