The sparkling and champagne section of the wine list is always where I first lay my eyes at a bar or restaurant. Named after her maternal grandmother, Pearle, Rebecca Charles’s West Village oyster bar never misses a beat in taste or in the hustle and bustle. At Pearl, one has a choice of one sparkler and two champagnes. That’s quite a treat for such a succinct wine list, especially since most restaurants twice the size will likely serve only one sparkler or one champagne on their by-the-glass list. And, most likely it will be an easily recognizable brand name. But, not at Pearl.
For $8, one can order a Raventós i Blanc cava from Spain. As for champagnes, listed are Guy Larmandier Vertus Brut 1er Cru ($11) and Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve ($13). Both solid choices. I opted for the Guy Larmandier because I saw it was from Vertus, one of the southernmost 1er Cru villages for Chardonnay grapes in the Côte des Blancs. Truth be told, I have a hard time hiding my affinity for purely Chardonnay champagnes.
Although the bubbles were very vibrant, and many, they were by no means neatly beaded together. The creamy texture of this wine reveals great mouthfeel. The elegance of Chardonnay is faithfully translated with a bit of toastiness giving the wine both weight and character. It lingers just long enough…
My glass accompanied me from the smoked Atlantic salmon on top of johnnycakes with crème fraîche ($10) to my Pearl Caesar salad ($8). I could have easily had a glass for each dish!