There’s a pretty basic reason why “Champagne” is often used as a catch-all term for sparkling wines (much to the chagrin of wine nerds the world over): The differences between one bottle of bubbly and another generally prove tougher to spot than the flavor variations found in still wines. The fizz factor plays a major role here, distracting from taste-related subtleties and making it easy for casual imbibers to think of all dry sparklers as part of the same category.
Pierre Moncuit Blanc de Blancs NV When asked to name her favorite Blanc de Blancs, wine director Rachael Lowe of Spiaggia in Chicago chose a version hailing from the Les Mesnil-sur-Oger commune in Champagne. “[Pierre Moncuit Blanc de Blancs] is a really beautiful wine, made by a small grower-producer family in the heart of the Côtes de Blancs in Champagne. Consistently highlighting the Chardonnay grape, this wine is 100% Chardonnay and is aged entirely in stainless steel. It is a racy style of [bubbly], with bright acidity and aromas of green apple, Bosc pear, lemon pith, and almond [which] pairs well with a multitude of foods or simply by itself,” Lowe tells us.