I actually like Perrier Joüet myself. Back in grad school when I was also working for a living, I shared my apartment with a chef. She not only taught me how to make a splendid mousse in minutes, but I learned wines from her. I blew a few weeks salary that I could ill afford trying fine champagnes. However, 34 years later I still have the bottles.
The stuff I got on my Greek cruise wasn't so great, though it was plentiful.
My ex was a collector and got me started on Veuve Clicquot (orange label) as our everyday champagn, and then the reserve (purple label) for special occassions and La Grande Dame for the really special occassions.
Most of our European friends also agreed (had a girlfriend from Belgium, and a Swiss friend, also collectors, matter of fact our Swiss friend went to school in Switzerland with the guy who owns Château d'Yquem and the guy that owns Trimbach and we were fortunate enough to attend a private tasting at Trimbach).
For some reason in the US everyone likes Dom Pérignon.
For American Sparkling Wine I do like Domaine Chandon as one of the better ones which is a subsidiary of Moët & Chandon.
Another American Sparkling Wine that is excellent is Schramsberg. Matter of fact, Kissinger gave this as a present to the Chinese as a sample of the best of American products on one of his state visits during the detente negotiations.
I had to smile at you comment. For someone to have not only a "special occasion" champagne, but also an "every day" champagne, you must be very special.... I tip my hat to you! Now, for myself, I am just learning the fine art of wine drinking. While I have enjoyed wine-filled evenings on business dinners throughout my career, I have never paid attention to what was being served as I always left that to one of my associates or the customer. Any tips?
well, being a princess, I need champagnes for various occassions
I never use to pay too much attention to the wines as my ex took care of most of it, and he had alot of wine connaisseur friends, and they would taste, argue and collect. I did learn to remember which ones I liked, and themes among the ones I liked. Also learned which ones I did not like, especially in the pricey categories, and vetoed buying them at the wine store or in restaurants. So for instance, I have never had a Châteauneuf-du-Pape that I did not like, and I always figured if it was good enough for the pope, then its good enough for me.
My other standby is old vin zin, which actually has a very funny story to go along with it for me, as a college friend had given us a bottle of white zinfindel that was just horrible, very bitter. We tried to use it for cooking and it ruined dishes. We tried making salad dressing out of it, and that was horrible too. We finally threw it out. So for years I thought I hated Zinfindel. Occassionally when we were out for girls night out, some one would order the house white zinfindel and it was syrupy sweet. Finally, many years later, a friend of my brothers brought a bottle Ravenswood Red Zinfindel for a holiday dinner. Not wanting to be rude, I figured I would serve it first, and then the better wines afterwards, on the theory you drink up in quality. The problem was that the bottle was so good, that even some of our better red wines in the collection paled drinking them afterwards. Ever since I have been a confirmed old vin zin drinker, espeically Ravenswood, and have not had a bad bottle. We even visited the winery on our sonoma tour, and paid extra for the private tastings. Luckily I can buy the wines in the supermarket in Michigan and New Hamshire for a very reasonable price. And the cruise ships usually offer them at a very reasonable price as well. I have also learned from NPR, that they think it came from the Italian Primitivo, which came from a Croatian variety, and you can buy Primitivo if you can find them for amazingly cheap.
I tend to like the Burgundies and Côtes du Rhônes , both the red and expecially the white. There is nothing like a good Meursault with a lobster!
Too bad I am no allergic to shellfish, but I can still drink the Meursault and substitute Monk Fish or Skate Wing.
I rarely drink anymore as it tends to put me off to sleep.
When I cruise, and the cruise line gives me a bottle, I ask for Ravenswood, and have 1 glass at dinner, and the bottle lasts me the entire week.
For beer, my favorites are Pilsner Urquell and the Belgian Fruit beers like Kriek and Petch.
Depends on the food, or where I am. For Indian food a nice hoppy Indian Pale Ale is best. Or if eating with folks that insist on wine, then I go with a spicy hungarian or alsatian wine.
When I lived in Belgium, the beers are excellent, and the wines not notable, so I tried a different Belgian Beer with dinner every night, as they have 380 different beers. For some reason, few people go on beer tastings to Belgium, and instead go to Germany or England.
I drank a lot, and I mean a lot, of beer when I was stationed in Holland. By far, the German beer was the best to me, unfortunately I don't really remember the names of any. I probably knew that at some point in time, but after 4 or 5 it all tasted the same. I did drink beer in every European country we visited (many), and ofcourse plenty of Heineken and Grolsch, but never did develop a taste for the English stuff. Or the greek, or italian. And we tried to like wine, but that was a lost cause. Every kind we drank, we just couldn't help but compare it to Annie Greensprings, or Bali Hai. We just weren't sophiscated enough for wine. And now it's Ultra only. And as you said in an earlier post..."I rarely drink anymore"...well neither do I, but then I rarely drink any less either. Cheers.
I do like Weissbier, especially in the summer with a slice of lemon!
When I travel I like to try whatever is local, even here i the US.
While I was in MI I had freshwater fish, did not order anything salt water as it always tastes funny to me. I know its not bad, but it doesn't taste fresh either. And even though it was suggested we eat Italian in MI, I suggested that we did not as the Italian in NJ is so much better, I knew I would not enjoy it, even though it is not bad, its just not as good.
I enjoyed Moet & Chandon the one time I was privileged to it. I'm not a wine expert; I just try stuff based upon description and general preference, and if I like it (and I can afford it) I try to remember it for the next time. In Paris, in my experience, it always seems like the Burgundy's are pushed, and the Bordeaux is sort of looked at as not so refined, yet I prefer Bordeaux (go ahead, extrapolate! ) But I also once read that Les Français tend to like the wines from where they are from (regionally), so who knows?
I'm partial to Burgundy myself, but only the real French kind, having spent lots of time in Beaune and Dijon. At the same time, I won't accept the cheap substitutes that pose as burgundy in the US. Here I always buy cabernet sauvignon, which is much more like Bordeaux. Alas, unless you're staying or living in France most are unaffordable. But if you do happen to be in France for a while, supermarkets sell superb burgundies, bordeaux, sauternes, etc. (The only sweet wines I will ever drink -- I can't stand even most regular white wines because they're too sweet for me, and I do NOT have a sweet tooth -- are sauternes or Monbazillac, which are amazing. Monbazillac is also amazingly cheap. If you have never tried one, buy a bottle (high end - about 7-10 euros) at the supermarché and risk putting it in your Marriott minibar. You can then honestly say you've not taken anything from the minibar).