Tag Archives: Champagne

Instagram: A wine geek’s dream

Ever since I got my iPhone 4S, I’ve been Instagraming like a fiend. One of my favorite subjects, besides myself of course (jk!), is wine. To a wine lover, there are very few things as photogenic as a seductive wine bottle. I figure I’d share a few of my favorites and hopefully you find as much joy out of them as I do! Find me on Instagram (@SENELWORLDWIDE).

I have a habit of saving the bottles of some of the “greats” that I’ve tasted through the years. Oddly, they make for an appealing picture!

Barossa Bold: Amazingly Aeromatic

Collateral Damage: Remnants of a Southern NH restaurant tour with Donelan Wine’s owner Joe Donelan.

Champagne with a View: 5th Anniversary Dinner at the charming Wellington Room (Portsmouth, NH)

In the Shadow of Greatness: ’01 Opus One


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Two to “POP” this New Year’s Eve!

New Years is a time to reflect on the year that zipped past us in bewildering fashion. It’s a time to embrace in a kiss that connects two distinctly different periods of time. It’s also a time when a singular drink brings a smile to everyone’s face with a violent yet rhythmic…POP!

The miracle of secondary fermentation is the international symbol of the New Year’s celebration.  Worldwide this celebration represent a selfless moment that’s not often seen. People toasting one another for good health, a better year moving forward, peace and happiness. This is the norm, not a forced courtesy or something we have to think about, it just happens.

With that in mind, I thought I’d recommend a couple sparkling wines to help ring in what I hope will be a happier, more prosperous and healthier new year for you all.

Since sparkling wine is all about the bubbles, complexity and an effervescent awakening of the senses, I offer you two wines, separated by thousands of miles and many years of tradition. They do, however, both share two distinct qualities: they are tremendous values and they are both damn tasty!

NV Taittinger, La Française, Reims, France – $28

Taittinger makes one of my favorite non-vintage (NV) champagnes. The house made most famous by its appearance in James Bond flicks is renowned as an artisanal champagne.

The La Française is a consistent tribute to the beauty of the cuvee that this region is capable of. Citrus and creamy peach are prominent and the millions of tiny bubbles allow the lite toast and citrus notes to awaken the senses before the first sip.

Fantastic and largely overlooked for the lesser quality Moët & Chandon Imperial ($28) or the more expensive Veuve Clicquot “Yellow Label” ($37).

NV Gloria Ferrer, Brut, Sonoma, CA – $17

The NV Gloria Ferrer Sonoma Brut is a tremendous effort, knocking many over-priced cuvees from Champagne off their perch.  The current release is very clean and bright, a terrific way to awaken your palate! It offers flavors of Asian pear, raspberry, lightly toasted bread and yeast.  It performs a seamless balancing act of sweet, tart and toast that lingers joyfully on the finish.

This sparkling wine was #9 in the Senel Wine Top 10 of 2010!


The prices displayed are the current prices that these wines are available for at the New Hampshire Liquor Stores. All wines are available at the location off of Exit 6 in Nashua.

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2009 Bordeaux Pricing is Set: Now What?

It is amazing what the hype-machine out of Bordeaux can achieve. The 2009 Bordeaux Futures are without a doubt, a success. The demand for this vintage has exceeded my expectations! I thought that the stagnation of our economy would put downward pressure on the futures. However, it turns out that Asia, Hong Kong to be more precise, is playing their trump card (in conjunction with strong demand from US Venture Capitalists). To this, I say “let them!”…

To find out how you can approach this in a responsible manner and capitalize on some favorable pricing, read 2009 Bordeaux Pricing is Set: Now What?

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The wise words of Madame Lilly Bollinger

I drink Champagne when I’m happy and when I’m sad.  Sometimes I drink it when I’m alone.  When I have company I consider it obligatory.  I trifle with it if I’m not hungry and drink it when I am.  Otherwise I never touch it – unless I’m thirsty.

Lilly Bollinger took over the legendary Champagne house when her husband, Jacques Bollinger, died in 1941. Lilly was a shameless promoter of the winery/region and worked tirelessly to expanded production through the purchase of more vineyards. 

However, she is better known for traveling the world to promote the brand and making quotes such as the aforementioned. Her promotion enthusiasm for Champagne was a driving force in helping the region escape the shadows of Nazi occupation during WWII.

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Wow your friends on New Years Eve with this bit of Champagne knowledge

Originally posted on 9/30/09

Quite possibly the most famous Champagne and the most famous Benedictine monk, Pére Pérignon has been touted as the inventor of Champagne. Although the romantics and the French (I know that is a little redundant) stick to this story, the image of a lovable blind monk being the first to stumble upon this magical wine is unfortunately not true.

The process of converting still wine into sparkling was documented well before the famed monk laid claim. Christopher Merret, a British scientist, executed the first documented instance of voluntary secondary fermentation. Outside of his research, he did little to further improve upon his findings. That was not his objective; he was a scientist, not a winemaker. That job was left to Pére Pérignon.

Pére Pérignon truly earned his reputation as an innovator. His creation was referred to as le vin du Père Pérignon and it became the must have wine of the time. His innovations and his ability to elevate a wine to such heights that it can now only be claimed by one region in the world is why we celebrate him.

In the end, Dom Pérignon may not have been the first, but does it really matter?!

Sources/Interesting Reads:




P.S. – I am aware that I am blinking in the picture and look like a fool, but Dom is in the background and that makes me very cool.

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