Chateau Julien is a beautifully landscaped winery nestled in the rolling hills of central California's Carmel Valley. Wine maker Bill Anderson of Chateau Julien shared with me some of his thoughts on wine selection.
Allen: So Bill, what is the deal with red wines and white wines and the foods you eat with them?
Bill Anderson, Wine Maker, Chateau Julien, Carmel, California: Well, I think traditionally we've been told that white wines are to be matched with fish and red wines with beef, but I feel that what we should remember is that we're all individuals, the wines are individuals and we can have fun with matching different foods with different wines and I think the best part is to experiment with it and have fun.
Allen: So let's say you find the perfect wine for that favorite dish, but you have a little left in the bottle any tips for keeping it fresh?
Bill: Well, when you open a bottle of wine, I think the thing to do is to keep it cold. If you're going to have it overnight, keep it cold and try to minimize the exposure of the wine to oxygen. They have devices that, one's called "vacuvin" that will actually remove the oxygen from the bottle and form a vacuum and allow you to keep the bottle of wine longer.
So now that we know how to keep wine fresh, how about some information about champagne? It has long been a symbol of celebration and I asked Bill about serving bubbly.
Bill: I think champagne has traditionally been served cold mainly because that's the way people like it. But on a more technical basis, the reason it's cold is because you want to keep the carbon dioxide that's in the champagne in solution, and if it's not cold and it's warm, then the bubbles are all going to froth out of the bottle and you won't have a whole lot of liquid left.
Allen: How did champagne become the symbol of celebration?
Bill: Well, I think it goes back to the very beginning of champagne with Dom Perignon centuries ago when he, by accident, made champagne and didn't know he had done that and when he drank it, he went to the other monks or the brothers and he said, "Brothers, Brothers, I'm drinking stars!" So I think from the very beginning, because it was so special, because it was so exciting, it has always been considered a special wine.
The main difference between sparkling wine and champagne as we know it is champagne, the name champagne, is French and the French believe that if it is not made in the region of Champagne it can not be called champagne. Even though the sparking wines we make, for instance in California, are made exactly in the same manner, same grapes and same process, it's just that the French feel that we should not call it champagne.