Pick Up a Flute — It’s New York’s Third Annual Champagne Week


Drinking Champagne helps prevent Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. You probably saw this headline reposted the past few days on Facebook by your rejoicing friends. Not to be the bearer of bad news, but if you read through the specifics of the study, blanc de blancs (chardonnay only) doesn’t count. Only drinkers of blanc de noirs (red grapes only) or Champagne made with the traditional trio of chardonnay, pinot noir, and pinot meunier stand to gain any health benefits due to a compound found in those red varieties.

One more point: Most outlets initially reported that you need to drink three glasses a day to gain the benefits. That’s expensive preventative care ($30 is practically the cheapest Champagne available), especially if you develop alcoholism along the way. Media sites that updated the story to “three glasses a week” either reported it wrong to begin with or have amended it to be socially responsible. Basically, this “news” is useless.

Now, let’s move on to something that is useful: details of Champagne Week. The media barrage couldn’t have been more perfectly timed, as it coincides with the commencement of New York’s third annual week-long celebration of the beloved French bubbles. Wine and spirits special events planner and owner of Blaine Ashley founded the event to debunk the myth that Champagne should only be consumed on special occasions. To that end, she’s created a multi-day fête filled with fun and educational consumer and industry events.

Last night’s V.I.P. party at Corkbuzz kicked off the week. Sponsor Bonhomie Wine Imports treated guests to pours from four grower Champagne selections: Henriet Bazin, Jean Velut, Michel Loirot, and Pierre Brigandant. The Corkbuzz kitchen fed revelers cheeses, charcuterie, and other nibbles.

The festivities will continue through the week with plenty of parties and events, culminating with a Champagne-soaked dance party on a Hornblower yacht.

Here are three to consider:

The Blow Your Mind Champagne Tasting Hosted by Chelsea retailer Bottlerocket, Champagne educator Alyse Mizia will school guests on the facts of the world’s original bubbly. A $60 ticket treats guests to a selection of prized bottles, including Veuve Clicquot Vintage Gold Label Champagne Brut 2004, Dom Pérignon Champagne Brut 2005, Krug Grande Cuvée Champagne Brut NV, plus others. Bottlerocket, 5 West 19th Street. Wednesday, November 11, 6–8 p.m. Purchase tickets ($60) here.

Champagne Devaux Tasting Class Black Label Wine Merchants will host this portfolio tasting given by brand ambassador Anne-Caroline Dussort. Founded in 1846, Champagne Devaux is a family-owned brand famous for long lees aging and its Cuvée D, made with a solera technique akin to sherry. Guests will sample seven cuvées, plus cheese and charcuterie. Black Label Wine Merchants, 111 West 20th Street. Thursday, November 12, 6:30–8 p.m. Purchase tickets ($60) here.

The Bubble Bash Dance and sip the night away at New York Champagne Week’s official closing party aboard the Hornblower Hybrid Yacht. Guests receive a Riedel flute upon entry with which to hit the Champagne brut and rosé bars before hitting the dance floor with DJ Diane Cheadle. Additional bubbles provided by Italian brand Ferrari. Cocktail seekers can belly up to the Bulldog Gin French 75 and Kir Royale stations, while noshing on fancy bites. Hornblower Yachts, 353 West Street, Pier 40. Friday, November 13, 9 p.m.–midnight. Purchase general-admission tickets for $125 here. Purchase V.I.P. Lounge access tickets for $175 here.