What Kind of Sparkling Wine Makes a Good Mimosa?

Consider these test tubes.

Brant Foehl
Which of these bottles should you drink at 9 o'clock in the morning? “All” is not the proper answer.

Like many a San Franciscan on a slightly fuzzy morning, I love a nice morning drink to clear the haze or put a bounce in my step. The three standard breakfast drink choices: Bloody Marys, Screwdrivers, and Mimosas. Perfecting the first is an art, the second could be made by a moderately intelligent chimpanzee, and the third is continuously disheartening. How can something so basic as a two-part drink continually let me down?

The issue I usually have is that I cannot taste the Champagne. A good friend, who doesn't believe that restaurants put real Champagne into most Mimosas, orders a glass of Champagne alongside a glass of orange juice, then mixes her own. Her theory led me to concoct an experiment, if drinking copious amounts of mimosas can be labeled scientific. On a Wednesday morning, three of my trusty bar partners and I set out to answer a question: Does it matter what kind of Champagne (or sparkling wine) is used in a Mimosa?

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