Sparkling Wine, oui, Champagne, non

Stellars Jay Sparkling Wine


I feel like I’m generally alone amongst my peers in my general indifference to Champagne. It’s not that I don’t love it—I do—it’s just that for the $65 a bottle of Lanson Black Label set me back I’d get a red wine that I’d probably enjoy more. And don’t get met started on the $250+ for a bottle of the amazingly excellent Krug Grand Cuvee. But that doesn’t mean I skip the bubbles—I just keep it local. People often gripe about OK wine prices but a bottle of Stellar’s Jay (left) is $27—and for me Veuve Cliquot is not 3 times better, but it is 3 times pricier. Ditto the new Entourage Sparkling Chardonnay from Jackson Triggs. Its elegant lightness is evocative of Taitinger’s Comte de Champagne, but it costs $30 not $175.  And unlike really cheap bubbles that are either injected with gas or bottled under pressure (like most prosecco) these wines go through the painstaking (and expensive) method classique which is the same as the big boys. Don’t get me wrong—I do see the magic in a bottle of Bollinger RD but it’s a time (rarely) a place (hopefully someone else’s house) wine for me. These two are everyday drinkers

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