Cheers to 2020 and a new wine down and chill format. We understand that you’re busy; you want to learn about wine then get down to drinking it! Got it. We’ll continue to offer affordable suggestions for music, wine, dinner and movies with a different wine down and chill theme each week. Our new format is a snappy combo of Listen – Learn – Wine – Dine – Watch. You can also follow me on Instagram for wine art and photography @WineDownAndChill. We’re here to help you sit back, wine down and chill. If you missed an article, fret not! You can find every article here.
Theme: Blank Out
No, I haven’t lost my mind, although it feels like it given all the cold meds that I’ve consumed over the past week. Typically, I take a DayQuil and soldier on, NBD. But, I was seriously battling the plague this time and “lost” part of my week by sleeping through it. When a cold is anything but “just a cold,” you have to wonder what kind of germs are out there. Evil ones, to be sure!
Hence the theme, BLANK. Not to mention that it just happens to coincide with a bubbly wine varietal that I like, Blanc de Blancs. And, the fact that I am vertical (at least upright in my desk chair) is cause for celebration. Plus, I really liked the contrast of the elegance of the bubbles and the gals in the photo drinking the bubbles in the context of today’s movie selection. Bring on the wine down and chill bubbles! Let’s keep the party going …
Listen: Blank Space
Ever since SNL did an ad for “Swiftamine” spoofing our collective reluctant obsession with Taylor Swift, I knew that I wasn’t alone. Let’s face it, her hooks grab you! Blank Space is a personal wine down and chill fave and if you want more songs with BLANK in the title, check out this playlist.
Learn: Blanc de Blancs
Sounds redundant. Maybe that’s because it’s so good that it bears repeating! Translated, “White from Whites” references the exclusive use of green-skinned (white) Chardonnay grapes for its production of wine down and chill bubbles. One of the more interesting aspects of this varietal is that there is no characteristic flavor profile.
Only wines produced in the neighboring Champagne region of France can bear that moniker. The adjacent Champagne region is the coldest, most northern part of France and offers exactly what Chardonnay grapes love – chilly winters and mild summers. Similar climate conditions and chalky soil add complexity and interest to the grapes grown for the Blanc de Blancs options. This wine down and chill bubbly fave is produced using the standard 2-step bottle fermentation Méthode de Champanoise. Not intending to state the obvious but there are numerous similarities between Blanc de Blancs and Champagnes.
Blanc de Blancs are having a moment
The terroir (climate and soil elements) impart different notes to the wine depending on where the Chardonnay grapes are grown. Most of the region was formerly a seabed where ancient critters became fossilized. Those crustaceans and salty minerals lend a crispness to the taste. Younger wines taste fresher with apple and citrus notes whereas more complex flavors like toast and honey develop as they age. Blanc de Blancs tend to be lighter and drier than sparkling wines produced in the same region that use combinations of light- and dark-skinned grapes.
That said, Blanc de Blancs are oenophiles’ preferred bubbles from France. Puritans obsess over the singular and unique flavor profile that each vintage brings. The effervescent gold is rising in popularity where early vintages often fetch over $500 per bottle.
Wine: Louis Bouillot Blanc de Blancs
The Louis Bouillot Winery was established in 1877 in northern Burgundy, near Chablis, France in the appellation Crémant de Bourgogne. It sells for $20/bottle and is rated at 88 points by Wine Enthusiast. There is a nice crispness and freshness to the bubbles with a hint of citrus and toast.
A wine down and chill dream vacation destination is the winery’s Imaginarium. The visitor center is an immersive high-tech experience that gives wine lovers an behind-the-scenes look at the wine production by this highly acclaimed winery. Part of the allure of Louis Bouillot wines is their attention to detail and dedication to hand-crafting their products to protect the essence of the grapes they handle as well as to maximize their extraction.
Dine: Blank Menu
And now for something completely different. Did you catch my nod to Monty Python?