Andrew McCreery, CS CSW, knows a good glass of wine.
“There’s so much in a glass of wine,” he shares. “There’s the history, who bottled it, who made it, where it’s from… so many things can be expressed in a single glass.”
While Champagne and sparkling wine are used almost interchangeably, Champagne technically only comes from the Champagne region of France. Sparkling wine is more of an umbrella term covering a variety of bubbly wines.
“Sparkling wine is a type of wine that basically has bubbles,” Andrew explains. “How those bubbles are made, what they are made from, and where that takes place determines whether you have a $4 bottle of Cold Duck or $200 bottle of Premier Cru Champagne.”
Andrew explains that the original and natural method of sparkling wine production involves two fermentations, with the second taking place in the same bottle that you would purchase.
“Fermentation creates the alcohol in the wine and CO2 is a by-product,” he notes. “With the second fermentation taking place in the closed bottle, the CO2 has nowhere to go but into the wine itself.”
A sommelier (certified wine expert) for more than 20 years, experiences with wine encompass some of Andrew’s earliest memories—from dinners as a child to time in the Army when he was stationed in Germany’s most popular wine growing region.
In college, he worked at some of Tucson’s finest resorts while attending the University of Arizona, and—among other industry positions—enjoyed a 23-plus year career as the vice president of fine wines for a distributor. He now works on the sales side as Director of On Premise Key Accounts with Hensley Beverage Company. His wife, Denise, is the owner of d'Vine Gourmet and he helps with the wine selections there.
Andrew shares some of his favorite sparkling wines, all of which are available locally at d'Vine Gourmet (DVineGourmet.com) and other retailers.
JP. Chenet Brut
This sparking wine includes floral aromas, white peach and apricot flavors, and a crisp finish. It’s a golden color with delicate bubbles and is produced in France.
JP. Chenet Rosé
This rosé is a fresh expression of strawberry flavors with a gentle sweet finish. This sparkling wine features beautiful pink bubbles and subtle red fruit aromas. It is produced in France.
Le Contesse, Veneto, Brut Rosé, Strawberry
Tropical fruit and creamy flavors make up this favorite pinot noir rosé brut. Experts note that it pairs well with seafood or delicate meat and cheese dishes.
Gloria Ferrer, Royal Cuvée Brut 2007, Carneros
“The first vintage in 1987 was served to the king and queen of Spain,” Andrew says. “It’s aged seven years prior to release. The Ferrer family moved from Barcelona, Spain, home of Cava production, and have 600 years of experience. It’s made in the Methode Champagniose, [with] crisp green apple, citrus and Asian Pear flavors.”
J. Lassalle Preference Champagne
This is a grower Champagne. Aged in bottle for four years prior to disgorgement.
“Angeline Templier, great granddaughter of the founder Jules Lassalle and third generation female winemaker, created this champagne. ‘One women, one spirit, one style’ is the motto of 50-year-old premier Cru Vineyards,” Andrew notes. This Champagne is from Champagne region of France.