It was a fun evening at WSET class last night – ending with a perfect tasting:
The class mostly focused on red wines: Tempranillo from Spain, Malbec from Argentina, Sangiovese from Italy, Pinotage from South Africa, among many more. But what stole the show was the Champagne we tried as part of the lesson on sparkling wines (and Yes, this is a Champagne from the Champagne region of France): a Billecart-Salmon Brut Reserve Non-Vintage (photo via wine-searcher.com):
While the instructor gave me a bit of a look when I told him the body was medium – almost all Champagnes are considered light-bodied, I learned – I would argue this is more medium-bodied for what I recall a sparking wine to be. It certainly was fuller than the Prosecco, which we also tasted next. The Billecart-Salmon we had was a blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir so many of the pear and apple characteristics popped through its flavor. The bubbles weren’t overwhelming (which for my preference, is a good thing), and those creamy, yeasty flavors that a good champagne promises, were all front and center. A fellow student had a better descriptor: a lemon meringue custard. My mind then wandered to a freshly torched creme brulee as I took another sip, and then another one, and another.