I don’t have many Christmas traditions. I don’t put up a tree or even hang a stocking. I barely buy gifts or send cards. I know I sound like a Grinch. But I am not. I like Christmas and the few traditions that I’ve managed to create are sacred. One of my holiday musts is bubbles at Pops for Champagne. Pops has been in business in Chicago for 30 years and according to their website “is the nations’ most acclaimed champagne bar.” This is a great place to hear live jazz, people watch and of course grab a few glasses of bubbles.

Yesterday, some friends joined my ritual.  Our server recommended a blanc de noirs, Champagne Vadin- Plateau NV Les Oubliees’ zero dosage, made of 100% pinot meunier.  Note: (in case you didn’t know) champagne can be made from one or a combination of these grapes: chardonnay, pinot noir, and or pinot meunier.  Chardonnay (white grape) gives champagne finesse, pinot noir (red grape) provides aromatics and body, while pinot meunier (red grape) gives fruitiness and body to the wine. Got it? Ok three more notes. First, blanc de noirs (white from red) is a white wine made from red grapes. After the grapes are pressed, the skins are quickly separated from the juice so there is minimal contact, producing a white wine. Secondly, zero dosage means that the wine has no added sugar. Hold please, I’ll break it down. One of the final steps in making champagne is when a combination of reserve wine and sugar known as Liqueur d’expédition is added. Dosage refers to the number of grams of sugar in the liqueur. So, when a champagne label says, “zero dosage,” it means there is no added sugar. Third champagnes made of 100% pinot meunier are rare, so if you see one, try it.

Ok, now let’s get to the good stuff! Was it delicious? Yes, very delicious – bold, round, mouth filling with flavors of fresh raspberry tart, lemon peel and pear. If you’re looking for a sparkling wine adventure, give it a try. Check in to Pops, take a pic and post with the #ShallWeWinePutMeOn