Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Churchill and Champagne

Terry Post:

I am re-reading Roy Jenkins’ book, “Churchill, A Biography” which I recommend highly. As a result of reading about Churchill and his copious consumption of Champagne, I have found it necessary to return to sparkling wine (can’t afford the real stuff) and have recently enjoyed two bottles of California sparkling wine and one from France.

I have enjoyed, to varying degrees, the following NV sparklers:

1. “Cooks” Brut Sparkling Wine. I paid $6.99 for this 750 mL California sparkler at a grocery store. It had a very distinct yeast scent and was quite bubbly. I was disappointed at the taste as the yeast overwhelmed any fruit that might have been hiding within. Not recommended by itself. Might be okay in a mimosa.

2. “Barefoot Cellars” Brut Sparkling Wine. I paid $9.99 for this 750 mL California sparkler at a grocery store. I was not aware that Barefoot Cellars was producing sparkling wine, and this was the first time that I’d ever seen it on the shelves. I am aware of the brand and see it as trying to define itself as a low-to-mid priced wine with above average quality. The wine itself had no yeast on the nose or palate. It showed expressive citrus bouquet on the nose followed by loads of melon on the end. I was very pleasantly surprised and would buy it again. Recommended.

3. “Jean-Louis Cuvee Blanc de Blancs” Brut Sparkling Wine. I paid $10.99 for this 750 mL French sparkler at a beer and wine store. The nose was profoundly pineapple with a little citrus – very nice. The finish was smooth and easy and there was pineapple again at the end. I have gone back and bought three more bottles of this one. Strongly recommended.

~ Terry

1 comment:

  1. Interesting comparisons! Surprising that the "Cooks" had a yeasty quality to it -- since I assume they use a non-traditional method to sparklify (like that?) their still wine. Unless...they added some yeast-essence to simulate the methode traditionale to make us think it is better than it is. Interesting if they did.

    I've had the Barefoot sparkler too...and agree with your call. Okay not great.

    We are considering, down the road, to work on developing an Iowan sparkler via the Charmat method.