Blaine Ashley's Champagne Hotspots

Blaine Ashley, bubbly expert and founder of New York Champagne Week and CitySip, shares her favorite spots in the city to sip Champagne.

“Hands down one of my favorite spots to drink Champagne in NYC at the moment is at new hot boîte, Riddling Widow. This intimate wine den offers a bubbly-centric menu helmed by beverage director Tanner Walle, formerly of Terrior Tribeca. Walle's palate is on point and he's managed to develop a really broad list of bubbly, incluing sparkling rieslings, methode champenoise ciders and unique cremants on his intricate list.

Next to Riddling Widow, a wine bar that has me very excited is La Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels, a Paris outpost where Caleb Ganzer, formerly of Eleven Madison Park, is the sommelier. Ganzer's list is incredible at even more unbelievable prices. About a dozen of his near twenty-bottle bubbly list is offered up at under $175! - total steals. We're talking a bottle of Jacques Lassaigne Brut Blanc de Blanc for $80 a bottle. And, as part of New York Champagne Week, Ganzer is hosting a daily happy hour from Tuesday through Friday. 

Corkbuzz Wine Studio is another top spot to sip Champagne. Owned and operated by Sommelier Laura Meniac from the very start, this list had a high fizz focus. Though I don't know Meniac well, I've heard she's an avid bubbly lover and this is evident in her menu. Corkbuzz offers up the nightly promotion: The Champagne Campaign where you can snag any of the bottles of bubbly for 50% off after 10 pm. Need I say more?

As gimmicky as it may be, I'm a big fan of the high-low trend as it makes Champagne approachable which is the ultimate mission of New York Champagne Week - when Birds & Bubbles debuted around this time last year, I was over the moon. The name of this place really says it all. And, just typing it out has me craving a bucket of fried chicken with a stellar bottle of Champagne. 

Last but certainly not least, be transported to France with a visit to the original Vin Sur Vingt West Village. In my humble opinion, charming "Frenchie" sommelier and owner Sebastien Auvet really spearheaded the newer revolution of adventurous wine lists helmed by a younger crop of talent something that all of the aforementioned bars have in common. Enjoy a glass or bottle of bubbly with classic escargot, or pop into Vin Sur Vingt NoMad on Monday nights at 7pm to enjoy Wine Degustation where Auvet tends to feature a special pour at a special price for the evening."

Since launching Champagne Week in 2013, Blaine Ashley has become a recognized industry leader advocating all-things bubbly leading educational seminars, events and competitions at cocktail weeks and food and wine festivals across the country. Blaine started in the booze biz after establishing CitySip, a wine and spirits custom event and brand consulting company in 2010, after a background in freelance events and journalism. 


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Champagne lovers.