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Champagne/Sparkling Wines Suggestions/Experiences!

Leiden, The...
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Champagne/Sparkling Wines Suggestions/Experiences!

OK, I'll kick this one off with a questions first......

What does - without looking it up on a search engine - Veuve Clicquot mean?

I only found this out after reading a book about Champagne last year! I feel stupid I didn't know.

My favourite drink is Cremant de Bourgogne, but it's not easy (and expensive) to buy in the Netherlands, so I tend to drink Cava.

Seal Beach...
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1. Re: Champagne/Sparkling Wines Suggestions/Experiences!

Ok, so I knew it must mean the Widow Clicquot, but had to Google the actual story of how the company got that name.

Thanks, fifitrain! Good to find that out, although I have no contributions to make to your post, since I know little or nothing about wine.

Sandy

Tampa, Florida
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2. Re: Champagne/Sparkling Wines Suggestions/Experiences!

"Veuve Clicquot" is The Widow Clicquot.

Mme Clicquot took over the operations of her husband's vineyard and Champagne house when she was widowed at a tragically young age. Despite the societal prejudices against a woman running a business, she did exactly that -- and very successfully, building the business that succeeds to this day.

I've heard people refer to opening a bottle of her Champagne as "dancing with a widow in a yellow dress"

Leiden, The...
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3. Re: Champagne/Sparkling Wines Suggestions/Experiences!

Well done sandylha! (Even if you googled it for the story).

I just found it so odd when I found that out, as I had just assumed it was someone's name, like Moet & Chandon. I bought the book about the Widow Cliquot and found it fascinating.

Seal Beach...
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4. Re: Champagne/Sparkling Wines Suggestions/Experiences!

Yes, you inspired me to do some Web research, at least, and I've been reading about her accomplishments and her descendants for the last little while. Interesting that she didn't trust her son-in-law to carry on. And reading about her connection to Rochechouart, which makes me now curious about the reason for that placename in Paris. Research just spirals out wider and wider, doesn't it?

Sandy

Paris, France
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5. Re: Champagne/Sparkling Wines Suggestions/Experiences!

Well, now if you hear some people ordering or saying "une veuve", you'll know what it means (I must admit that it's some popular slang used by older people, like me - my grandfather used to say in public "j'aime la veuve") - just means Champagne, even not of that specific brand.

There are many "cremants" (sparkling white using the traditional champagne method), almost one in every wine-producing area. For me, Crémant d'Alsace is one of the best, and Luxembourg one is very good too, but not well known since it's a different country and not easy to find). Just a matter of personal taste.

Fifitrain: what do you mean by "Cava" ?

Leiden, The...
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6. Re: Champagne/Sparkling Wines Suggestions/Experiences!

I do also like Cremant d'Alsace and Samur (the sparkling variety).

Cava is the Spanish equivalent of Champagne, like Prosecco is for Italy.

That's interesting about your Grandfather. The book I read mentioned that people (I assume English speakers) would ask for a bottle of The Widow. I just love stuff like that.

Edited: 13 November 2013, 00:57
Paris, France
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7. Re: Champagne/Sparkling Wines Suggestions/Experiences!

I'm a cheapskate and at home I drink a German Sekt I get from from Trader Joe's for $5.00 - or less than 4 euros. I think it it's quite good. I'm normally a Vin Rouge drinker.

Leiden, The...
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8. Re: Champagne/Sparkling Wines Suggestions/Experiences!

Oh yeah, I forgot about Sekt, although like Prosecco, I find it a bit on the sweet side, even if it is Brut.

Paris, France
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9. Re: Champagne/Sparkling Wines Suggestions/Experiences!

Thanks, fifitrain, for the info about Cava. I didn't know it (I must say that we have so many sparkling wines here that I don't look for foreign ones, except for the Luxembourg one mentioned before).

You see, your book was right in stating that people would ask for "une veuve", and they were not English speakers but real French. I'm not sure that younger people still use it. My grandfather owned a bistrot-restaurant in le Marais (the place is still alive and has a good reputation), and he was on the Parisian-slang side!

Leiden, The...
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10. Re: Champagne/Sparkling Wines Suggestions/Experiences!

I bet your grand father must a lot of stories. What's the name of the bistro-restaurant?