La Fête du Champagne: All of the Pleasures of the World of Champagne



A wine festival in Milwaukee, on Saturday, April 4, noon to 4 pm.


“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.”

— Lily Bollinger, 1899-1977

Almost any wine can be made to sparkle, and there are many and various styles of sparkling wines made in nearly all of the world’s wine regions from nearly every variety of the world’s wine grapes. In the Nineteenth century, you could even find wines like Clos de Vougeot Mousseux and sparkling Sauternes. But there isn’t a sparkling wine from any appellation all the world over as delicious, as sublime, as versatile, and as complex as Champagne.

Folklore attributes the advent of sparkling Champagne to Dom Perignon, a monk who became a cellar master at Hautvillers in 1668. But six years earlier, English coopers were adding sugar and molasses to still wines to make them sparkle. And by the middle of the 1660s, there was a strong demand in London for bubbly wine. Meanwhile, the French refugee Marquis de Saint Evermont was making the still wines of Champagne popular at the English court. Fashion dictated that the two should come together, and it was only in London that the necessities for the sale of sparkling wine — the English innovation of reinforced glass bottles and the rediscovered ancient Roman usage of cork stoppers — were available.

The Waterford Wine Company Fête du Champagne would love to escort you into our exciting, heady and spectacular world of Champagne. We’d love to guide you through our thoughtfully curated bacchanal of 50 Champagnes representing the 17 distinct appellations from Champagne’s five separate sub-regions. Champagnes from the region’s biggest, most storied houses to its smallest, most unique growers. Champagnes made from the various cepages of the region’s three classic grapes — Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Meunier — and made with the various dosages of the region’s classic styles — from Brut and Brut Nature to Demi-Sec and Doux.

As Lily Bollinger, the Grande Dame of the House of Bollinger teaches us, the world of Champagne offers us pleasures to enjoy when we’re with family and friends, as well as when we’re by ourselves. Pleasures to enjoy before dinner, as well as with hors d’oeuvres, or entrees, or desserts. And pleasures to enjoy when we’re just rather thirsty. Our Fête du Champagne invites you to make the all of the pleasures of Champagne’s world your own.

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