And the winner is…

For the September bi-monthly meeting of the Pacific Point Wine Tasting Club, we blind tasted 10 sparkling wines.

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 Paul Cheneau Lady of Spain Cava ($12) – Blend of 45% Macabeo; 40% Xarel-lo; and 15% Parellada

NV Domaine Carneros Brut ($25) – Blend of Pinot Noir, Pinot Blanc, and Chardonnay

NV Barefoot Bubbly Brut Cuvée ($9) – 100% Chardonnay

NV Veuve Clicquot Brut Yellow Label ($40) – Blend of two-thirds black grapes (Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier), and one-third Chardonnay

NV Gloria Ferrer Sonoma Brut ($17)- Blend of 91%-Pinot Noir/9%-Chardonnay

NV Francois Chidaine Montlouis Brut ($20) - 100% Chenin Blanc

NV Candoni Prosecco Brut ($14) – 100% Prosecco

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

2008 Antech Cremant de Limoux Cuvée Emotion – ($14) - Blend of Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Mauzac, Pinot Noir

Hard work, but somebody's gotta do it!;-)

In a very close contest, the winner was the Barefoot Bubbly Brut Cuvée!

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?!


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