In an increasingly competitive world, any advantage one can gain is welcome. This is why appearance is so important. How you carry yourself, your first impression, or that “James Bond” factor, can give you a leg up on the competition. This is one reason that we beardsmen take pride in elevating our grooming standards. It’s also the reason that you should invest some time and money into your wine drinking.

There is a wine that has been mislabeled by the masses, and overlooked by gentlemen in particular. This wine, when consumed with confidence, has the power to give you that desired advantage over the rest. It provides the leg up we all seek. I urge you to set yourself apart and change the way you think about this beverage.

The wine you should be drinking and ordering frequently is Champagne. Insist on real Champagne, which is made in the Champagne region of France (If none is available ask for the best method traditional sparkling wine available). Champagne has been perceived mostly as a beverage for special occasions. This is unfortunate because it should be consumed as regularly as any beverage, if not more often. Ordering champagne is always a classy move. It’s unexpected, and adds a layer of intrigue and perceived sophistication that few other beverages can provide.

Picture the newly-shaven junior executive at the bar who orders the Macallan 18 “neat,” then looks condescendingly at your pisco sour. Now is your chance to one-up that guy. Stroke your beard confidently, look up at the bar tender and order “Champagne and two glasses, please.” Boom! Watch the executive deflate like a balloon. He may curse the “Mach-15” razor blade he financed from Barneys. He may admit that his loafers are knock-offs.  One thing’s for sure, he’ll respect the beard and the Champagne drinking connoisseur behind it.

Why Champagne?

Besides the prestige factor, Champagne is incredibly delicious and one of the most versatile beverages on earth. Champagne can pair with nearly everything (Try homemade popcorn, lightly salted and buttered with a chilled bottle of Champagne–you’ll thank me later).

Is Champagne Expensive?

Eventually, we all grow up and learn that sometimes less is more, and quality is more important than quantity. This goes for wine. Yes, on average, real Champagne can cost more than a bottle of “sparkling wine.” I spend between $40 and $60 per bottle. Like all things, you get what you pay for.

Simply put, Champagne is worth it! I’ll leave you with a few champagne recommendations and even a sparkling wine pick for times when you’re on a budget. Cheers!

Champagne Recommendations

The Champ

Krug Grand Cuvee MV. There are all types of insanely rare and expensive Champagne selections to choose from. In all honesty, it can really be as simple as reaching for a bottle of this. If you want to know what world-class multi-vintage (MV) Champagne tastes like, splurge on a bottle of Krug. $215

The Clean Call

Pierre Peters Cuvee de Reserve Blanc de Blancs. Pierre Peters is relatively easy to find and is always a solid choice. Remember to stroke the beard before ordering. $56

The Sophisticated

Jean Vesselle Oeil de Perdrix Blanc de Noirs. If you have a buddy who is a sommelier or serious wine geek, this wine will always be a welcome gift. It’s a wine that’s a great compliment to the Pierre Peters which is made from 100% Chardonnay, whereas the Jean Vesselle is made from 100% Pinot Noir (Think Blonde vs Brunette). $65

The Runner-Up

Allimant-Laugner Cremant d’Alsace Rose. When real Champagne is not in the budget, have no fear and reach for a bottle of this rose. The wine is made in the same fashion of a true champagne, but it’s from a different region of France called Alsace. I love bringing a magnum (double sized bottle) to parties. This wine is delicious, and your friends will thank you for bringing enough to share. $20

About the Author

David Grega is the co-proprietor of Carlotta Cellars and Broken Arrow Wines in Northern California. He is also the assistant winemaker for several highly regarded Napa wineries under winemaker Jeff Ames which includes: TOR Kenward family wines, Rudius Wines, Anthem Cellars, and Boich Family Wines. Twitter: @carlottawines


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