Dec 292010

Champagne toast

Much like my article earlier in the year, Do Real Men Drink Rose?, I suppose one could ask the same question about Champagne and Sparkling Wine. Well, the answer is the same…not only yes; but Hell Yeah! (I’m from Texas…we talk that way). I’ve been a sucker for a good sparkler for as long as I can remember. New Year’s Eve and Valentine’s Day just serve as a good excuse to tip a flute. That’s a shame because sparklers are good in so many circumstances (spectacular with my daughter’s white chocolate  raspberry marble cheesecake). Plus, don’t we all look classy and sophisticated with a stem in hand?

With New Year’s Eve nearly upon us, the recession behind us (or so they report) and the promise of a new year ahead, let’s pop some bubbly! This year I’m still feeling frugal, not cheap but frugal. So the focus is on five sparkling wines that we thought were a great deal. Five sparklers that your guests would swear you spent much more than you did. I’ll admit my palate is partial to Pinot in a bubbly blend and that foible has influenced these choices.

Each wine is linked to the full review on Bacchus and Beery Wine Reviews.

Two Offerings from J Vineyards and Winery It is hard to go wrong with any wine offered by the Jordan family. Here are two of our favorites:

J Vineyards Brut Rosé NV Russian River Valley Sparkling Wine – $30
I’m love Pinot Noir Rosé sparkling wines and the J Brut Rosé is a real winner. A sexy pour of bright acidity combined with a kiss of black cherry, red apple and strawberry. The blend of 56% Pinot Noir and 44% Chardonnay is beautifully balanced from front to back.

J Vineyards Cuvee 20 NV Russian River Valley Sparkling Wine – $22
J Cuvee 20 is an elegant sparkler at a superb price. 49% Chardonnay and 49% Pinot with a touch of oak and residual sugar. Notes of red apple, raspberry, caramel, citrus and pear dissolve into a smooth lush finish. My mother, a sparkling wine fanatic, absolutely loved these bubbles. A well deserved 90 from WE.

Two Offerings from Mumm Napa “Bubbles Make Your Party Sparkle” is their slogan and it is ohhh so true.

Mumm Napa Brut Prestige NV Napa Valley Sparkling Wine – $20
The many accolades for Mumm Napa Brut Prestige are well deserved (WE 92 & WS 90) and a fantastic value at $20. A delicious blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir results in a beautiful crisp layering of citrus, honey, melon and a touch of strawberry. May I have another glass, please?

Mumm Napa Brut Rosé NV Napa Valley Sparkling Wine – $22
Formerly known as Blanc de Noir, this blend of Pinot Noir with a touch of Chardonnay for power and structure is a sumptuous beauty. Looking for manly bubbles? Here’s the answer. A robust sparkler, it should be considered not just a celebration in your flute but a food pairing wine as well. Again accolades abound, WE – 93 and WS -90.

A Sexy New Year’s Eve – Amorosa Bella

Amorosa Bella Brut Rose’ NV Sparkling Wine, Mendocino County – $32
Let’s talk sensual. Amorosa Bella “beautiful lover” is headed by Dr. Charlyn Belluzzo, the author of “Authentic Sensual Living.” The winery promotes a sensual lifestyle by combining wines with candles, perfume, music, art and lingerie. This rose colored blend of Pinot and Chardonnay is a sexy baby that will put you in the “mood.”

(All wines in this post were received as samples… Robert Parker doesn’t buy his wines, either)

  3 Responses to “Make Your New Year Sparkle”

  1. Thanks for sharing the Amorosa Bella. Really looking forward to trying this one!

  2. We spend a bit of time in Austin visiting our youngest daughter , her husband and four of our eight grands. We have enjoyed your blog and look forward to taking in several of the Texas wineries in 2011.

    Many thanks.

    Be well.

    Rocke Roy

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