Tag Archive for: champagne

Methode Cap Classique

Wine Trivia Game from The Wine Ladies. Bubbly and more bubbly. Champagne must come from Champagne. In Spain they call it Cava. Where do they call it Methode Cap Classique, a term coined in 1992?

Methode Cap Classique

Methode Cap Classique

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Wine Trivia Game from The Wine Ladies – May 2018


SOUTH AFRICA is the correct response

South Africa

South Africa

Guess Perfume

Guess Perfume

Bubbly and more bubbly.Champagne must come from Champagne. In Spain they call it Cava. Where do they call it Methode Cap Classique, a term coined in 1992?

1. Belgium 

2. South Africa 

3. England 

4. Georgia 

You can take this special sparkling fizz anywhere, anytime! Cheers, Salute or Prost! Bubbles & Bites as read in Arabella Magazine.

On this week’s radio show… Festive Fizz For The Holidays! Laurent-Perrier Cuvée

The Mermaid and the Oyster in Kerr Village, Oakville

Next up we explore another exciting wine producing province in which temperatures dip well below zero. Nova Scotia.

Benjamin Bridge

Benjamin Bridge, Nova Scotia.

Happy 150th Birthday Canada! We continue our celebrations from coast to coast with birthday bubbly!

We are so blessed in this beautiful and bountiful country we call our home.We honour you Canada with bubbly from across the nation! Last issue we highlighted the two major wine growing regions here in Canada, Ontario and British Columbia. Together these two provinces produce over 90% of our wines. In the vinous world a great source of pride. Our wines consistently garner major awards in international competitions and the admiration from many a wine critique across the globe. Way to go Can-a-da! We make amazing wine eh? Yes, we do and it doesn’t stop there, hold onto your tuque!

Next up we explore another exciting wine producing province in which temperatures dip well below zero. Nova Scotia.

Strong winds prevail and there is often snow enough to igloo the vines! We are talking about Nova Scotia. The province that hugs the Atlantic side of the continent. It’s very much about location, location, location! Nova Scotia’s positioning makes it one of the most challenging places in the world to grow grape vines. However, it works and works extremely well! So much so that this region, one of the smallest and oldest in North America is being touted as “Canada’s next great wine region”. Situated on one of the cooler climate limits for vines. Those very elements allow for cooling breezes during the warm summer months and a moderating affect on the vineyards not too far from the coast. This makes for near perfect climatic conditions for grapes to hang longer on the vine and develop more intensity and brilliance. However still allowing for that omni important acidity, critical for good structure and balance. All of this helps contribute to the style of wines Nova Scotia is becoming best known for. Wines with great acidity, lively and crisp and with bright aromatics and characteristic minerality.

Nova Scotia has been producing wines since as early as the 17th century.

It is only in the last 25 years that it has taken a foothold commercially and in the last decade or so is showing the world increasingly what it is capable of! While small in scope in terms of Canada’s total wine production, the province is big in heart, dedication and talent when it comes to the wineries and their winemakers! Garnering huge accolades and international attention this burgeoning wine region is producing very impressive whites as well as outstanding bubbly that many connoisseurs are saying rival those of Champagne!

In terms of other wines Nova Scotia has a single appellation called Tidal Bay.

A signature white wine that applies to the entire province. Just as with VQA regulations in Ontario and BC, certain conditions must be met in order to be labeled Tidal Bay. These include the use of 100% Nova Scotia grown grapes, specific grape varietals, and a blind tasting evaluation to ensure the wines show the distinctive Nova Scotian taste profile. The future shines brightly for Nova Scotia wine with one critic and co-author of The Wine Lover’s Guide to Atlantic Canada, Craig Pinhey seeing “the future of Nova Scotia wines rising as high as the Bay of Fundy’s tides”. Incidentally the highest tides in the world. A toast to you Nova Scotia and to Canada’s 150th birthday with one of your finest!

Back to bubbly! Fabulous Fizz from Benjamin Bridge, Canada’s most lauded sparkling wine house!

Our introduction to Benjamin Bridge came to us via a casual blind tasting of sparkling wines on a sunny afternoon. We were a little surprised, and absolutely delighted when we learned that one of our favorites came from Nova Scotia. Upon a little more investigative work including of course enjoying it first with fresh oysters and later with a light desert we felt compelled to share our latest discovery.

Benjamin Bridge, located in the Gaspereau Valley on the Bay of Fundy was founded by Gerry McConnell and his late wife Dara Gordon.

Long time foodies and lovers of fine wine their passion was ignited after a tour of South African vineyards. In 1999 they purchased a property with the dream to create world-class wines, back home in their native country. For the McConnells, building a successful business was not the driving force. As Gerry has said “It was a love and passion for the land, a love and passion for seeing things grow and to show that there could be a viable industry in Nova Scotia producing acclaimed wines” And so the journey began, with management maintaining if world class wines couldn’t be produced, Benjamin Bridge would cease to exist.

Benjamin Bridge starts with a successive hire of some of the best in the business.



From the first with Peter J. Gamble, a Canadian winemaking icon to assess the potential of the vineyard. Soon after joined by the late Raphael Brisbois former Chef du Cave for Piper Heidsieck, a leading authority on Champagne. In 2004 Benjamin Bridge releases its first sparkling wine vintage to rave reviews. In 2008 Jean-Benoit Deslauriers comes on board as head winemaker. The vineyards are officially certified organic, and the winemaker along with Gamble and Brisbois produce Deslauriers’ first Canadian wine, the lightly sparkly Nova 7 knocking it out of the ballpark!

The final analysis, the vineyards lie in an enviable position for one wanting to produce premium sparkling wines.

Nova Scotia’s climate and terroir are being likened to that of Champagne, sitting within just one degree of latitude. The Benjamin Bridge vineyards are located in the heart of the Gaspereau Valley on the The Bay of Fundy enjoying a micro climate especially suited to the production of sparkling wine. Said Peter Gamble of the temperature parallels between Champagne and the Gaspereau Valley “. “It’s so close to Champagne it’s frightening,” “It all starts in the vineyards” it is often said. With the dedication and uber talent of head winemaker Jean-Benoit, his assistant and cellar master, plus the guidance of Peter Gamble. The results are heavenly bubbly and award winning wines. The team of winemakers craft the sparkling wines in the time consuming and very expensive method used in Champagne called the Methode Classique. Very laborious in the vineyards and in the cellars where the wines are bottled and aged on their lees for up to four years, patience is a virtue as the wines are carefully monitored as they develop and ready to be released.

Here are a few quotes extolling the sparkling wines of Benjamin Bridge.

Mind blowing sparkling wines that would challenge any highly –rated French Champagne” Anthony Gismondi They are without question the best sparkling wines I have tasted in Canada “ Tony Aspler “It’s a sparkler that rivals Champagne…one of the best Canadian wines I’ve tasted. Beppi Crosariol We must agree whole heartedly, Nova Scotia you are a star and Benjamin Bridge you too are a star shining so bright for all of us fans of fine fizz and of supurb wine. Congratulations! Happy Birthday Canada, a toast to you and all of us on our sesquicentennial birthday!

Please find below a review of the Benjamin Bridge Brut and the Nova 7.

Benjamin Bridge Sparkling Brut 2011

Benjamin Bridge Sparkling Brut 2011

Benjamin Bridge Sparkling Brut 2011 Vintages: 381533 $49.95 Ontario.

Produced in the Méthode Classique, or traditional Champagne method, using exclusively one of the three permitted grape varietals in Champagne Chardonnay. This luscious bubbly spent four years on the lees before its release and definitely hits all the high notes. Elegant and alluring on the nose with a fresh and bright aroma of citrus, lemon and lime, a hint of smoke and of bisquit. On the palate it is crisp, with mouth watering acidity, flavours of baked apple, more brioche and a long finish.

The Mermaid and the Oyster in Kerr Village, Oakville

We enjoy with lobster and freshly shucked oysters … simply divine just like in the Maritimes! The Mermaid and the Oyster in Kerr Village, Oakville. Picture here of us in shop Benjamin Bridge Nova 7 Sparkling 2016 Vintages: 256289 $24.95 Ontario.

Rare terroir, classic techniques. Uncompromising wines from Nova Scotia and Benjamin Bridge

Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Brut Rosé Champagne

On this week’s radio show… Festive Fizz For The Holidays! Laurent-Perrier Cuvée

 Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Brut Rosé Champagne

Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Brut Rosé Champagne

So today our focus will be on just that kicking off with the quintessential historic bubbly.

The most famous sparkling in the world, Champagne! Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Brut Rosé Champagne. The iconic Cuvée Rosé, in the famous Rosé bottle and remains the benchmark. Champagne synonymous with glamour, celebration and decadence!

 Joining us today, calling in from the beautiful region of Champagne, Marine Roupsy. Marine is the Export Manager for Canada for one of the most celebrated and historical Champagne houses, founded in 1812 that is the iconic Laurent-Perrier Champagne.

We’ll chat about Champagne in general, then delve into the story of Laurent-Perrier, a blend of two families that goes way back.

Episode 62

Listen to Marine Roupsy at 4:35 minutes in the show.

Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Brut Rosé Champagne

Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Brut Rosé Champagne

The iconic Cuvée Rosé, in the famous Rosé bottle and remains the benchmark.
This Cuvée Rosé Brut is 100% Pinot Noir based on 2008 (90%). The color is an intense orange-colored pink and the nose offers beautifully subtle, but also deep, intense flavors of ripe and macerated Pinot Noir and lemon.
There is also great purity and finesse on the structured palate. The finish is fresh and reveals a perfect fruit. This rosé drinks almost like a light red wine.

Demi-Sec Champagne

Ask The Wine Ladies. How does one know whether a Champagne is dry, off dry or sweet?

Champagne Sweetness, from Brut Nature to Demi-Sec.

Champagne Sweetness, from Brut Nature to Demi-Sec.

Dear Wine Ladies,

How does one know whether a Champagne is dry, off dry or sweet? The terms on the bottles seem very confusing. We prefer Champagnes that are sweeter. Last week we were told to select a Champagne labelled demi-sec or doux, doesn’t that mean off-dry?



Ask The Wine Ladies

Ask The Wine Ladies- Please submit your questions to info@thewineladies.com

Dear Liz,

Thanks for your question, it seems to be one that comes up pretty regularly. True, deciphering the sweetness levels of Champagne can be confusing, particularly as you mentioned when “demi-sec”actually refers to a Champagne that contains approximately 35-50 grams of sugar per litre. Below is a continuum of driest Champagnes to sweetest. Brut natural (no sugar added), brut, extra-dry, sec, demi-sec and finally doux.

The Wine Ladies, Georgia and Susanne

You can take this special sparkling fizz anywhere, anytime! Cheers, Salute or Prost! Bubbles & Bites as read in Arabella Magazine.

Piper Heidsieck

Piper Heidsieck Red Label Cuvee Brut, Susanne’s Wine Pick.

Piper Heidsieck Red Label Cuvee Brut.

Piper Heidsieck Red Label Cuvee Brut.

Piper Heidsieck Marilyn Monroe’s Favourite Champagne

It’s rumored that this champagne was Marilyn Monroe’s favorite. She used to enjoy a glass every morning and I definitely agree with her!

 This stunning champagne has the finest bubbles, is pale yellow in color, very pleasing to the eye. Aromas of green apple and citrus.My pick for celebrating the Oscars this year is Piper Heidsieck Red Label Cuvee Brut.

Piper Heidsieck

Piper Heidsieck

LCBO $54.95 per bottle

TUNE INTO THE WINE LADIES RADIO SHOW at 4:17 minutes to hear it.

Episode #17 (WL 02-18-2015) We have Oscar fever!

Celebrity Chef Wolfgang Puck shares his culinary creations set for the stars on Oscar night!
Listen to The Wine Ladies Wine Pick at 4:30 minutes in the show.

On this week’s radio show…We have Oscar fever! Celebrity Chef Wolfgang Puck, Piper Heidsieck Champagne and much more!

Piper Heidsieck Oscars

On this week’s radio show…We have Oscar fever! Celebrity Chef Wolfgang Puck, Piper Heidsieck Champagne and much more!



On this week’s show….We celebrate the Oscars, from the illustrious Piper Heidsieck Champagne flowing, to the culinary creations of Celebrity Chef Wolfgang Puck, to the excitement of the Governor’s Ball and the Night of the 100 Stars Viewing party!
And then… here at home, many of us celebrate the Oscars with a get together and parties where we eat, drink and view the awards with groups of friends and fans of film!

BRAND NEW SHOWS every Monday at 10:00 am and Wednesday at 2:00 pm or listen ON DEMAND on line anytime.

The creative culinary genius Wolfgang Puck for the 21st time in charge of the menu for the Governors Ball.

We’ll chat with Wolfgang about what will be on the plates…a collection of over 50 imaginative dishes, to tantalize and pleasure the palates of the stars attending the 87th Oscars Governors Ball.

 Cecile Bonnefond, CEO Piper Heidsieck and Celebrity Chef Wolfgang Puck

Listen to Cecile Bonnefond  17:24 minutes into the show.

  Known the world over for the red of its label and the gold of its wine Piper Heidsieck is the exclusive Champagne of the Oscars. A perfect pairing, as one of the world’s most awarded Champagnes, one of France’s oldest Champagne houses, with a fascinating history and story, Piper Heidsieck has long been a supporter of cinema. We are excited to welcome CEO Cecile Bonnefond to the show to chat about the magic and allure of Champagne, the natural partnering of Piper Heidsieck with the Academy Awards, the most prestigious awards in film, we’ll chat about the history of the house, and the Champagnes that will be served at the pre-show of the Oscars as well as at the Governors Ball where the rare Prestige Cuvee may many a flute fill!

 Rare 1988 – EXCLUSIVELY served in Governors Ball Oscar statuette engraving room. Sophisticated, complex, warm wine, powerful, yet elegant.
Each Oscar winner receives a stunning bottle and engraved.

Norby Walters,the Producer of the “Night of the 100 Stars Award Viewing Gala.”

Listen to Norby Walters at 37:57 minutes into the show.
Now in its 25th year, the grande old dame of Oscar parties. Norby will tell… not all but give us a hint on who might be walking the red carpet, he’ll share some of the trials and tribulations of mounting such a successful party year after year. What will be served, and who will hob nob with who!
Allison Modesto,Marketing for Girls Night Out Wine, Ontario Canada.
Allison will share with us the wines of the hugely popular Girls’ Night Out wines, one of the most successful launches in LCBO history. Many of us up north celebrate the Oscars with friends at home, many ladies gather with bubbly and eats and treats as they take in the academy awards with their own viewing parties. Girls Night Out wines for the Girls Night In on February 22nd.

Champagne, Prosecco, Sekt, Cava and Sparkling wine.

You can take this special sparkling fizz anywhere, anytime! Cheers, Salute or Prost! Bubbles & Bites as read in Arabella Magazine.

Georgia and Susanne with sabres and blue outfits.

Never one to sit on our laurels, we are now armed with saber and flutes, on our current crusade to bring Champagne and Sparkling wines to the people!

We hope you’ve been enjoying the multitude of wonderfully delicious and diverse alternative white wines we chatted about last issue.

As you may recall we were champions for the ABC Club. Where we introduced our top ten alternative white wine choices outside the dominant domain of the almighty chardonnay. Hence the “Anything but Chardonnay” Club.

Never one to sit on our laurels, we are now armed with saber and flutes, on our current crusade to bring Champagne and Sparkling wines to the people!

With a plethora of brilliant bubblies now being produced from around the world, there’s a sparkling wine for you, just waiting to pop its cork. And yes, fabulous for festivities but also perfect for partnering with an array of foods due to its vibrant acidity. That acidity can act as a turbo charger for flavour in a recipe too, so say our award winning Chefs who have created sumptuous recipes just for us, using sparkling wine as a key ingredient. We’ll begin our journey by exploring a variety of ways of saying “bubbly” from Champagne to Cava, to Prosecco and Sekt.

Champagne Tattinger

Champagne Tattinger

First stop, we’ll linger here a while, the most famous wine in the word, synonymous with glamour, celebration and decadence, Champagne.

The name alone elicits images of excitement, of joy, of success, romance, and beautiful people! amazing the power of a 9-letter word!

Speaking of which, a few perfunctory words on Champagne, if you will. Champagne is a place, a wine-growing region approximately 90 miles northeast of Paris. In order for a sparkling wine to be called champagne, it must come from this A.O.C. (appellation d’origine controlee) region and follow the rules of production as outlined by the meticulous Classic Method, or Methode Champenoise.

What makes Champagne so special? It’s the combination of the soils, the terroir and the grapes that uniquely blend to provide the ultimate ingredient for the finest sparkling wine in the world. The producers, or Champenois as they say in Champagne, have the advantage too of experience and skill, with over three centuries, practice makes perfect!

Champagne comes to us in many styles, from the Blanc de Blanc, made exclusively with Chardonnay, the Blanc de Noirs, you got it, red grapes only, and rose champagnes too. Pink or rose Champagnes are made by either adding a small proportion of red wine to the blend or less commonly, allowing the juice to remain in contact with the dark skinned grapes for a short time during fermentation. Vintage Champagnes, typically 3 or 4 only in a decade, and Prestige Cuvees representing a champagne house’s best, are also out there; the possibilities are endless.

When it comes to a toast, Champagne obviously rules as the beverage of choice, but what about as an aperitif, or as a partner to accompany you throughout your meal from appetizers to dessert? And at snack time, there’s nothing better than Champagne with potato chips! Perhaps an NV Brut would be nice?

With all the different styles of champagne, there’s a bottle of bubbly to suit every occasion, every dish and everyone’s palate! For a few Champagne and food pairing tips, read on!

Champagne and oysters: well known to be a match made in heaven. Opt for a delicate young Brut Champagne. The acidity acts like a squeeze of lemon, while the crisp bubbles counter the fatty slippery texture of the oyster.

Blanc de Blanc Champagnes are elegant and tangy, they go well with lighter style foods beautiful, with goat cheese and sushi.

Blanc de Noirs Champagnes have the complexity of red wines and are well suited to lighter meat dishes such as veal, partridge or pigeon.

Brut Champagnes, crisp and dry with good acidity cut through the fat of fried foods!did we mention potato chips? Oh yes, we did, obviously a weakness of ours.

Serve the sweeter Champagnes with fresh fruit, berries and other desserts that are not too sweet.

Is this a dry style Champagne or sweet? If it says Brut on the label the wine is totally dry. Other styles from least to most sweet, are; extra dry, sec (dry), demi-sec (off-dry) and doux (sweet)

The question beckons, is there any time a Champagne just won’t do? Here’s what Madame Lilly Bollinger of Bollinger Champagne, and James Bond movie fame, said when asked her opinion “I drink it when I am sad. Sometimes I drink it when I am alone. When I have company, I consider it obligatory. I trifle with it when I’m not hungry and drink it when I am. Otherwise, I never touch it unless I’m thirsty”. Well said, Madame, The Wine Ladies couldn’t agree more!

Moving on, although Champagne is dear to our hearts, other sparkling options await us, wonderfully delightful and unique with new flavours and styles to embrace.

Spain is our next stop with its incredibly valued sparkling wine, they call Cava.

Easy on the pocketbook, and easy to enjoy any time any where, these bubblies will please your palate by their lonesome, in a cocktail or with a variety of dishes. Finding great Cava under $20.00 is not unusual.

Cavas are made in the classic method, and just as in Champagne are restricted to certain grape varieties. They too must come from a list of designated municipalities including Catalonia. This is where close to 95% of all cava is produced. One of the reasons Cava is so affordable is the widespread use of highly efficient modern methods of production. Keeping the costs way down. This coupled with high-yielding grapes provides a winning price/quality ratio for Cava. The proof clearly being in the bottle.

A Reserva Cava with a pronounced yeasty, toasty character or a Cava Rosado, a rose with attractive red fruit such as cherries and blackberries are wonderful introductions to the world of Spanish sparkling.

Cava at Codorniu Cellars in Spain

Cava at Codorniu Cellars in Spain

Prosecco, a spirited sparkling wine, and a white grape variety native to the Veneto region in north east Italy.

The home to Verona, the setting of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Julliet. For the jet set, also the base for the famous Bellini cocktail.

This fashionable sparkling wine from Veneto is steadily gaining in popularity. Showing off its allure of freshness and simplicity, clean and lean. No yeasty, buiscuity quality here, as with Champagne. Expect mineral notes, lemony, apples and pear, soft and inviting. The bubbles are a little less tight, having been fermented in a tank. Most often, as opposed to the bottle, but that’s ok, for this uncomplicated well priced sparkling, Prosecco delivers well. Partnering Prosecco with a variety of appetizers is no difficult task either, with their fruit and crisp acids, plus the lively bubbles handling salty or fatty dishes is no problemo!

Foss Marai Extra Dry Prosecco

Foss Marai Extra Dry Prosecco

Finally we come to Sekt, the term used in German speaking countries to describe sparkling wines.

We salute the wine lovers of Germany. They appreciate the joy and diversity of sparkling wines being among the highest consumers/capita in the world.

There are several quality levels of Sekt available for our enjoyment. We would encourage you to seek out those sparklers labeled either Deutscher Sekt or Sekt bA. Simple Sekt, is a sparkling wine that is made with grapes from other countries, while Deutscher Sekt of course uses German grapes.

Taking it one step further, if you can source a Sekt b.A. (b.A. means from a specific region) these sparkling wines are the pick of the crop! Sort of to speak. Finally, “the piece de resistance”, we said there were several levels, when it comes to Sekt is finding a b.A. This includes a vineyard site, the name of the grape varietal, and/or a vintage. These are the superior sparklers, having undergone strict quality control. Our absolute favorite has got to be, unequivocally, those Sekt which are made with the noble grape variety, the aromatic and racy, Riesling. With its pronounced acidity, these wines are ready and able to do table duty at any time and any place.

 Kessler Sekt - Germany's oldest sparkling wine producer

Kessler Sekt – Germany’s oldest sparkling wine producer

I hope we’ve made a compelling case for the bubbly, the one that sparkles, that enchants, that knows, no boundaries. From a toast, Cheers, Salute or Prost, to an appetizer, through to dessert, you can take this special fizz anywhere, anytime!. and you can take that straight to the bank! Speaking of banks, there’s no need to break that either, thanks to the multitude of superb value sparkling wines just waiting to be popped! Explore, experience and enjoy! Did we mention, that a silent hush, rather than a thunderous popping cork is the preferred way of opening Champagne?

Cheers everyone, and please do email us with any sparkling wine favorites, recipes or stories, we’ love to hear from you! We’re twittering too, we’re on facebook and we’re scouting for fans! Have a superb summer, we’ll be back in the fall.

Arabella Magazine featuring The Wie Ladies article Bubbles & Bites. Summer 2009

Arabella Magazine featuring The Wine Ladies article Bubbles & Bites. Summer 2009

The Wine Ladies talk Champagne, bubbly, art and passion! Arabella Magazine The Wine Ladies radio.

Veuve Clicquot Brut Champagne

Veuve Clicquot and Porsche Team Up to Make the Fridge of Your Dreams

Vertical Limit, Porsche Design Studio.

Vertical Limit, Porsche Design Studio.

A “Vertical event” rocks the Richmond Club in Toronto with Veuve Clicquot Champagne and Porsche design coming together!

Hello Canada captures the excitement and snaps The Wine Ladies taking it all in.

Picture this; Vertical Limit, designed by Porche Design Studio, the sleek stainless steel “slim” fridge, a work of art really is engineered to house twelve of the most coveted vintages of Veuve Clicquot Champagne. Only fifteen manufactured for world ownership and one is auctioned off to benefit the McEwen Centre for Regenerative Medicine. An infinite stream of fashionable guests are there to help celebrate the successful bid of $100,000 courtesy of Dr. John Li hailing from Vancouver. When asked where we might place this object d’art if our bid took the prize, the kitchen was absolutely out of the question! Why only the grand entrance of a magnificent home or villa with a spotlight would make any sense! it’s a good thing Dr. Li made another bid! Phew!that was a close call!

Vertical Limit

Vertical Limit

Photos: A great cause with “les boules” extraordinaire, Courtesy of Veuve Clicquot Champagne.

Georgia and Susanne at the Richmond Club join the celebration of the successful bid for “Vertical Limit” at $100,000, July 2008.