By Edward M. Korry, CSS, CWE
A server needs to seize the opportunity for determining the type of sparkling wine his or her customers prefer.
Champagne and sparkling wines conjure up images of celebration, elegance and pure enjoyment. While frequently perceived as merely a reception wine, the styles of sparkling wines vary enormously, and if properly understood can enhance a restaurant’s bottom line and a server’s income considerably. The key is to also provide commensurate quality service.
Many people refer to any sparkling wine as champagne, though only wine from the specific geographic appellation, 70 miles northeast of Paris, France, can rightfully be called Champagne. Champagne sets the standard for sparkling-wine production, and until 1990, other appellations both within and outside of France were able to refer to the champagne method on their labels. Since then no other EU wine may even refer to the term. In the United States, we have 14 semi-generic labels including champagne. Most U.S. sparkling-wine producers refer to their wines with the term CM/CV on the label. This refers to classic method and classic grape varieties, which includes chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier.