Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Champagne or sparkling wine the drink of choice on New Years Eve!

"Three be the things I shall never attain: Envy, content, and sufficient Champagne.

 - Dorothy Parker

Happy New Year!  It's New Years Eve tonight and you don't yet have your champagne or sparkling wine bought yet?  Worse still, you don't know what to buy?

Have no fear, bubbles information is here!

There are some delicious and even very affordable sparkling wines available in your local BC Liquor store - even one Wine Spectator Top 100 bottle rated 91 points from California for just $22.99!

That Mumm Napa Brut Prestige is ranked #54 in the 2014 Wine Spectator Top 100 list - and it is my top recommendation for an affordable but excellent New Years toast.

Best of all, there are 2,433 bottles available in government Liquor Stores across BC and it is actually on sale - $22.99 is $3 off the regular price through January 3, 2015.  This bubbly and others are also available in some private stores.

Here's a brief description of this non-vintage wine: 

"Mumm Napa Brut Prestige is made with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay and a little Pinot Meunier. It’s a pale peach in colour and creamy with flavours of peach, melon and citrus. 

The wine opens with gorgeous layered white blossom aromas, followed by creamy vanilla, citrus, stone fruit and melon. Yeast aging contributes subtle aged flavours of biscuit, bread dough, white blossoms and mocha, and layers of creamy texture. It is medium-bodied, with elegant acidity, crisp structure, excellent mousse and a rich finish." 

But there are lots of other choices for more money or less.

Starting with cheaper choices that don't bite going down, I recommend from France the Veuve du Vernay - in both Blanc de Blancs Brut and Brut Rose styles for only $13.99 each at government Liquor Stores - also on sale by $1.   

This is always a solid choice for budget bubbly - in fact, we just poured some of the Brut Rose for neighbours this weekend - it's got a nice strawberry nose and is just a delightful easy drinking treat.  So is the Blanc de Blancs Brut.  And with over 10,000 bottles of the two wines available you can't fail to find it!

But what if you are intent on splurging?  You want real Champagne - which only comes from the Champagne region of France, of course.

Here's an easy choice on sale for $5 off the admittedly high price - Lanson Black Label Brut for $59.99.   Rated 89 points by the Wine Spectator, this is always a great Champagne with pear, black cherry, smoke and spice notes. There are 320 bottles in government stores around BC.

And of course, each bottle of Champagne comes with about 1 million bubbles - enough to go around!

Want to spend the maximum?  Try the Louis Roederer 2002 Crystal Brut - a mere $11,500 a bottle!  Maybe after the lottery!

How about a BC sparkling wine alternative?  Sure - try the Sumac Ridge Stellars Jay on sale for $21.99 or the See Ya Later Ranch Syl Brut on sale for $20.99.  

And you really can't go wrong with sparkling wines - any bottle over $12 is likely to do just fine - there are good Spanish cavas, Australian and other sparklers that are tasty treats.

Just be careful opening your sparking wine correctly - don't do it like race car drivers who just won the Formula One - the correct method is to hold the cork firmly and twist the bottle slowly - you get that satisfying "POP" without wasting the precious liquid on the floor!

And to impress your friends and family with your newly-found wine knowledge - there are always, always 7 twists to undo on the wire cage keeping the cork in place because of the high pressure of the bubbly wine in the bottle.  Just count them out loud when you undo the cage.

Lastly - don't aim the cork at anyone - it can travel up to 50 miles an hour and indeed can take out an eye or break the fine china in a second!

Cheers - and a very Happy New Year to all readers!  

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