2 the taste test: Champagne

Local experts taste test affordable champagne

TULSA - When it comes to champagne or sparkling wines, the options are endless and so is the cost.  

But do you have to spend big to get big flavor; we went to a local liquor store and purchased four different brands, all under $20.

We then called upon four local experts, with palates trained to taste what's good and what's not.

"I like a bit of balance across the palate," said Joe Breaux of Flemings Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar.  

"I want it to be refreshing and cleanse my palate after every bit of food," explained Randa Warren, master sommelier.

Without letting our panel of testers see the label, we poured bottle #1, Gruet Brut Rose for $14.99.  

Immediately our experts liked what they saw and tasted.

"Bright berry flavors, fairly relatively tiny bubbles," said Tyler Mirt, owner of Parkhill's Liquors & Wine.

Warren described it, "Nice red fruit ,strawberry, raspberry, cranberry pomegranate." 

Bottle #2: Toad Hollow Brut Amplexus, $17.99

"I don't get the effervescence with this one, it's flat," said Warren.  

"This one feels almost more one note... more one dimensional," described Breaux

Bottle #3: Piper Sonoma Brut, $14.99

"Right off the bat looks like a lot more bubbles than the last one," said Warren.

"This just kind of, is very crisp, clean, finishes quickly," described Mirt.  

Bottle #4: Marquis de la Tour Brut, $11.99

"You get that lemon, pear and apple and that's about it," said Warren.

"This to me... (tastes) sort of like cotton candy," described Bob Stewart, master sommelier.  

After sampling all four bottles, our experts chose their favorite. 

They all agreed #3, Piper Sonoma Brut, was the best. 

Coming in a close second was bottle #1, Gruet Brut Rose. Overall, our testers agreed each bottle left a different but pleasant taste in their mouths.
 

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