Hello everyone and welcome to the first ever wine feature on Brown at the Bar. One of my best friends and resident wine expert, Miari, will be hosting this portion of the blog. She wanted to start this section of the blog off with a bang so without further ado, let’s get to her review of Moët & Chandon Brut Imperial and Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Yellow Label.
Over the past two years, I’ve been getting more in touch with my palate and the many transitions it has made. Working at a wine shop has definitely forced me to expand my horizons. I’ve been able to taste things that I can simply sip on a daily basis that cost $10 a bottle and also things that I never knew existed or could never afford that cost $200. However, over the past year I have really been drawn to sparkling wines and champagnes.
Since taking interest in champagne, I’ve heard from many customers say that those who like Moët & Chandon Brut Imperial usually stray away from Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Yellow Label and vice versa. Recently, I decided to try both of them and do a comparison.
Moët & Chandon Brut Imperial was formerly called Moët White Star. It is a mass-produced, non-vintage champagne and is well known around the world. It is one of the many wines and spirits from the Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy (LVMH) Corporation. Moët & Chandon is the largest champagne house in France. The champagne is described to be delicate, soft tasting possessing flavors of light fruits like peaches, pears and apples with a subtle hint of nuts. On initial pour, the fruit was definitely the highlight of the aroma. The fizz was that typical popping of the bubbles, almost like liquid fireworks. When tasting this champagne, I actually felt that it was ultimately rich. To me the taste went in phases: started out light in the beginning, intensified in taste near the middle and the finish was strong. It was drier (more bitter) than I thought it would be but it most certainly did not disappoint. This champagne from taste would pair well with lighter dishes such as salads, seafood, pasta and various cheeses. The taste and the lightness of an appetizer or entrée will balance each other well. Moët Brut Imperial is moderately priced at around $45 a bottle. It’s a good champagne with an alcohol content of 12% as well as a reasonable price that appeals to many. I definitely recommend it.
Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Yellow Label is also a non-vintage, mass-produced champagne. It is a product of the second largest champagne house in France. This champagne is described as having a fruity taste, similar to Moët; however, there is a toasty element about this champagne. On the initial pour, the bubbles are tiny and sparky. The aroma presents a fruitful, yet vanilla-y scent. The taste of the champagne mirrors the aroma as described above. It’s fruit forward on the front with the vanilla coming near the middle to the finish. It taste creamy with minerality but is very balanced. It, like the Moët, is dry; however, it is not as dry as the Moët is on the finish. There is a slight bit of sweetness in this champagne, similar to a baked apple, with an alcohol content of 12% as well. Good food pairings for this champagne include fish dishes, shrimp, caviar, oysters, pasta salads and a host of desserts. Lighter food selections work well with this robust champagne. A bottle of Veuve Yellow Label will run around $50. Though it is a bit more expensive than Moët, it is still in a reasonable price range.
Personally, I prefer Veuve over Moët but both are great options for any occasion, especially graduations, New Year’s Eve, a wedding toast for a bride and groom or just a nice evening out on the town. Both of these wines can accompany breakfast, lunch or dinner. Pour in some orange juice, you’ve got a mimosa. Add in a liqueur, you’ve got a cocktail or simply sip it straight. As for myself, I usually go with the latter of the three. In my opinion, it’s the only way to experience the true taste of the wine. If you ever get the urge to splurge on a bottle for champagne, consider trying one of these world-renowned brands. Trust me, you can’t go wrong with either one!