Let's start at the very beginning.....
So, you've heard about the Bubblyothèque champagne classes at Swirl. Maybe you've read some of the class descriptions and thought "that sounds a little over my head - I just want the basics!" Well, that's just what we have in store in June.
I love having a very dedicated group of people who come to my tastings month after month. It's a true pleasure to share new bottles with people who have been on the whole journey and now have a shared tasting experience. But, these champagne experts all started at the very first class with me, now 2 years ago. As you know, I want to help as many people as possible learn about champagne and how to enjoy it and what makes it so special. I know that wine in general, and champagne in particular, can be a little intimidating if you're just getting into it. Trust me - I was a total newbie when I got into it, and I definitely remember feeling like I was out of my league. Some of my favorite moments sharing these wines with people are when it really "clicks" for the first time.
To that end, we're going to re-visit the "Champagne 101" format of the very first class at Swirl. We'll cover all of the basics you need to know about champagne, through the story and the wines of 5 different champagne houses. Afterwards, you'll be ready to jump into any of the upcoming classes and feel like an expert yourself.
Of course, even if you've come to classes before, you are more than welcome to come back. It is still a goal to continue to open new bottles. We have been fortunate over the past couple of years to get access to more and more champagne, and that allows us to keep all of these classes novel and interesting, even for the dedicated tasters.
So, if you've been waiting to jump on the Bubblyothèque train, or it's been a while and you want a refresher (we miss you!), or you just want the champagne and don't even mind hearing me talk about the champagne process for the 25th time - this is the class for you!
Reserve you spot HERE!
Bubblyothèque will be driving the bubbly bus as Beth, the owner at Swirl Wines in New Orleans, and a group of her customers join me on a 5 day tour of the region. Lots of visits lined up to take them right to the source and see firsthand just how all that delicious champagne gets made. Stay tuned to Facebook and Instagram for updates. I'll get a special little class/tasting set up one afternoon as well, to take advantage of bottles we can't get here in NOLA.
Did you miss us? We sure have missed you! And, we've heard the repeated "When is the next pop-up?" Not for lack of desire but for very busy schedules between the Boucherie team and Bubblyothèque, we had a bit of an extended break. We know you're thirsting after the bubbles by now, and we're thrilled to pop open some great bottles to share.
As before, this is a night for you to choose your own adventure. Food is à la carte. Wine is by the glass, flight, or bottle(s). And you know we love to make pairings for you if you want to explore a bit. No need to reserve, no need for tickets. Come early, come late - pre-dinner, for dinner, liquid dessert, make a whole night of it - it's up to you!
Hope to see you there - bring a friend or two and start your weekend off right!
Friday's Menu and wine line-up! Food is à la carte and wine is by the glass, flight, or bottle.
From Chef Zimet:
- Charcuterie selections from Bourrée: Speck, salchichon, duck rilettes, pickles, grilled bread and mustard
- Duck bacon, biscuits and gravy, strawberry jam
- Beef and preserved beet tartare, circulated egg yolk, smoked olives, and bliss potato fritters
- Crawfish and carrot terrine with Indian corn grit crackers
- Beef fat french fries with smoked tomato aioli (you knew we wouldn't leave you without any frîtes!)
All of which will go great with champagnes from:
A. Margaine | Nicolas Maillart | Jacquesson | Jean Velut | Paul Clouet | Tarlant
JM Sélèque | Jean Vesselle | Moussé Fils | Bollinger | Pierre Paillard | Dhondt-Grellet
See you there!
You love bubbly, right? And you probably love oysters, fried chicken, or both, right? Then come on over to Swirl Wine Bar & Market on Thurs 4/13 for all of the above!
Bubblyothèque will be working with James Moises to bring you a selection of Champagne and sparkling wines from Bizou Wine Buzz that will pair perfectly with fresh oysters from Two Girls One Shuck and McHardy's Chicken & Fixin'.
$55 gets you the delicious food and a whole lot of wine (20+). Try them all to figure out which ones go best with which food.
Tickets required - see link below. Don't miss this one!
The Bubblyothèque Roadshow continues - next stop, SF!!
Rejoining with a fellow partner in champagne enthusiasm (countless bottles at Pops back in the day, a visit to the Champagne region, and some memorable tastings through the years), I'll help you understand what made us fall in love with these wines.
This will be a Champagne 101 - we'll drink through a variety of styles to help you gain an understanding of the champagne process and the breadth of styles out there for you to enjoy. We'll do a classic blend, a blanc de blancs (or two!), a blanc de noirs, a rose and a special vintage bottle. As always, the focus will be on small producers making high quality wines that are part of a dynamic and delicious time in which to drink champagne.
In addition to the wine, some champagne-friendly bites will be available.
Agrapart 7 Crus
Jacquesson 739 Extra Brut
Pierre Peters Cuvee de Reserve Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru
Boulard-Bauquaire "Trepail Vielles Vignes" Brut 1er Cru
Cedric Bouchard "Roses de Jeanne - Cote de Val Vilaine"
Apollonis "Inspiration de Saison" 2008
Paul Bara Grande Rose Brut Grand Cru
Come on down to the Champagne parlor as Bubblyothèque joins forces with Riddling Widow on their Tokyo Record Bar night - delicious champagne, Japanese snacks, a DJ spinning vinyl.
And, we're excited to host winemaker Jean-Marc Sélèque, who will make an appearance early on to get the night kicked off with his excellent rosé champagne. Swing by at 6:30 to chat with him about what he's up to in Pierry.
More and better.
That is a simple statement that guides a good deal of what Bubblyothèque is all about. We are fortunate to have a great array of champagnes to choose from here, testament to the taste and vision of the many different importers/distributors in NOLA. But, as far as I'm concerned, there's always room for improvement. Part of why I visit the Champagne region each year is to make new contacts with winegrowers and maintain friendships that have formed through the years. It has been a very important goal from the beginning to get the superb wines these people make into the NOLA market. A very exciting day occurred in the midst of the lead-up to Mardi Gras - the first container of these champagnes, fresh from France, arrived on the banks of the mighty Mississippi. As you can imagine, it is with great joy that I am able to present this next tasting to you.
"Thomas Calder may be one of the most important men in French wine you've never heard of." - Wine Spectator Magazine
Though this is from a few years back, it rings true today. Thomas is an American expat now based in France as a wine broker. To peruse his portfolio of wines is to read a list of established wine superstars, right alongside the up-and-coming talents that we should all be excited about. Spending a couple of days at his home outside Paris late last summer to taste but a small portion of these wines, with James Moises of Bizou Wines and Beth Ribblett of Swirl, was an unforgettable opportunity. Thankfully, all went well - and tons of new wine for you has come to town. I cannot wait to share these bubbles with you (and there are even more on the way, from 3 additional producers)!!
We'll taste wine from Barrat-Masson, Bérèche, Guiborat, Marguet, and Louis Nicaise. Never heard of them? Only one or two of them? Excellent - they'll become some of your favorite names soon enough. Join as we taste a wine from each house and talk to you about why they are so special.
Reservations required, link to tix: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/new-champagnes-from-thomas-calder-selections-tickets-32406143648?mc_cid=70c4d801bd&mc_eid=5280a75be6
Please note: In the interest of transparency, I receive no financial benefit from any wine sales. I am compensated a flat rate when doing a class, which is entirely independent from any sales that occur. I do this for the love of the wine - my opinions I offer at the classes are simply that, my opinions. I only care that you *do* indeed buy some wine, for your own enjoyment and to show the forces that be that there is indeed a healthy and growing market for excellent grower champagne in this fair city. Cheers!
While the rest of the country moves into the post-holiday period, we're just getting geared up down here. The prolonged holiday season from November through February can put a bit of a pinch on the budget - those costumes and throws can get expensive! With that in mind, we want to make sure you still find a way to work some champagne into the festivities. A champagne-free Carnival just does not sound right. We have a lot of new options (and some old favorites) in the market to bring you and continue to drive home the point that you can find delicious, well-crafted champagne for a good bit less than that supermarket stuff. Join us for a selection of 6 champagnes for under $50, reservations are required.
Vazart-Coquart & Fils Reserve Blanc de Blancs Brut Grand Cru
Dhondt-Grellet Dans un Première Temps Brut
Marc Hébrart Cuvée de Reserve Brut
Sylvie Paulhiac-Delalot "Explosion" Extra Brut
Henri Dosnon Brut
Plus one more TBA!
If you joined us last year, you know what delights await you. If not, there's still time to make a reservation. An all-Champagne dinner with friends to bid adieu to the...adventure....that was 2016 and say bonjour to what is sure to be the best yet - 2017!
8 courses, 8 champagnes, $200. Early and late seatings.
Call Boucherie to reserve your spot. 504.862.5514
1st Cured Black Turkey Charcuterie
Dhondt-Grellet “Dans un Premier Temp” Brut
2nd Crisp Lamb Sweetbreads Loin Carpaccio, Satsuma & Mehti Leaf
JM Sélèque “Solessence” Brut Rosé
3rd Escolar Crudo, Paddle Fish Caviar, La. Citrus
Vorin-Jumel Blanc de Blancs Brut Grand Cru
4th Foie Gras Soup Dumplings
Bollinger “Special Cuvée” Brut
5th Seared Pork Tenderloin, Purple Hull Peas & Prosciutto Jus
A. Margaine “Cuvée le Brut” Brut 1er Cru
6th Dry Aged Wagyu Beef, Sunchoke, Roasted Chestnut Purée
Moussé et Fils “Terres D’Illite” Brut 2010
7th Chicken Liver Mousse Brûlée
Pierre Paillard Brut Grand Cru
8th Red Wine Chocolate Mousse
Jean Vesselle “Cuvée Friandise” Demi-Sec Rosé
Jeannette, our special event space sits inside of the old Boucherie location at
8115 Jeannette Street, NOLA.
Private, Catered & Special Events.
While we firmly believe Champagne should be enjoyed year-round, it is undeniable that it is a treasured part of holiday celebrations. And we're always happy to open some bottles and share with you, no matter the time of year or day of the week.
To help you keep the holiday spirit rolling, join Bubblyothèque on Tuesday 12/20 for a great line-up of Champagnes at Spirit Wine. As with other in-shop tastings, in addition to simply enjoying some excellent wine, I'll give you a little bit of background on Champagne and why it's so special. Then you can tear up the holiday circuit with your Champagne knowledge, secure in knowing you've brought a bottle that your hosts and the other guests will love to drink. Or, just keep it for yourself to enjoy as a relax and recharge before the next round of parties.
In the line-up for this tasting:
J Lasalle Special Club '07
Drappier Grand Sendree '06
Pol Roger '06 ("Black label")
Dumangin NV Rosé
Lallier Brut Grand Cru
That's 3 top-notch vintage wines, plus a rosé and great all-around classic. Don't miss this one! Bring your friends.
Reserve in advance: Call (504) 309-8744 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve seats or purchase tickets via Eventbrite.
Tiny Bubbles Thursday - so much better than Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined!
You survived Thanksgiving and need to treat yourself and fuel up for the marathon of holiday events ahead of you - Champagne is the perfect answer.
Bubblyothèque is popping up with the Boucherie/Bourrée crew to bring you the holiday installment of the best little champagne bar in town. And, to make room for some excellent new bottles in the new year, we'll have some great discounts on a selection of your old favorites. Help us clear out the cellar - limited quantities and when they're gone, they're gone.
Champagne by the glass, flight, or bottle. Delicious food from Chef Zimet and his team. The cozy confines of Jeannette. No reservations necessary, all wine and food is ordered à la carte.
Bring some friends. We'll be ready with cups of good cheer and bottles of deserved bubbles.
Wine and food line-up:
-Jacquesson 738 Extra-Brut
-Jacquesson 739 Extra-Brut
-Philipponnat Royal Reserve
-Paul Clouet “Selection” Brut
-Nicolas Maillart “Platine” Brut 1er Cru
-Larmandier-Bernier “Latitude” Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut 1er Cru
-Moncuit “Delos” Blanc de Blancs Brut Grand Cru
-Jean Velut “Premier Temps” Brut
-Pierre Brigandat Brut
-Tarlant “Rose Zero” Brut Nature
-Michel Loriot “Meunier Authentique” Blanc de Noirs Brut
-AD Coutelas Origine Brut
-Crab fat Indian corn grits / shrimp and pancetta scampi
-Toasted almond baklava / chicken liver mousse / roasted persimmon jam
-Caviar / White pepper creme fraiche / crisp
-Grilled Basmati rice summer roll / buttered chickpea purée
-Beef fat French fries / potato purée
-Charcuterie selection from Bourrée
Join me at Swirl for a special Wednesday Night Flights, when I'll be there to introduce you to a new Champagne in town: Tribaut.
4 Champagnes, $20 per flight. No reservations necessary.
The Other B's!! Bubblyothèque, Bourrée, & Boucherie! Due to scheduling considerations, we had to move this from the usual date - but now it will be a great way to kick off your Boudin, Bourbon, & Beer weekend.
Our monthly pop-up Champagne Bar with the crew from Boucherie and Bourrée, in the original home of Boucherie on Jeannette St.
A great selection of champagne by the glass, flight, or bottle along with a wine-friendly array of small plates and charcuterie from Chef Zimet and his team.
No reservations necessary - ordering is à la carte, come when you can, leave when you must. Make a night of it or swing by before or after dinner for some great wine.
Angeline + Bubblyothèque + Champagne Day = Easy as 1...2...3!
Champagne & Oysters. Happiest happy hour.
I'll be at Angeline during happy hour, where we're presenting 2 great champagnes by the glass along with Oysters - on the half-shell or roasted (with herbsaint butter, bottarga, herbs, cornbread crumbs).
Then by-the-glass specials on Champagne ALL night long!
Jean Velut "Premier Temps" Brut $18, Jean Vesselle "Oeil de Perdrix" Brut $21 (5oz pours)
Champagne Day will take place on 10/21 this year. For a special Bubblyothèque event and many others around town, stay tuned.
See champagnedaynola.com for updated event listings.
Champagne shouldn't be reserved just for a certain holiday or event, but there's also nothing wrong with giving it a day of its own and raising a glass with friends!
Have Champagne, will travel!
Bubblyothèque is taking the show on the road. First stop? Portland, OR. From the Marne to the banks of the Willamette.
It's no accident that some of the best sparkling wine in the US comes from around these parts. And Portland already punches above its weight in terms of availability and knowledge when it comes to champagne. We'll spend an evening going back to the Bubblyothèque roots - a Champagne 101 is in store, letting you explore the breadth of styles the region has to offer. Further details (and some special guests) to be posted here soon.
Drink. Learn. Celebrate.
(Happy to travel to a city near you - drop me a line if you have an idea for an event.)
Our monthly pop-up Champagne Bar in the old Boucherie space on Jeannette St.
Champagne by the glass, flight, or bottle with a great menu of wine-friendly food from Chef Zimet and crew.
No reservations needed - come when you can, leave when you must, bring a friend!
Menu coming soon!
Ok, let's be honest. Everybody loves champagne. But you can only eat so much cheese. While we truly love the selections from St James that accompany each tasting, this month we're going to highlight another side of what they do (and excel at). Charcuterie. They have a new charcutière in the kitchen; we've got some great bubbly to go with it.
Those of you who have been on the Bubblyothèque train know that we want everybody to treat champagne for the serious wine it is. And pairings are an important part of that. Some wines are great on their own - but most are better with company (be it food or a friend). It's been a challenge and a pleasure to work on pairings for different events, and it is great to work with people on the food side who are as into the pairings as I am from the wine side. While sometimes a specific pairing can be revelatory and enhance both the wine and the food, sometimes there is more to be learned from experimentation. To that end, this night will have some specific pairings based on conversations between myself and our chef for the night. But, we'll also have wines that are particularly well-suited to the types of meaty, well-seasoned bites that you expect from charcuterie. You can mix and match - and learn - by tasting different wines with different foods and deciding what you like (or don't).
At the end of the day, you get great wine, great locally made food, and maybe a little learning. Definitely some fun.
Champagne from A. Margaine, Henri Giraud, Paul Clouet, Philipponnat, and José Dhondt.
Charcuterie includes pâté de campagne, duck rillettes, duck pastrami, cheese and pork pie, and foie-stuffed figs.
Reservation required - follow this link to secure your spot: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/champagne-charcuterie-with-michael-knisleys-bubblyotheque-tickets-27523032130
Champagne is great. Cheese is great. So why not have a little fun putting some favorites together? You can't go wrong.
Tonight, we'll have wines from Bouzy, a grand cru village on the Montagne de Reims, and various types of Brébis, sheep's milk cheeses in an array of styles from around France. While the Montagne is largely Pinot Noir territory, there are decent amounts of Chardonnay planted as well (and it isn't your rich-aunt-in-the-Cotes-des-Blancs' Chardonnay). We'll have an array of styles for you to pair with the delicious cheese (and some charcuterie too). Learn about the wines from this special village and explore how they pair with the food.
Bouzy and Brébis - Ewe can't go wrong! See you @ St James - Uptown!
You know what tastes better than a text to the Red Cross?
You know what feels better than just drinking Champagne and eating some duck fat frîtes?
Knowing that a portion of the money you're spending will go directly to flood relief efforts.
Champagne, Charcuterie, Charity.
Come to the monthly Bubblyothèque Pop-up this Thursday and make the easiest and tastiest donation possible. You order bubbly and food - we give a portion to flood relief. We're still determining format and recipient - this will be updated once details are in place.
As ever, come enjoy a night at the best little Bar à Champagne in town.
~Champange: by the glass, flight, or bottle
~Champagne-friendly small plates (and those frîtes): from Boucherie and Chef Zimet's talented team
A la carte ordering, no set menu - as much or as little as you like.
Come when you can, leave when you must - pre- or post-dinner, or just make a night of it with us.
Menu and details on the charitable giving forthcoming - stay tuned to this event page.
While it is true (and evident from our prior classes) my love of champagne grew out of the wines produced by smaller growers, the simple fact is that Champagne long ago gained its worldwide renown through the marketing efforts and sheer volume of production on the part of the large historic houses. We likely wouldn't be drinking (as much) wine from the smaller guys if the Champagne "brand" hadn't been developed and exported by the big guys back in the day. We have previously talked about label designations that indicate "grower champagne" vs "negociant champagne" ("RM" vs "NM"). Though these are meaningful designations, they don't tell the whole story and there is certainly overlap. There are negociant champagnes that are made with every ounce of care in the vineyard and cellar that any grower would employ. Conversely, seeing that it is a grower champagne is not a guarantee of quality. You must know the story of the house and their approach to winemaking to find the good wine.
When you drink enough wine, sparkling or not, you begin to develop preferences. Some are rational, others less so. Deciding to only drink "RM" or grower champagne would leave you missing out on some great wines. And, sometimes the negociant houses can be ignored as just making so much factory-produced plonk when in reality some of the finest examples of the category come from the old guard big guys. In fact, the best wine I've ever tasted had NM on the label. At the end of the day, what matters is the quality of what is in the glass in front of you. Not the name or code on the label. How does one go about removing those sorts of biases when they taste wines? Taste blind. Assess each wine without any prior knowledge of who made what is being poured. You just might surprise yourself with what you end up preferring. And, you'll certainly learn something when you then discuss who made it, how, and then consider why you like it.
This month, I will host a blind tasting around the theme of "David vs Goliath". I'll pair things as evenly as possible in terms of blend, sub-region, age, dosage, etc. One will be from the "small guys", one from the "big guys". We'll vote blind as well and see who comes out on top at the end of the night. 6 Champagnes, French cheeses to snack on and lots of fun! $55, reservations required!
We had such a great time last month for our inaugural Champagne & Cheese night at St James Cheese Co, we're doing it again! Join us at the new Downtown location for a special showcase of Champagnes from some of my favorite producers. We get access to some of the best wines from all over the world due to the efforts of wine importers (and their local distributors!) who seek out quality producers and build relationships with them to bring us these great bottles of wine, sometimes of very limited production. Vintage 59 is one such company, and their champagne portfolio is one of my favorites - a variety of styles, all high quality, at excellent prices - a perfect mix. In conjunction with a NOLA visit from one of their team members (and fellow Champagne fanatic), I'll be introducing you to some of their wines and telling you the stories behind the wine - the people, the place, and why they're so special. All of that, with delicious cheese and charcuterie pairings from St James. It will fill up quickly, so reserve your spot today via the St James website.
Though it is definitely not the case anymore, the southern reaches of the Champagne region were neglected for a long time. There were very destructive riots in the early 1900s, staged by the growers from this region, in order to be made part of the official appellation. This rebellious, independent spirit can still be found in the winemaking today. Not as bound by the traditions of the rest of the region (yet still within the parameters of champagne production), and benefitting from soil that has more in common with Burgundy (immediately to the south), the winemakers here are exploring terroir and providing us with great new ways to experience what it is possible to produce within the larger appellation. Pinot Noir does particularly well in these parts and these producers are giving us new ways of looking at its role in champagne. And, as this tasting falls on Bastille Day, you might even get to see a little sabrage - “off with its head”, indeed.
Champagne is wonderful with food, and cheese is no exception. We will be inviting Michael Knisley over to our shop to take us through why Champagne is so wonderful and why it pairs so well with foods. This tasting will be heavier on the information, specifically a comparng and contrasting of multiple champagnes with a few cheeses (from the Champagne region) and examining the effect of the cheese on the different levels of the champagne flavor wise and vice versa. Bread by Bellegarde Bakery will be available as well as charcuterie.