kelly magyarics

washington, d.c.-based wine, spirits, travel & lifestyle writer / wine educator


Grab the bottle opener...I need some bubbly

I was lucky enough to receive some bottles of Domaine Chandon a few weeks ago to sample for a sparkling wines piece I wrote. Two of the bottles were curiously missing the cork, foil and cage typically of most traditional method sparkling wines...

Domaine Chandon's Etoile Brut ("star" in French) prides itself on having "freedom to break from all traditional limitations and commonly accepted rules in sparkling winemaking." Thus, they use a crown closure (AKA a beer cap...) with some lovely ribbon on top, to seal their bottles.

I was actually a bit nervous to keep this on my wine rack. Would it hold? Would it explode in the middle of the night, leaving precious (and sticky...) bubbly residue on my walls? I mean, I figured the winemakers knew what they were doing, but it's just a bit...unconventional. But c'est le point, I guess...

It was refreshingly easy to just grab my bottle opener from the side of my fridge and pop open the bottle. I thought maybe the wine wouldn't have that much effervescence--a safety precaution for the lack of a cage. But it was fully sparkling. And delicious, with some ginger and honey, and some apple and pear.

Etoile also comes in a rose version, which retails for $50. (The Brut retails for $40.)

So, next time you crave a bottle of the fizzy stuff, embrace the beer cap, and grab the bottle opener. Cheers!