Billecart Salmon’s Cuvée Elisabeth 2007, one bottling in a roster of stunners (photo by Leif Carlsson)

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Go Ahead and Pop the Cork Already

We started Bubbles Week on the Globe, and its not all Champagne, but there’s plenty of that. I mean, seriously. Billecart-Salmon is now in its seventh generation of family ownership, and the story here is that they keep innovating and evolving. It’s one of those great labels that is both well-known and kind of a cult favorite. We spoke with scion Mathieu Roland-Billecart, who grew up among the vines.

And All The Talk About Bubblies Lead Us Here:

To Wine Folly’s “Champagne Sweetness Scale: From Brut to Doux,” a tour de force of explanatory features. To show how much sugar is in a glass of Extra Brut, as compared with a glass of Demi Sec, they … put sugar… into champagne flutes. Which is simply brilliant. Also, if you’re watching your calories at all, this article will steer you away from Jack and Cokes.

Like We Said, It’s Not All French

Though it might still have a funny accent. When Nelson Mandela became president of South Africa, he celebrated with superb sparkling wine from his own nation. Self-professed sparkling nut Becca Hensley (@beccahensley) cracks open a few bottles from Graham Beck, located in South Africa’s Robertson Valley, around two hours from Cape Town.

Our is Not to Reason Why, Ours Is But to Order Another Dozen

Umami is the secret of the magical pairing of Champagne and oysters, says Dennis Lee, a writer at

And This Has Nothing to Do with Champagne

Except that, in our view, pretty much all things fried pair well with Champagne. For my birthday, I acquire the most expensive bubbly I can afford, and the best fried chicken I can find, and I consume them with gusto and wonder. I mean seriously, if you haven’t tried that ever?

But I digress. Here, an intrepid reporter for the wonderful Atlas Obscura does a deep dive to find out what exactly happened when McDonald’s changed its fry frying medium, and then hunts down some people who were on the line making those fries, back in the day, and then he tries to make them himself at home.

It isn’t easy. Step number 4 of his recipe begins, “Drain the potatoes then dump them into the fryer (be careful, it will be ferocious).”

But these are fries, he notes, loved by “some of the biggest names in food history… from Julia Child to Paul Bocuse to James Beard.”

For Perhaps More Conventional Pairings

Spend a few minutes with Nathalie Vranken, owner of Champagne Pommery, a house with roots back to the middle of the 19th century. Madame Vranken suggests lobster, and truffle risotto, and—for New Year’s—the house’s Pommery Rosé.

And BTW Here’s How to Pronounce The French Houses

Mon dieu, 70 of them. Bookmark this.