How to Open Champagne

A quick tutorial from Bryan Maletis on opening a Champagne bottle the right way! Video by Geena Pietromonaco.

Introducing Champagne Xavier Leconte!

For an incredible six generations the Leconte Family has passed down a passion for crafting exceptional Champagne from their vineyards in the heart of Troissy-Bouquigny, a small town in the Vallée de la Marne region. The terroir benefits from a moderate oceanic climate and identifiable chalk, limestone and clay parcels where the different grapes are specifically planted where they are best situated to grow.

Introducing Champagne Xavier Leconte!

Alexis, along with help from his parents, Xavier and Sylvie, has led his family operation since he took the helm in 2013. In addition to spending his entire life training with his family in Champagne, Alexis has experience in many different Champagne houses and wineries. After working in the Grandes Maisons de Champagne, Alexis earned his National Diploma of Oenology and spent 4 years working in Bordeaux and Alsace. These outside experiences have helped Alexis come back to lead his family Champange business into the next generation.

“Even being an oenologist, we need an outside opinion. My group of friends, from wine school help me taste. They are each winemakers on different soils, with different stories, and it helps. We grow from sharing.” 

-Alexis Leconte

Introducing Champagne Xavier Leconte!

We’re honored to be the exclusive U.S. importer and retailer of yet another remarkable Champagne family, Xavier Leconte! Check out the Champagne Xavier Leconte collection of 10 distinct cuvées!

Introducing Champagne Xavier Leconte!

How To Taste Champagne

Bryan shares his tips for tasting Champagne! Smelling, swirling, sipping, and enjoying, learn the best way to taste Champagne in this quick video.

Wonderful video by Geena Pietromonaco!

Champagne and Food Pairings

Champagne is one of, if not the most versatile beverage to pair with a wide variety of foods. As long as you avoid sweet foods and overly strong flavors, it’s hard to go wrong when pairing Champagne with many of your favorite foods. Here’s our foolproof guide to pairing Champagne with easy, everyday foods. No caviar required!

Champagne Pairing Basics

Match weight and texture: light foods tend to taste best with lighter wines; heavier foods usually taste best with stronger wines.

Match flavor intensity: Mild flavors usually pair better with delicate wine; more intense flavors typically taste better with richer wines.

Skip the sweets: Because Champagne is typically dry (and Fat Cork Champagne is almost always on the dry side), pairing Champagne with a sweet dessert can make the Champagne taste bitter. Instead, try pairing Champagne with dark chocolate and berries, or finish your meal with a bright, refreshing brut nature!

 

Champagne and Food Pairings

Champagne and Salty Foods

Champagne paired with salty foods makes one of the easiest and most delicious pairings! Salt balances acidic wine, so salty foods are especially great when paired with dry Champagnes (like brut natures). We love pairing dry Champagne with thick-cut potato chips, popcorn tossed with olive oil and parmesan, or homemade oven fries.

Champagne and Food Pairings

Champagne and Seafood

Classic and foolproof, almost all seafood pairs well with Champagne. A few of our favorites: oysters and blanc de blancs, grilled salmon and rosé, spicy fish tacos and pinot meunier.

Champagne and Food Pairings

Champagne and Take Out

Our favorite way to celebrate a weeknight: take out and Champagne. Pinot meunier Champagne compliments spicy food (try it with Vietnamese or Thai food), and brut nature shines with lighter foods (like sushi).

Champagne and Food Pairings

Champagne and Cheese

Stinky, creamy, hard, or soft, almost all cheeses pair well with Champagne! Add cured meats, olives, nuts, dried fruit, and bread to your cheese plate for even more delicious pairings.

Champagne and Food Pairings

Champagne with Brunch

Enjoy bubbly with brunch! Paired with rich eggs, salty bacon, tart berries, and buttery croissants, Champagne turns an always fun brunch into a super fun morning celebration.

What is “Special Club” Champagne?

The Special Club, or Club Trésors de Champagne, was originally founded in 1971 by 12 of the oldest families of the Champagne region. Since then, the club has grown to include 29 producers committed to excellence in all aspects of production. This exclusive membership is only open to Recoltant Manipulants (a French designation for a producer of grower Champagne). Champagnes must be produced, bottled and aged at the member’s estate. The Special Club Champagnes represent the tête de cuvée (a premier bottling often carrying a vintage date) selection for each member.

Special Club Champagnes are only made in outstanding vintages from grapes harvested from member’s own vineyards. Each producer must submit his wine to two blind tastings panels of esteemed oenologists and wine professionals. The still wines (vins clairs) are tasted first and if approved may be bottled in the uniquely-shaped Special Club bottle before undergoing secondary fermentation. After a minimum of three years aging on lees, the wines are tasted again for final approval.

In essence, the purpose of the club is to showcase the terroirs of Champagne. Every bottle is assured to be excellent, but they will vary in flavor as a result of the specific place and time the Champagne was produced.

Fat Cork is proud to be the exclusive importer and retailer of Special Club Champagnes from two different producers Hervieux-Dumez & Grongnet.

Champagne Movie Night: Oct. 4th

Save the date! On the evening of Tuesday, October 4th, we’re taking over Edmonds Theater (415 Main St, Edmonds, WA) for a Champagne movie night! Join us for Fat Cork bubbly, popcorn and a big screen feature.

More information and tickets coming soon. Help us decide which movie pairs best with Champagne and popcorn by leaving a comment, or emailing us with your vote! 

1) Princess Bride
2) Midnight in Paris
3) James Bond: Bryan’s Choice

Meet our Grower: Champagne Redon

 

Trépail, the beautiful home village of the Redon family, is one of the sunniest places in all of Champagne. The additional light makes their grapes—mostly Chardonnay—extra ripe upon picking, leading to fruit-forward and elegant wines.

The Redon family now produces two distinct lines of Champagne, one by the father, Pascal, and one by the eldest son, Adrien. Pascal Redon’s cuvées are classic and full-bodied, while Adrien’s cuvées are fresh and dry. Both labels use the same old vine vineyards and the family’s traditional wood press, but create their final cuvées in their own unique style.

Watch the video for a quick look at the sunny vineyards of Champagne Redon! 

 

Meet our Grower: Champagne Redon

Meet our Grower: Champagne Redon

Meet our Grower: Champagne Redon

Meet our Grower: Champagne Redon

Meet our Grower: Champagne Redon

Meet our Grower: Champagne Redon

Before & After: Our New Champagne cave!

We’re proud to show off our newly remodeled Champagne cave, and we’re humbled by the support that has allowed us to grow!

Before & After: Our New Champagne cave!

Before & After: Our New Champagne cave!

Before & After: Our New Champagne cave!

Before & After: Our New Champagne cave!

Before & After: Our New Champagne cave!

FC Club Members! If you’re planning a trip to Seattle (or live here now!), schedule a private, complimentary tasting in our Champagne cave! Simply email FCClub@Fatcork.com two weeks before your visit to make arrangements.

 

Bryan stars on New Day Northwest!

 

Fat Cork was on New Day Northwest! Bryan sat down with New Day Northwest host, Margaret Larson, to teach a Champagne lesson and tell the story of Fat Cork on live TV.