A Bubbly for Your Valentine

A Bubbly for Your Valentine

A 'warhorse' – because sometimes there's a good reason a wine is so famous!

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Sometimes wine writers get caught up in the “what’s new” syndrome. How boring to write about the tried and true – “of course readers know about that!” But sometimes that is that for a reason. My wife and I recently celebrated a stay at a fancy hotel, and to toast the night away I brought along a bottle of Piper-Heidsieck non-vintage Champagne. (No chance-taker am I when it comes to “seduction by bubble.”) This famous wine, for all its ubiquitous-ness, delivers Champagne directly to a woman’s heart – and mine raced rather nicely as well. Truth be told, the current edition of this wine is even better than I remember in past iterations.

Piper-Heidsieck Brut N.V. $42 srp

A gush of baked bread and its yeasty component flies into the room like a freshly prepared brioche. Further elements reveal an almost marzipan-rich melange of baked apple, subtle lemon zest and creamy underpinning. The mouth texture is medium/full in body with a finish that is clean but lingering, begging you to take another sip before the magic fades. Soft, subtle and sexy, sometimes the old dog does the finest tricks, and I can’t think of a better invitation to romance than this staple of Champagne savoir faire. From Caviar to Ferrero Rocher, this spells instant joy.

92/100 points

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Arturo Ciompi
Trained as a classical clarinetist and conductor, Arturo plied his trade for many years in New York, performing with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, New York City Opera, the American Symphony and countless chamber music groups. While living in Durham, Arturo became the wine manager at two iconic gourmet stores: Fowler’s in Durham and Southern Season in Chapel Hill. He had a wine spot on NPR in the ’90s and has been a continuously published wine journalist since 1997. He has won national awards for his work and is currently writing for Durham Magazine and its weekly blog, “Wine Wednesdays”. In addition, he loves teaching the clarinet. Read more on his website.