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Get to Know Grower Champagnes with Marissa Ross

Throughout this fall and winter, Whole Foods Market and SAVEUR are partnering with Blog Awards winners and finalists for In Good Company, a series of culinary exploits from discovering new beers and sparkling wines to meeting local farmers and foragers.

Last week Marissa Ross, a wine writer with WINE. all the time (which won the SAVEUR Blog Awards Editor’s Choice & Readers’ Choice for Best Wine Coverage), answered popular holiday wine questions and dished on her top holiday wines. Today she pops the cork on Grower Champagnes.

Where is the Veuve?

The better question is, who cares? There is a whole world of Champagne out there beyond Veuve’s shiny orange sunset strip of a label. Champagnes commemorate moments like no other beverage, so you should be serving something that is just as special as your evening. I always suggest “Grower” Champagnes. “Grower” Champagnes are Champagnes that are made on the same land, by the same dude, where the grapes are grown. This seems like a “Duh!” moment. Most people assume that wines are made where the grapes are grown, but the truth is, wines that are made on property by the same person who is farming the grapes are become rarer and rarer. What makes them special is the love that goes into these wines, from the farm to your glass. It is a craft that you can taste and will never forget.

Recommendations

Here are three of my favorites that will have you asking, “Veuve who?”

Jean Laurent Champagne. Despite its full-body, the Jean Laurent Champagne tastes like the fluffiest pastry. Buttery and nutty with notes of peach cobbler, its delicate bubbles make it perfect for kicking off an occasion, whether it be at night or at noon. Serve with brie, mild cheddars and gouda.

Champagne Paul Clouet Rosé Brut. Tell vodka cranberry to take a hike and sub in this flirty rosé for cocktail hour. Upbeat with punchy fruit notes, the Paul Clouet tastes like dancing to Brenda Lee’s “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree” and sneaking raspberry candies out of your stocking. Don’t worry, I won’t tell.

Pierre Gimonnet & Fils Champagne Cuvée Cuis Blanc de Blancs Brut. New Year’s Eve or not, there is always a good reason to pop some Pierre Gimonnet & Fils Brut. It is the quintessential party Champagne with poppy lemon zest and gardenia going off like a sparkler in your mouth. Energetic with a long briny finish, this Champagne makes me want to throw on a party dress and hunt down some mistletoe.

 Get more holiday wine advice from Marissa in her SAVEUR post Top Holiday Wines