I was looking for a good bottle of Champagne, but, in all honesty, I find the big firms like Cliquot make pretty boring wines at high prices. The best values in the world of Champagne are no secret, it is the Récoltant Manipulant (RM) brands (small producers making Champagne from their own grapes) that offer the most interesting wines at the best value. The trick is knowing which to pick from the dozens of RM labels, which are now being imported into the USA.
I was again faced with a selection of promising RM Champagnes, but not having tasted them all, I began turning the bottles around to find the name of the importer. On the back of one interesting bottle I found the reassuring words: “Becky Wasserman Selection”. I bought it immediately without another thought because I knew if Becky said it was good – it was good. I was rewarded with a delicious wine at half the price of some of the bigger guns on the shelf. In fact, not only was it half the price, it was twice the wine, making it a spectacular value. The wine: Champagne Camille Savès, Brut Rosé, Grand Cru Bouzy
As interesting as this bottle looked, I might have passed it over for a lesser wine, but for Becky’s name on the bottle. Certainly no name on a bottle is more important than the producer, but for imported wines the name of the importer or shipper is next in importance. While it is a daunting and impossible task to stay on top of all the top small domaine wines of Europe, we are fortunate that there are people like Becky Wasserman who have devoted their lives to this quest. Their name on the bottle is a guarantee of high quality and, as there are only a handful people like Becky who are obsessed with quality, you don’t have to memorize the names of hundreds of estates, you just have to remember the names of a few passionate importers. Unfortunately it is a short list as few importers have the passion, patience or palate it takes to seek out the finest small wine estates.
When you see “Becky Wasserman Selection” on a bottle, you can be absolutely assured you will get a bottle of wine with character and an expressive personality that reflects the vineyards where the wines were born. Becky’s selections will never be easy to find, but the wines that carry her signature were not easy to make. The winemakers worked hard to make them, Becky worked hard to find them and a little effort on your part will be required to drink them, but good wines never come easy and your efforts will be well rewarded.