Tag Archives: sparkling wine

New column! Crack the Dom Ruinart!

11 May

I’m going to be contributing to Delectable–first column here! For those of you not aware Delectable is the app arm of Antonio Galloni’s Vinous. It serves as both a way to keep track of what you drink, and a way to see what others are saying and drinking! I’ve actually made friends using it. Do take a read of what I titled:

The Big Guys V The Rest of the World

For my first column I spent the weekend at Effervescence LA, a three day celebration of bubbles, and wrote about the difference between Champagne and other traditional method sparklers. Check it out! I’ll still be putting things up on Scrumptious Gruel, and The Whine Situation podcast is coming up on a one year anniversary so there is much to celebrate. Thank you to everyone who is tuning in to any and all of my wino exploits. Someday I wish to toast with every one of you.

Advertisements

Wine Of late

24 Sep

Dudes these things just…materialize. At my door. And I try them and much of the time I am like “meh” and sometimes I’m like “hey fella” and occcaaaaaaasionally I’m like we can have a third date and that’s this. Our relationship is growing. Sorry for my singleton wine metaphors. I mean I’m not marrying this wine but I would take it to dinner with the fam.

J Vineyards and Winery Brut Rosé

It is bubbly. Of course. But nutty and yeasty and berry-y. And good and refreshing. If I want to drink a bubbly well….gotta say I’ve been learning this love language with the J Winery bubblies. Because I don’t tend to go out of my way for a sparkling wine but they have sent me quite a few and I’ve tasted A LOT of sparkling wine but consistently I have enjoyed the J offerings so who knows.

All of which to say is get a fucking J sparkler, if you are inclined. I am.

I have zero patience 

1 Nov


Should I save bubbly for special times?

Mayhaps.

Should I share it?

Indubitably.

But I tofurked up.

It’s like the veg way of messing up. Tofurk-ing up. My mom was critical of my expletives so I’m exploring my alternative options. Bear with it.

I funked it up on the sharing part but I was sent two Rotari samples, one white and one rosé and…I love rosé and…I was stressed and…okay look I opened it and said to myself “If I finish it a day or so later it may have less bubbles but what the fudge I want it now. I will share the brut later but I want the rosé NOW.

I was SO excited for this because WHAT?! It is grapes made into bubbly just like Champagne but…Italian. 

To be more specific, it’s bubbly from Trentodoc, the second oldest sparking appellation after Champagne.

Like Champagne they make their sparkly from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir–Champagne also sometimes includes Pinot Meunier but this bubbly sticks with the first two. 

Like Champagne the base wine is made and bottled then more yeast and sugar is added to create a second fermentation. At some point after the potion rests on the dregs of exhausted yeast there is disgorgement: all the sediment of the leftover yeast is expelled. Perhaps a small dosage of wine n sugar tops it up. A cork, cage and foil are added and it’s off to the races. Or to the bloggers. Whichever.

That is “traditional method”–or in this case “metodo classico”–sparking  wine!

It’s a lot. But! Does it taste good?

I tasted:

Rotari Rosé Trentodoc 2013

Okay holy frug. Here are my happy thoughts.

Appearance:

Pale, pink-salmon, fine light bubbles.

Nose: raspberries strawberries cherries all the red berries + Wet rocks n yeast.

On the tongue (everyone’s favorite organ): oh the effervescence of a traditional method bubbly! Transfer and tank method cannot surpass the elegance of the bubbles, and this traditional method has all the right stuff. Them’s the high-labor high-price breaks.

High dang acid, medium alcohol, And the flavors oh right those! In addition to those delightful wet stones you get the very light hints of brioche that come from so much time sitting on the lees. That is, the yeast remains. Those are the lees.

It really is a whole lot of strawberry and raspberry and stone and as I said the brioche. So like butter and yeast and cream. My favorite bread and fruit products, usually eaten separately now combined into a sublime beverage.

Fork yah.

Canned Cuvee for Those Times When You Literally Just CAN

26 Jul


Get it? Get it? You just CAN?!!

This little can of forget-your-woes is an Italian bubbly.

History will tell you I am not opposed to canned bubbly booze. With straws, even.

History will tell me I am rarely too big on Italian wine, but times they are a-changing.

Some Italian wines are growing on me. For example, while I’ll pass on the fava beans but I will take brains and a nice Chianti. Minus the brains.

Perhaps the American palate just likes too much of anything, but the Italian vinos I used to encounter in the USA tended to be…too much of one element or another for me to like. Too woody, too tannic, even too acidic, which is hard to do with me seeing as I have approximately zero acid receptors in my taste buds. But some people love a ridiculously big  Barolo that would need 20 years of aging for me to find acceptable.

Because I have become a wine asshole. I was about to say wine snob but my spoiled-brat opinions make me feel like a major jerk.

But! I am finally finding the Italian vinos I dig. So please don’t take offense to my previous misgivings. I have found I enjoy wines from the northerly side of Italy more. From the Veneto, for example.

Presto (procured at Whole Foods) is labeled as a “sparkling cuvée” so who knows the precise methods of production. The can says it is bottled by a company in Fidenza, Italy which is in Parma, just west and depending-where you are in the Veneto (home of Prosecco), south of the Veneto. But maybe it is made in the Veneto. Have I mentioned that I FUCKING LOVE VENICE although I was only there for too brief an evening. When I was a kid so no vino for me. But of all the places in Italy I was lucky enough to visit the Venice was the best.

Now, I had previously been a snob against bubblies. Not that true Champagne is my pinnacle bubbly. I usually like Cava better. But I am guessing this bubbly is made differently from those two types. It was most likely made like Prosecco, with its second fermentation happening in a big steel tank as opposed to in the bottle.

Perhaps a can is the perfect delivery method for tank-fermented bubbly? It goes with the whole easy-going vibe of “let us just ferment a big ol’ batch in a tank” that comes with these wines.

Let us be clear that we should not expect massive amounts of bubbles in this. The can states that it is a “frizzante” which means the wine is only lightly bubbly. “Spumante” would indicate full-on bubbles.

As for the color and the aroma and such well…this is in a can. D’oh. If you want to figure out the nose pour it in glass. And for bubbly use a large all-purpose or tulip glass for goodness sake–coupes and flutes are cute and stylish, but you get the best experience in a bigger glass. You will get the nose without the bubbles going away too quickly. Got your glass? Now take a whiff. You’ll get fresh orange, grapefruit and honeysuckle notes. But even not poured in a glass you are gonna get the same things on your tongue. There is a hint of bready and yeasty notes. Medium in body. Happy in mind. For a serving of bubbly it is decent on wallet. I can endorse Presto.

After trying some in the glass try sipping from the can and…there is a hint of flippin’ Sprite, no joke. But that is good.

Honestly I thought it was gonna be shitty but… I may need to get more of this shiznit. 

I may be getting a wee bit tipsy as I am sitting here sipping and analyzing and writing for you.

Whoops. 

This could be a snazzy pool party drink. For all the theoretical pool parties I am attending.

Which as a vampire I will not be. But I will still sip this canned sparkly delight.

Cava is THE BEST sparkly: let’s get disgorging

29 Mar

  
I opened a Cava. Because I could. I will give tasting notes and mayyyybe I will give some tech notes and neither will really matter because bubbly wine is joy contained in a glass. I mean in terms of technical facts, disgorging is getting rid of sediment and I could go on about that–but do we need to think about the part of the wine we are not taking in?
That is nonsensical, but so is the name of this lovely:

NV One plus One equals Three Cava Brut (Penedes)

Was there a logical reason to crack this lovely?

Well, a weekend of rehearsing and a fun musical improv show and then the whole Easter thing seemed like a valid excuse for me, by myself, alone in the kitsch cooking purple potatoes, to open some bubbly.

Cheers to life! Why not.

Thoughts: Oh geez this is a selection that gives me reason to say “I might possibly like cava better than even true Champagne”.

Refresher course: Cava is a sparkling wine made in Spain, using the same methods as champagne. Champagne is a sparkling wine coming from the region of France known as Champagne. This particular cava comes from Penedes, which is in Catalonia. In España. Grapes I REALLY don’t know: Xarel-lo, Parellada and Macabeo.

Champagne is where you go for your galaxy of yeast cruising on teeny-tiny bubble cruise ships. It’ll be the most delicate yet hearty foam to cross your lips. Cava is where you go for dainty bubbles with just a bit of the coarse swagger of the stereotypical dames swabbing the state rooms of the bubble cruise ships. They are unique, maybe a bit salty, and ephemeral. That is such a sexist image but I am digging it to explain Cava. Crap I like Cava.

But all this is neither here nor there, let us talk about consuming the lovely.
It touches your tongue like a plush yet effervescent cloud. Storm imminent. And said storm occurs as you let the bubbly glide down your tongue. You get both the (tasty) acid rain and the lush foam of dainty bubbles all at once. So like, medium in body.

One of the things most spellbinding things about a good bubbly is its ability to play so many roles at once.
Flavor? Well we have fresh fall fruit. We have honey. And maybe papaya. The bubbles invoke minerals, flowing down the river of pureed white peach. I am not joking about that last one, please, do feel free to make fun of me for saying it.

I deserve it. And I will still stand behind it.

Crap I love Cava. 

Soviet Bubbly who knew?

28 Oct

I’m just emoting that’s all.

  
THIS IS A REASON TO BUY MOSCATO WHAAAAAT!? yes.

I adore this cocktail gleaned from the wisdom and stories of The CCCP Cook Book. Which rocks.

Thank you Emily Hilligoss for the suggestion.

Oh, and yes I know it only really is champagne if it comes from the region in France but let us just refer to it as champagne because it is like “ya know what I mean when I say champagne”. Unless I state otherwise, I mean sparkling wine.

I made this cocktail not because it sounded like something I’d want to drink. I made it as an excuse to get my hands on some Benedictine. Which I am now having fun employing in a new batch of cocktail experimentation. Even if I weren’t doing that I’d say it was worth the buy because I have now made this cocktail quite a few times. It’s a repeater, y’all!

By the way, I bought Fetzer moscato. At Rite Aid. That is my life. I am buying wine at Rite Aid.

How can I describe this…it is balanced. The sweet, the herbaceous nature of Benedictine, the bubbles of the sparkling wine smoothed by the dry white. My goodness.

Incidentally, the cookbook calls for Soviet champagne. If you have a bottle of champagne leftover from those ripping good days of the Soviet Union, crack er’ open. Otherwise some other such thing will work. It needn’t be fancy. The original recipe is for a lot of people but remember so was the Soviet Union. In theory. There are many theories that don’t work out so well though.

This cocktail is not one of them. It is totally working out for me. The cookbook gives proportions for six drinks. The best way I could reduce it for my measuring purposes was to make 1/5 of a drink so that is what I am giving you. Whee.

There is some fun history in the book about the Soviet team that invented the way to make champagne cheaply in tanks because the government mandated that there needed to be a way to make quick n’ cheap bubbly for the people. So they did okay on that, seeing as Moët & Chandon got the method licensed to them in 1975.

I made do with what I had on hand. I repeat: no need to get fancy. After all the subtitle to this recipe was “working class champagne”. As opposed to royalty champagne? Je ne sais pas.

Soviet Champagne Cocktail adapted from The CCCP Cook Book
60 ml Soviet Champagne (sparkling wine, y’all, in the spirit of thriftiness I say use whatever brand floats your budget boat)
60 ml dry white wine (I tried this with a couple different types and all were fine, use what ya got)
30 ml white muscat wine (I used Fetzer moscato)
15 ml Benedictine
15 ml cognac
15 ml tinned fruit (in the notes they suggest cherries–I didn’t have these canned but had some in the freezer)
30 ml ice
Mix all and add ice and fruit. Yea.

Pink Lime and Meh

21 Oct

  
You will be lured.

It will be on sale.

This little can of Pampelonne.

Cute packaging and ease.

At your booze store.
Or at Whole Foods.
You will succumb.
Let me express this in haiku:

It is Rosé Lime.
Juice yet some funk and lime notes.
Good but not enough.

It is kinda tasty? If you need wine in a can, go ahead buy this. It is so FUCKING cute. 
Friggin’ pink Breton stripes.

Also if you need wine in a can your problems are worse than meh beverages.

It is like a pink frock you feel vulnerable in but once you in it you are like “fuck I’m wearing pink!” and you feel okay, if not temporarily fulfilled. Cause sometimes you just need things to be easy and tasty enough. That is this.

More on pink frocks soon. That could be important.