It was a fun evening filled with lots of sparkling wine, food, and we learned a thing or two about sparkling wine in the process!
The sparkling wines were geographically diverse. While half of the wines were from California, there were 3 from France (including one from Champagne), a Prosecco from Italy and Cava from Spain. Almost all were the drier “Brut” style. And there was one Rose, which happened to all be the only vintage wine. All the other were non-vintage (“NV”) wines, and all the wines were between 11% and 12.5% A.B.V (Click here for a video explaining the difference between vintage vs. non-vintage Champagne).
On top of the aforementioned wines we also had a couple of bottles of Domaine Ste. Michelle Brut from Washington State to get us started. Somehow they disappeared before the scoring began (They coulda been a contender;-)!
Food pairings for the evening included mixed nuts, popcorn with truffle butter, and Brie for appetizers, with broccoli cheddar quiche, spinach artichoke quiche, and Salvadoran chicken tamales for entrees, and a fruit cheese tart, and shortbread cookies for dessert!
In order, we tasted the following sparkling wines:
NV Barefoot Bubbly Brut Cuvée ($9) – 100% Chardonnay
NV Gloria Ferrer Sonoma Brut ($17)– Blend of 91%-Pinot Noir/9%-Chardonnay
NV Mumm Napa – Brut Prestige – ($19) Blend of 51%-Pinot Noir; 46%-Chardonnay; 2%-Pinot Meunier; 1%-Pinot Blanc
NV Laetitia Brut Cuvée – ($22)– Blend of Pinot Noir, Pinot Blanc, and Chardonnay
The first runner up was the Gloria Ferrer Sonoma Brut,and the second runner-up was the Francois Chidaine Montlouis Brut.
As is usually the case, (at least so far in our wine tasting club – but as I understand it, it’s pretty common for wine tasting clubs, and other blind tastings) the least expensive wine was the winner!
I find it interesting that of the top 3, all were single varietal wines (Two were 100% on white wine grapes, while the other was 91% of red wine grapes, Pinot Noir, with the balance being Chardonnay), rather than the typical sparkling wine blend of 3 different grapes. Lastly, I also think it would have been interesting to have had an “Extra Dry” sparkling wine or two in order to compare the sweetness of Brut to Extra Dry sparkling wines. Hmmm…sounds like another sparkling wine night down the road?!
- California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger Enjoys Glass of J Brut Rosé During Asia Trade Mission (jvineyards.blogspot.com)