A Sparkling Valentine’s Day
Exactly like nothing else
By: Linda Kissam
Whether you’re looking for a Champagne or sparkling wine to toast your Valentine sweetie, there are plenty of options at just as many price points. I’ll get you started with some solid sparkling wine selections below that I tasted recently, along with a suggestion of the best place to buy your sparklers – online or brick and mortar.
- Domaine Rosier Cuvee Jean Philippe Brut Blanquette di Limoux 2014 , (90% Mauzac, 10% Chardonnay): This $10 beauty has a Prosecco edge to it. Light yellow color in the glass, clear looking throughout. Nose of peach, apricot, pear and wet stones. Flavors of pears with lemon notes and minerals on finish. Medium acidity, medium to full bodied. Drink or hold. Excellent with Asian or spicy foods.
- Recaredo Brut Nature Gran Reserva Terrers 2009: This French $28 dry sparkler is comparable to a $60-$80 Champagne. Bio dynamically farmed and aged 65 months it is an artesian offering not to be missed. Taste what impeccable farming can produce. Vinified with 52% Xarel·lo, 32% Macabeu, 16% Parellada. Has an alcohol content of 12%. Pairs especially well with seafood.
- Caraccioli Brut Cuvee 2009, $40: A California bubbly from the Santa Lucia Highlands. The mix of 60% Chardonnay, 40% Pinot Noir is especially good for the American palate which often appreciates a slightly more fruit forward taste. Extremely small production. Think light yellow with citrus and orchard fruit aromas complimented by hints of buttered croissant, minerals and field flowers. Juicy taste offering Meyer lemon and pear flavors. A wonderful brunch wine.
- Marie Hanze Eaux Belle Brut, $28: Perhaps the most “serious” of the suggested choices. About 200 cases were made so this energetic blend of 60% Chardonnay, 30% Pinot Meunier, 10% Pinot Noir may take some time to locate. The family’s history can be traced back to being growers in 1753 in the village of Chamery in France. There are other documents that suggest the family grape growing tradition may have existed as early as 1533. Nice to know, but this winery isn’t clinging just to the past, it is looking toward the future. In 2009 the winery installed photovoltaic panels. These panels now supply 90% of their power requirements, greatly reducing their carbon footprint. I think you will enjoy the copious pinpoint bubbles. The nose has green apples, freshly baked bread, minerals, lemon zest and orange blossoms. Tart apples, minerals and lemon zest eventually slip into the picture. The finish has good length and leaves your mouth watering for another sip. It’s a definite winner.
- Soucherie Cremant de Loire Rosé 2014, $20: Let’s end this discussion with what Wine Ex co-owner Kyle Meyer describes as a, “Back the truck up sparkler,” meaning this is a premium wine at a ridiculous price. Buy as much as you can. It makes a great pairing with vegetarian foods and light fish meals. This is a dry sparkling wine that is mostly Cabernet Franc (90%) with some Chenin Blanc (10%), planted in clay and schist soils. The wine spends a year to 18 months on the lies before disgorgement. Fine bubbles match perfectly with the elegant fruit and crisp, mineral profile of the wine. A mere 3000 bottles are produced each year.
Where to buy these wines
Located in Orange County, CA. think the perfect online and brick and mortar wine sales and education stage. With their state-of-the-art website, extensive wine showroom, cheeky but educational daily missives, a YouTube channel, a tempting pre-arrivals offering system, rock-bottom prices and premium services, this is the go to place to purchase all your wines. There are wines here that you won’t find anywhere else. EACH ONE is personally tasted and selected by the owners.
Enjoy this appetizer from Melissa’s/World Variety Produce located in Vernon, CA. It will go nicely with any of the sparklers mentioned above.
By Melissa’s Corporate Chefs