The Wine Ladies on set with TV host Tracy Moore of Cityline TV.
Discover the joy of bubbly… budget bubbly too! Make your Valentine’s Day sparkle.
Ahhh… the secrets of bubbly from around the world! From Champagne to Cava to Sekt and Prosecco, the gentle mousse of these wines titillate the palate and tickle the nose! The flavours range from toasty biscuit and almond to zesty citrus and luxurious peach! Learn the story of the vessel from which you sip, including the coupe, the flute and the tulip! Finally a few favourites for you and your Valentine. Happy Valentine’s Day to all!
Sparkling wines are made all over the world, but not all created equal! Rules, rules and more rules! A matter of geography, a mattter of method, of grapes and of taste! Lets unveil the sleuth in us and uncover bubbly, from fizzante to sparkling to Champagne!
Indeed we cannot group all bubbly into one big bubble! Sparkling wines go by differnet names depending on their origin, how they are made, and which varietals that use to make it.
Meanwhile before the show…..
Champagne, for instance can only be called champagne if it is made in the Champagne region located in the north-east of France, a mere hour away from “gay Paris”.
The methodolgy (Methode Traditionnelle) is meticulous, costly and time consuming.
The secondary fermentation, responsible for the bubbles… must take place in the bottle, after a still wine has been embellished with a touch of sugar/syrup and/or water and yeast. It is then capped with what looks like a coca cola cap. The fermenation begins and millions and millions of tiny bubbles will be the end result when it is finally time to pop the cork. Scientists with lots of time on their hands have counted… or estimated approximately 49 million bubbles! Vintage Champagne has to be aged for 36 months in the bottle requiring much patience and euros. The aromas and flavours of Champagne are seductive, characterized by a variety of distinctive toastiness, citrus, bisquit and brioche, with notes of almond and the elegant lively mousse. Simply devine!
Our choice: VEUVE CLICQUOT VEUVE CLICQUOT BRUT CHAMPAGNE LCBO 563338 Price $ 67.85 http://www.veuve-clicquot.com
Our journey continues to Spain, where most of the sparkling is produced in the Penedes region, a brief car ride from Barcelona. Cava is what they call their sparkling wines, and they must also be produced in the “Methode Traditionnelle” as it is done in Champagne. Cava represents some of the finest value sparkling wines on the market today. Flavours can range from floral to apple and even notes of an earthy mushroom. Teriffic value bubbly starting as low as $10.00!
Our choice: MUGA MUGA CONDE DE HARO BRUT CAVA VINTAGES 168559 Price $ 19.95 http://www.bodegasmuga.com
We deviate from the Methode Traditionnelle to the Charmat method or tank method of producing sparkling wine, which has the secondary fermentation taking place in bulk in a pressure tank. The advantage to the Charmat process is that it is cheaper, faster and less labour intensive.
Two other wine growing regions producing sparkling wines using this method are Germany and Italy.
German speaking countries refer to their sparkling wines as Sekt. The base wine can actually come from another country, often France and Italy or others. Although Riesling is the predominant varietal this is not regulated. If a sparkling wine says “Deutscher Sekt” on the label, this means the base wine comes from Germany. The small amount of Deutscher Sekt that is made by the traditional method tends to consist of riesling, chardonnay, or the pinot varieties.
Our choice: Dr. LOOSEN LOOSEN BROS. DR. L. SPARKLING RIESLING VINTAGES 296095 Price $ 13.95 http://www.drloosen.com
Finally, everyone has heard of Prosecco, that delightful, lively bubbly that hails from the Italian region of Veneto! Prosecco refers to the style of the wine, and up untill 2009 the grape. This changed in 2009 and is now called Glera.
Prosecco, leading the charge in the tremendous growth in the sparkling wine category is characterized by light, persistent fruitiness, floral, apple, pear and a gentle mousse. Wonderful budget bubbly to be sure! What’s the difference between frizzante and sparkling? It all depends on how much pressure is in the bottle, frizzante has softer and fewer bubbles, “frizzante” is simply fizzy!
Our choice: FOSS MARAI EXTRA DRY PROSECCO VINTAGES 729392 Price $ 19.95
We end with a nod to one of our own sparkling wines, from Lake Erie North Shore, the Girls’ Night Out sparkling, produced with the Riesling grape. Delivering green apple with a citrus zest and a creamy, silky frothy finish. Delish!
Our choice: Colio Estate Winery GIRLS’ NIGHTOUT SPARKLING VQA LCBO 215632 Price $ 14.95 http://www.girlsnightoutwines.com
We embrace the versatility and celebration of bubbly with this delectable Cabernet Sauvignon Icewine Sparkling Slushie, as we toast with Tracy! Recipe courtesy of Karen McFarlane of The Ice House Winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake. This sumptious icewine with rich raspberry, black currant and long finish is the perfect partner for the topping of our rose sparkling wine from Konzelamann Estates.
The Ice House Winery Northern Ice 2011 Cabernet/Dornfelder Signature Series Red Price:$70.00 http://www.theicehouse.ca
Konzelmann Estate Winery KONZELMANN ROSE METHODE CUVE CLOSE VQA LCBO 184176 Price $ 16.20 http://www.konzelmann.ca/index.php
The Ice House Sparkling Slushie
200ml The Ice House Cabernet Sauvignon Icewine – Chilled
8 to 10 ice cubes
100 ml of Canadian Sparking Rose – Chilled
Place ½ of the ice cubes in a blender and cover with 100 ml The Ice House Cabernet Sauvignon Icewine, mix, then add remaining ice cubes and Icewine and finish blending.
Pour into martini glasses and add 25 ml of Canadian Sparking Rose to create bubbles on top