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Monday, May 30, 2011

Ben's Bubbly: Moët et Chandon White Star

This past week, Ben discovered his hand and has been a slobbering fool. While he hasn't exactly figured out how to intentionally bring it to his mouth, he takes full advantage of it when he does. Also, this past weekend he slept through the night. It wasn't a sleep marathon by everyone's standards, but six hours is a full night's sleep with an eight week-old. We went to bed at eleven and were surprised when we both woke up for the first time at five the next morning. Unfortunately, Ben did not want to go back to sleep and we were up for the day. We thought we'd take a nap later in the day, but of course that did not happen. While we have been lucky that he is a good sleeper, we really need to start taking a few naps when he does.

Also this week, I learned that I passed the Wine Location Specialist Certificate Program offered by the Center for Wine Origins. The Center for Wine Origins was founded in 2005 by the the Comité Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne (CIVC), the grape growers' and winemakers' trade association of Champagne, France; and the Instituto dos Vinhos do Douro e Porto (IVDP), the trade association for the grape growers and houses in Douro Valley and Porto, Portugal. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., this organization aims to educate Americans about "the importance of location when it comes to wine, and to gain greater protection of wine place names in the U.S." According the the federal government, Champagne and Port are classified as semi-generic names and prohibited to appear on wine labels unless they also contain the true place of orgin - i.e., "Colorado Champagne" (see more about this next week) or "California Port" or are grandfathered in on labels already in use at the time of the international agreement with the European Union.

The Wine Location Specialist Certificate Program consists of a comprehensive study guide and a 50-question multiple choice exam exam and an essay question. This program is open to wine professionals and free to register for once you are approved by the Center for Wine Origins. I was inspired to take the exam by Joe Roberts of 1WineDude.com and was lucky enough to complete the exam with more than 45 multiple choice questions correct and better than 4 out of 5 points on the essay to pass With Distinction. I am now certified by the IVDP and CIVC to lead wine education seminars, tastings and dinners specific to the Port and Champagne regions. To celebrate this week's Ben's Bubbly, I decided to pop the cork on a true Champagne!

Moët & Chandon White Star, Champagne

Probably best know by their Dom Perignon label, Moët & Chandon is a large Champagne negociant that produces a range of sparkling wines. While I don't buy Moët wines often, this was a bottle with an extinct label purchased by my wife at a school fundraiser auction. Moët has rebranded White Star as Brut Imperial, along with a slightly drier dosage. This wine was light in color with fruity and doughy aromas. I mostly smelled apples and pears, but frosted cupcakes also came to mind. The sugar was definitely noticeable amongst the creaminess on the palate. This wine reminded me of cross between a cream soda and Celestial Seasonings' Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride tea. This was a nice wine, but a bit sweeter than I like my bubbly. I am glad that Moët decided to drop their dosage levels in the Brut Imperial. 12% abv. Purchased $50. Good (tasted 5/27/11)

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