Gerry, Gerry, the Champagne Man


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North America » United States » California » Napa
February 7th 2020
Published: February 7th 2020
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Everyone seemed to enjoy the previous email about wines and champagnes. The feedback is always welcome. I just enjoy knowing that you read some or all of them. So, here are some more pearls of wisdom for you.



Aside from wine and champagne, I had perhaps the best Scotch I have ever had, an 18 year old Macallan, while I was in Atlanta. It went down like this: we returned from the Warriors-Hawks game to the Marriott Marquis in downtown Atlanta. With some time on our hands, I offered to buy a round of nightcaps for the four of us. The other three opted for relatively inexpensive drinks. Somewhat at a loss of what to order, I saw the Macallan sitting on the shelf behind the bartender. I asked for the 18 year old version, and he offered a second shot at only $4. Why not? It was the best Scotch I have EVER had. Looks like it runs about $300 a bottle!



Over 23.7 million of bottles of Champagne were shipped to the U.S. last year. The U.S is the second largest export market for Champagne in the world, second only to the U.K. Gradually on the rise in a particularly bright spot is rosé Champagne with 17%!o(MISSING)f the total Champagne sales in the U.S. last year. Trump could ruin this!!!!




​When tasting several different vintages from the same producer, most professionals begin with the oldest vintage. The reasoning is that the oldest wine is likely to be the most integrated and nuanced, and possibly the most frail. The youngest wine is likely to be the boldest. If you taste the young bold wines first, you may not be able to fully taste the nuances of the oldest wine when you get to that wine. So most pros start with the oldest wine. I never knew this!




The year 1783, is the oldest and most productive cork oak, named the Whistler Tree, was planted, in the Alentejo region of southern Portugal. Cork trees are generally harvested for the first time when they are 25 years old, then once every decade after that. The tree’s name comes from the sound made by the songbirds who nest within it.




Corkage fee $5500 (in U.S. dollars) reportedly charged to a businessman at a tony Melbourne, Australia, restaurant for bringing eight bottles of wine to be served during dinner. This shatters the former highest corkage award worldwide, held by Per Se restaurant (New York) and its sister The French Laundry (Napa Valley): $150/bottle. Many fine restaurants typically charge a more palatable $25-$30 per bottle. I usually bring my own bottle of champagne or Cabernet to nicer restaurants, to avoid the expensive wine lists. Then I know what I am drinking, and can really enjoy it!



What is the difference between Franciacorta and Prosecco? Franciacorta is a region in Lombardy in northern Italy, famous for its sparkling wines. These dry sparkling wines are made by the traditional Champagne method from chardonnay and pinot noir (and sometimes pinot blanc). They are austerely elegant with a fine, creamy mousse of bubbles. Franciacortas come as non-vintage wines as well as vintage-dated (known as Franciacorta millesimato) and they spend a relatively long time on lees―18 months for non-vintage to 60 months for Franciacorta riserva. Prosecco is a sparkling wine made in the Veneto region of Italy. It’s made from glera grapes. It’s not made by the Champagne method, but rather by a process known as Charmat whereby the second fermentation takes place in large tanks. The top Proseccos are known as Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore. Prosecco wine is the traditional sparkler (along with white peach juice) in the Italian cocktail, the bellini.



A mere 55 miles per hour that a cork can exit a bottle of Champagne. At that velocity, the hot stopper could smash the waiting wine glasses, as well as shatter your spectacles. The pressure in a Champagne bottle ranges from 70 to 90 pounds per square inch—two to three times the pressure in your car's tires.



Now this is terrible: Champagne is a traditional toasting drink for NYE, but the Russians take it a step further. Before you imbibe, you need to write down your wishes for the new year and then burn them. Here’s where it gets interesting. Those ashes need to be sprinkled into your glass of champagne, which you have to drink before the clock strikes 12:01 a.m. on New Year’s Day. Yuck!





What will I drink on New Year's Eve, with my Maine lobster? Not sure yet, but I guarantee it will cost under $20.



Instagram lost its mind over the case of Armand de Brignac “Ace of Spades” Champagne that Jay-Z and Beyoncé sent Reece Witherspoon after she asked them to share a glass at the recent Golden Globe Awards. "Jay & Bey” have owned the luxury brand since 2014.



The new year, 2020, promises to be yet another year of adventures in the wine universe. I hope you will share some of your favorites as you drink them. I promise to keep them a secret!

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