Eats and Beats: Champagne and Sparkling Options

Dec 22, 2016

Something sparking is the easy holiday choice, and for good reason says Carolyn Joy, who joins us monthly on "First Take with Lando and Chavis" for a wine and food pairing segment.

If it sparkles, it's fun, but for the brands of estate grown, small farm wines that Joy prefers, she's not looking for tons of CO2 to add to the process.  "Generally, with a cheaper sparkling wine, from California or France, what I think they've let happen is just a little extra yeast into the process.  It's all natural yeast as well, so they're not adding any yeast, just what's in the vineyard and from the grape skins also."

In the extended version of our conversation below, she describes her passion for the small wineries, and the growing availability of product from around the U.S., Europe and even South Africa.

Her paper on the topic "The Difference between the Yellow Label and the Yellow Arches" is available at her Denver store, Joy Wine and Spirits. (

The sparkling wine we sampled was an Austrian Pinot Noir - a legitimate grape from Champagne!  The Meinkling line is certified organic from Burgenland region.

Also in this conversation, why champagne can be so ridiculously expensive. (You won't need three guesses.)