Wine Situation Final Five (Now With Drunk Dialing!)

The Wine Situation hosts everyone from winemakers to writers to find out what a person’s situation is…with wine. It’s the solo season, as host Ellen Clifford is in quarantine, but listen in with a glass, and nobody is drinking alone! In lieu of guests, at the end of every action packed episode Ellen is phoning a friend with her Final Five questions. This week Ellen talks to sommelier Philippe André, an ambassador of Charles Heidsieck Champagne and board member of the United Sommeliers Foundation. Check out the full episode here : THE FINAL FIVE (Ever so slightly edited for length!): QUESTION ONE Ellen: Whatcha drinking these days? Philippe: Anything in large format. So magnums are my favorite. I love to find older big bottles, so magnums, Jereboams—not obviously the perfect time to be buying large format, but I know that when the time is right, we’ll be opening big bottles. I bought a bunch of magnums by André Mack, he makes a wine called XL , which is a Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley. Ellen: Oh I think I’ve had his other wines, he does the O.P.P., right? The Other People’s Pinot ? Philippe: He does, yeah; I love his wines, a very cool cat, down to earth. I love supporting folks who are doing things a little different. I bought like four cases of his magnums, and it’s been kind of our go to wines here at the house. I’ve also been drinking a lot of Riesling and Riesling-based wines. My buddy John House and his wife Sonya House who make Ovum , they do a white blend called Big Salt which is badass. And you know me, I’m a bubbles guy, there’s always a bottle of bubbles open. I definitely celebrate our winery, which is Charles Heidsieck but I love exploring and trying new things. QUESTION TWO Ellen: Question number two, do you have either a favorite pairing or unusual pairing you’ve enjoyed? Any kind of food, any kind of drink. Philippe: Some of my favorite go to pairings are Willamette Pinot Noir and roasted salmon. Those are classic pairings that bring me back to my time when I was in Willamette making wine and classic salmon bakes. Sushi and Burgundy , that’s something that we love to celebrate. Aged Meursault —angular and powerful Chardonnay can go with fish. And then Champagne and fried chicken. It’s something that is so obvious, but there’s a lot of people out there that have never had it. Get a fried chicken sandwich from Popeye’s delivered and open a bottle of Champagne. That is the pairing we all need in our lives on a regular base. And check out rosé Champagne with fried chicken. QUESTION THREE Ellen: Question number three is—since you are in Chicago—how do you feel about Chicago pizza, and do you have a favorite place to get it? Philippe: For me, there’s two phases—are we going to eat it at the restaurant or are we gonna have it delivered? So my recommendation if you are going to eat it at the place is Pequod’s. That’s in my opinion the best Chicago pizza ,but you gotta have it fresh. If you’re going to take delivery then Lou Malnati’s is by far the best. Those two are what encompass the joy and best of Chicago-style pizza. QUESTION FOUR Ellen: Next question—if you had to pick a desert island style of Champagne, whether it’s blanc de noir or blanc de blanc or vintage , what would you pick? Philippe: I like old stuff. Long lees aging—there is no replication for that so something that’s been on lees for at least 15 years, usually you’ll see that with vintage on it, so I’m going to say vintage anything with at least 15 years lees aging whether it’s blanc or rosé. I want that characteristic; I want the brioche; I want the croissant, and I want to feel this candied fruit component that you get after that age. And make sure there’s a cigar for that. QUESTION FIVE Ellen: Perfect. We’re down to the last question, it can be related to wine or not, and it’s just what’s bringing you joy these days? Philippe: I think what I’m loving is, I’m seeing people be more vocal about what they are trying to accomplish with their community, with their world, and I love it. I love people being them and being proud of who they are. It’s something I struggled with for a long time when I was a young somm and young in this industry; I didn’t know where I could go; I didn’t know who I could be. I didn’t see a lot of people like myself growing up in this business, but I had the support of my parents to keep pushing for things that I wanted in the space and in this industry. I think our wine industry is big enough for everyone, and l love seeing how diverse the community is and how different everybody is. The common thread is we all come to the table with great wine. Everyone deserves a place at the table. And those seats are going to create space for more seats. *** Look for Philippe André on Instagram and Twitter @niquesomm ! Check out the previous Wine Situation podcast with Theodora Lee here .

Antica Terra

Coriolis Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2017

Beautiful. No need for me to say anything more. — 3 years ago

Eli, Dawn and 6 others liked this

Owen Roe

Dundee Hills Pinot Noir 2015

Red and black fruit mingle with turned earth and spice box characters. Lush while still playing lightly across the palate. Layers of ripeness are holding up on this 6 year PN. Velvet tannins and vibrant acid frame the wine from start to finish. A great representation of the 2015 vintage. — 3 years ago


Armorial Blanc de Noirs Avize Pinot Noir

Straight out of Barbonne, comes this 100% Pinot Noir champagne that’s full of life and character. Aged on lees for two years and disgorged on 6/2/17, that little bit of extra time makes a difference. 8 g/l isn’t too much, it’s still a smooth pour. This is a little under the radar gem that I went into with knowledge and was so pleasantly surprised. Intense but great for all occasions.

A highly expressive nose featuring roasted almonds and a slight touch of raspberries. Marmalade and tea biscuits accompany. Really nice acidity and chalky minerality. Those Pinot notes really shine on the palate with cherries and kumquats, along with the faintest hint of earth. A really nice champagne that hits all the high notes.
— 3 years ago

Dawn, Neil and 4 others liked this


Very nice! 🥂 Cheers!

Domaine des Comtes Lafon

Meursault-Genevrières 1er Cru Chardonnay 1990

WOTN incontestably was the 1990 Comtes Lafon Genevrieres. We were blinded on the vintage, I guessed ‘89. What magical place this wine was in. Stunningly complex, perfectly mature and ultra generous both on the nose and the palate with its nutty & honeyed aromas and layer upon layer of flavors. A reminder to us all how good aged white Burgundy can be when it’s on. — 3 years ago

Severn, Josh and 6 others liked this

Charles Heidsieck

Blanc des Millénaires Champagne Chardonnay 1985

The reason why I like bubbles so much . This Champagne spent over 30 years on the less. Truly incredible , complex , and fresh . Only 300 bottles released two years ago. Simply profound ! — 3 years ago

Ron, Aravind and 10 others liked this

Mouton Noir Wines

O.P.P. Other People's Pinot Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2018

So good. Love André and his wines. Will buy again. — 4 years ago

Charles Heidsieck

Millésimé Brut Champagne Blend 1995

Jeremy Shanker

Magnum. Perfect combo of the youthful, lemon peel and yellow pear notes with those layers of nougaty deliciousness that come with age! — 8 years ago

Daniel Khasidy, Keith and 3 others liked this


Rose Label Brut Rosé Champagne Blend

We’re indulging in some Lanson, NV Brut Rosé, Champagne to begin the long weekend in Sonoma and Napa, California. ABV 12.5%. Disgorged on Feb 10, 2018.

We’re loving the views in Kenwood and soaking in the peaceful, bright, lovely sunset overlooking the rolling hills from our place.

This wine is pale salmon. It has prominent raspberry and lemon curd notes alongside bruised apple, bread dough, croissant, dried white flower, and blanched almond notes.

— 3 years ago

with Deked1
Deked1, Shay and 18 others liked this

Hundred Suns

Bednarik Vineyard Pinot Noir 2018

Pop and pour (but to be enjoyed over at least a couple of days). Notes from 15 min open. On the nose: intense rose and earth, spice. a touch of va, vanilla and, this is elegant, but the nose is a lovely statement. On the palate: ok acidity at first, but creamy and good density on the mid with wild strawberry cream and roses, with acidity slowly building, until.intense finely grained tannin kicks in on the finish. Soft pepper, but the tannin is the last thing I taste: very intense. An excellent btl, but we'l see what tomorrow first experience with this producer. — 3 years ago

Bob, Joshua and 10 others liked this

Charles Heidsieck

Brut Réserve Champagne Blend

Gorgeous sweet edges. Lovely fruit but balancing acidity. Very good stuff with a long life ahead. From mag. — 4 years ago

Bex GreenMaya Dalla ValleDavid McNally
with Bex, Maya and 1 other
Josh, Eric and 5 others liked this
Shay A

Shay A Influencer Badge Premium Badge

My favorite champagne for the price.