Closet Cliquot Fan?

I’m always saying Veuve Cliquot yellow label is overpriced. So who would have guessed that at last night’s blind tasting of seven bubblies at Main Street Wine Company in Huntington Beach I picked two Cliquots among my three favorites?

The rosé nonvintage ($66.99) impressed me with its creamy mousse, rounded fruit, and dry finish. The Cliquot Brut Vintage 2002 ($83.99) impressed me even more with its pretty aromatics of white flowers and its fine bubbles. I chose that over a Laurent-Perrier which surprised me because I’m a big fan of their rosé. Then I tried a Champagne I didn’t care for at all. It was super bright, much too lemony and acidic. I wondered, did someone overdo it with the picpoul in this blend? That turned out to be Cliquot La Grande Dame 1998!

So I’m still in a quandary as to whether I like Cliquot’s house style or not. Here’s what is certain. At every station I chose the most expensive bottle. (Bad news for my husband.) Second, I still love Dom Pérignon. Before the big reveal I called their vintage 2002 ($149.99) the most elegant and balanced Champagne I tasted that night with a perfumey nose, refined toasty notes, and a whisper of earthiness.

Overall it was a really fun experience and I would recommend this annual event, which included delicious nibbles and a bit of dessert in the form of chef Wonyee Tom’s sumptuous cheesecake bites from Tomgirl Baking Company.

Here’s a list of the upscale beauties they poured along with a friendly little welcoming Prosecco.—Anne Valdespino

Stellina di Notte Prosecco ($12.99)

Argyle 2007 Brut Rosé ($29.99)

Veuve Cliquot Rosé Nonvintage ($66.99)

Veuve Clicquot Brut Vintage 2002 ($83.99)

Laurent-Perrier Brut Millésimé 2000 ($53.99)

Veuve Cliquot la Grande Dame 1998 ($119.99)

Dom Pérignon Vintage 2002 ($149.99)



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