Make us your home page

Wine of the Week: Veuve Clicquot Brut Champagne

Although it hasn't yet brought us that lottery jackpot we've been angling for, we still like to indulge in a little magical thinking to welcome what we hope we will be a prosperous new year by splurging on Veuve Clicquot Brut Champagne for the midnight toast. Commonly known as the Yellow Label, this beautifully balanced and elegant sparkling wine is the flagship cuvée of one of Champagne's prominent and venerable houses, Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin of Reims. It is a good deal at $45 to $50 around the holidays and is widely available.

The cuvée is the wine that carries a grand house's signature style through the years, blended not only of pinot noir, pinot meunier and chardonnay grapes from vineyards throughout the region but also incorporating wines from an extensive library of reserve wines from years past, ensuring that the flavor and sparkle of the wine do not vary from year to year. A nice bonus at the holidays is special packaging, this year offering a sort of form-fitting overcoat meant to keep the Champagne chilled for up to two hours if you're off to a party.

The wine lives up to its reputation. Its tantalizing nose is zesty with lemon, a little vanilla and brioche. The bubbles in the glass are the platonic ideal of Champagne effervescence, rising steadily and persistently in a lively, lovely spiral. At first sip and last, those bubbles fill the mouth and tickle the nose. On the tongue this masterful blend delivers the refined lemon promised by its aroma and marries that with subtle notes of white peach, warm brioche and a hint of fresh apple. It finishes long and clean and peppy, with a perfect grace note of flinty minerality at the finale. Chin-chin!

By Colette and John Bancroft. She is the Times' book editor, and he is a freelance writer specializing in food, wine and travel.

Wine of the Week: Veuve Clicquot Brut Champagne 12/27/13 [Last modified: Friday, December 27, 2013 6:00pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Bar review: Les Partners Lounge goes old-school in Clearwater

    Bars & Spirits

    There are some local places that I'm shocked aren't more well known, and I think that's the result of a general aversion to stepping out of one's comfort zone. I make regular concerted efforts to step outside of mine, which often leads me to strange and rewarding drinking establishments.

    Les Partners Lounge is an old-school, smoker-friendly cocktail lounge and live music venue tucked away in a nondescript shopping plaza in Island Estates.
  2. Local craft beer of the week: Plongeur a L'eponge, Saint Somewhere Brewing Co.

    Bars & Spirits

    Tarpon Springs' Saint Somewhere Brewing Co. has a somewhat idiosyncratic approach to wild ale brewing, utilizing an open brewing approach involving uncovered fermenters in order to brew beer with local ambient microbes, reminiscent in some ways to the fermentation techniques used by rustic farmhouse breweries in Belgium …

     Plongeur a?€š€™L?ˆš??ponge, Saint Somewhere Brewing Company, 6/23/17  Electric Chair Sour Shandy, Angry Chair Brewing, 6/30/17   Pulp Friction Grapefruit IPA, Motorworks Brewing 7/7/17
  3. ‘80s acts dominate lineup of 2017 Epcot Food and Wine Festival


    Oh, yes. Christmas is coming early this year to ‘80s fans in Florida. Disney’s Epcot Center has announced the lineup to its “Eat to the Beat” concert series that coincides with their annual International Food & Wine Festival.

  4. Equality Florida leader honored at Tampa U2 concert


    TAMPA — Equality Florida director Nadine Smith couldn't attend last week's U2 concert in Tampa, but she can tell you which of her friends had great seats for the June 14 show at Raymond James Stadium.

    Nadine Smith, Equality Florida founder and CEO, received a unique distinction last week when U2 included her in a montage of photos saluting activism and women leaders.
  5. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for June 23


    Leslie Odom Jr.: A solo concert by the Broadway star who won a Tony for his performance as Aaron Burr in Hamilton. 7 p.m., Ferguson Hall at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. $35.50-$55.50. (813) 229-7827.

    Leslie Odom Jr. accepts the award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical in "Hamilton"  during the 70th Annual Tony Awards  on June 12, 2016.  (Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)