- Peter Rusinak is a wine specialist at the famed Christie’s Auction House.
- He says there are three types of wine everyone should have in their wine cellar: Bordeaux, Burgundy, and Champagne.
- Rusinak says Bordeaux has been making the best wines from Cabernet and Merlot for 300-400 years, and Burgundy is difficult to make but can be “the silkiest wine on the market” if done right.
When most people think of the famed Christie’s Auction House, they probably think of precious jewels or record-setting sales of paintings by famous artists.
But their wine and spirits department has been around since the first Christie’s auction in 1766 and offers rare spirits from around the world.
I recently visited Christie’s in New York City, which is located at Rockefeller Center, and met Peter Rusinak, the resident wine specialist.
Rusinak told me there are three types of wine everyone should have in their wine cellar: Bordeaux, Burgundy, and of course, Champagne.
“Bordeaux, it’s been around for ages,” Rusinak said. “They have been making the best wines out of cabernet and merlot for the last 300 to 400 years.”
As for Burgundy, it’s one of the most difficult wines to make, according to Rusinak. “But if the winemaker gets it right, it’s the silkiest wine on the market,” he said.
And of course, you can’t forget the bubbly.
“Champagne’s always Champagne,” Rusinak said.
In a presentation at Christie’s, Rusinak explained the different types of Champagne you can buy, the most common being Brut, a dry style of Champagne.
Then there’s Blanc de Blancs, which is made of 100% Chardonnay, has a soft flavour, and has the potential to age well. Blanc de Noirs is a dry Champagne made from black grapes such as pinot noir and pinot meunier.
Demi-Sec is a sweeter type of Champagne that’s “perfect for desserts,” Rusinak said. “They serve those Champagnes with wedding cake, with chocolate truffles.”
Champagne that’s called Extra-Dry is misleading because there’s actually a slight sweetness to these types, Rusinak said.
And then there’s Rosé Champagne, a dry style that’s made by blending red grapes or by contact with the skin of red grapes.
When you’re ready to enjoy those bubbles, remember that the traditional flutes and old-fashioned coupe glasses are actually not the best way to serve Champagne, as Business Insider’s Lina Batarags previously reported.
Instead, you should use a glass that looks like a white wine glass but comes together more noticeably toward the rim, like the one pictured above.