Ever hear of Pierre Peters Champagne?
How about Jean Milan?
Chances are good that you haven’t, unless you frequent hip restaurants and notice them on the by-the-glass list.
The aforementioned sparklers are among the group of wines known as “Grower Champagnes,” and while they may not always be as refined as the more famous names in French sparkling wine, they can be packed with personality.
In the Champagne region, there are approximately 19,000 growers, most of whom farm very small plots and sell their crop to the big Champagne houses. But about a quarter of those growers keep their crop and make their own bottlings, typically in very small quantities – rarely enough to export to the United States.
So when you have an opportunity to sample a “Grower Champagne,” give it a try.
And enjoy your meal, because chances are you’ll be in a very good restaurant.