Champagne at Binny's

December 30 2006 - 9:38 AM

If I had more money I’d have a Champagne problem My friends tell me of the actor who played J.R. on Dallas and his Champagne problems. I think they’re making fun of the fact that I actually really do love Champagne. I love the taste of a bottle of Bollinger – from the first glass to the last. It’s a great wine that you can actually appreciate as you drink the whole bottle.

It’s not New Year’s that has me excited and thinking about bubbly. It’s the Binny’s Champagne tasting tomorrow night. If it’s anything like I remember it I’m in for a real treat. A few pula pula inflavel years back the mob, and it IS a mob (it sells out every year), was congregating around the Cristals and the Doms leaving me a B-line for the Henri Giraud but that might have been at the Sam’s tasting. But Giraud is my favorite Champagne of them all. Better than the R.D. Bollingers, better than any Salon or Krug.

I think I like it for the same reason I don’t like non-Champagne
sparklers… I find them incapable of the earthy, mustiness that I get
from most Champagnes beginning at $20: bottles like LeBrun or
Drappier… The nearby houses come close. A bottle of Bernard Massard
from Ay will set you back $13 or so and will taste terrific but it’s
more fruity than I would love. It’s the way I picture a Rosé. Given
it’s rosy color it works.

2 weeks later…O.K. It took me a couple days to live this down. Binny’s does a
great job. It’s different than I remember. There was very little food:
a cheese and salami tray, chocolates, caviar. Considering the mob scene
they could have used some more food. But it’s not a food tasting. The
Champagnes were terriffic.

There were plenty of Prestige bottles: Cuvee Louise from Pommery,
Laurent Perrier’s Grand Siecle, Heidseck Monopole’s Diamant (my
favorite), Krug – vintage and non-vintage, Cliquot’s Grand Dame and all
the others – Bollinger, Dom Perignon, Piper Heidseck, Perrier Jouet,
and  Joseph Perrier with their terrific Cuvee Josephine another one of
my favorites was the G. Fluteau Cuvee Prestige.

It’s great to have the opportunity to drink these all one after the
other… and then to go back and forth. And forth and back. For three
hours. Phew.

You note some interesting stuff. The 2004 Krug isn’t drinking great yet
– it’s too tart. Dom has never tasted better to me – I’m not a huge Dom
guy. Monopole’s Diamant was awesome. Bollinger is and has been my
favorite – the non jumpers for sale vintage. Josephine is a great beautifully painted
bottle that leans to the cheaper end of the Prestige bottles but tastes
terrific. The Perrier Jouet is par and the Cliquot Grand Dame is

It’s a terrificly fun excessive evening and for $35 ($50
non-members) it’s the best steal in the city which is likely why it
does sell out immediately.