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nickynick
06-20-2007, 11:41
I was thinking about this a few weeks ago after I went to a sparkling wine taste at Binny's. I for one do enjoy it a great deal. My girlfriend and I drink it quite often. It is probably 2nd or 3rd behind Bourbon, and whisk(e)y in general and beer for me. I probably do drink sparkling wine more then beer. Its something that my girlfriend and I can share. She won't drink bourbon, or any other whiskey, and I don't drink red wine(makes me sick for some reason, even a little gives me a headache), but it is something we both enjoy.
We drink all kinds, but I think Italian Sparklers are our favorite. Also they offer a great value. Prosecco, and d'Asti(Brachetto, Moscato, Blend) are excellent. There are many brands that have excellent offerings of these varietals. Domestic sparklers also offer some good value especially Domaine Ste Michelle from Washington state. Of course Champagne, although not as often because of price. But Piper Heidsieck, Moet & Chandon, and Nicolas Feuillatte have good offerings under $30-$35. St Hilaire from France is also very good and under $10, though not from Champagne. Spanish Cavas are also good.
Just wanted to see what people thought.

jeff
06-20-2007, 12:12
My wife and I enjoy sparklers quite a bit. We favor them on the dry side, but an occasional asti or prosecco is nice. Some of our favorite wineries to visit are sparkling producers. Chandon, Mumm, Gloria Ferrer and Domaine Carneros are all good California properties making outstanding sparkling wines. You mention Chateau St. Michelle in Washington. That is our value sparkler, at only $11 in Lexington.

Gillman
06-20-2007, 12:18
I just had a superb Champagne-style wine from New Zealand, it cost half what an ordinary French Champagne costs. I can't recall the name at the moment. This is the first non-French Champagne I found that has the typical French nose and taste, I would be very surprised if even experts could tell it apart in a blind tasting. I hasten to say I like many kinds of non-French sparkler (Jeff mentioned many). They don't have to taste French to appeal to me. But it was extraordinary how French in style this one was. I am trying to find more here and will mention the name when (if) I find it again.

By the way, for the beer fans: a classic English cocktail was 50% Champagne, 50% stout. This is called a Black Velvet. It is a great drink for the summer. Apparently it derives from an English club which, when a Royal figure died (it was the Consort of Queen Victoria, I think his name was Prince Albert), poured stout into the clubmens' Champagne to signify mourning.

It works with any good sparkler and any good stout, but if you try it, try to ensure a good bittersweet balance.

Gary

ratcheer
06-20-2007, 14:15
Yes, sure. What's not to like?

Tim

barturtle
06-20-2007, 14:52
Yes, quite a lot. I quite like Cavas, and made a point to hit J when I was in Wine Country recently. I have recently been trying some of the Rose and am looking to sample some Red Sparklers in the future

wadewood
06-20-2007, 17:26
Trina and I went and saw Korbel last year in California, located near Santa Rosa in the Russian River Valley. I always thought as Korbel as that really cheap sparkling wine they serve receptions. I was wrong!

First, they sell Champagne. You might say, wait a minute, if it comes from outside the Champagne region of France, it has to be called sparkling wine or something to that notion. Actually, Korbel opened in CA in 1882. They were making Champagne before the Treaty of Madrid in 1891, which included a clause giving legal protection to Champagne Region. Hence, they are grandfathered in (Note - this came from a tour guide. I have had tour guides that really did not know much, but this was seemed very knowledgeable. I also checked around internet a little and story seems legit).

I will admit that some of Korbel's product is destined for that cheap reception, but they also make some great Champagne. We purchased a case of their Le Premier Champagne, about $23 bottle.

Their description: "Korbel's very best Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes are used for this special cuvée. The fruit is gently whole-cluster pressed before fermentation. After fermentation all of the young cuvées for Le Premier Champagne are aged in large oak casks for one year, where they undergo malolactic fermentation. After the secondary, méthode champenoise fermentation, Le Premier Champagne is aged for three years before being released. Stylistically, Korbel Le Premier Champagne is a complex cuvée with toasty nutty aromas followed by a delicate apple and berry flavor."

We just finished the last bottle this past weekend; just in time for another trip to Santa Rosa.

Keenan
06-20-2007, 17:48
Love Prosecco and Lambrusco, but you can only find good Lambrusco in Italy.

melting
06-20-2007, 17:56
Your right about the Lambrusco. I've been trying to find a decent one for years. Growing up that was the usual table wine at dinner. I can't recall what the brand was or if it would even matter 30 years later. If anyone can suggest a decent brand it would be greatly appreciated. The Riuniti just will not do.

Chris

nickynick
06-21-2007, 06:15
My wife and I enjoy sparklers quite a bit. We favor them on the dry side, but an occasional asti or prosecco is nice. Some of our favorite wineries to visit are sparkling producers. Chandon, Mumm, Gloria Ferrer and Domaine Carneros are all good California properties making outstanding sparkling wines. You mention Chateau St. Michelle in Washington. That is our value sparkler, at only $11 in Lexington.

I forget how lucky I am here in Chicago. Domaine Ste Michelle is only $8.99 at Binny's and regularly on sale at least once a month for $6.99.

If it is Champagne or at least the Champagne method, I do prefer on the dry side, Brut of Extra Dry. Demi-Sec usually seems to syrupy to me. But d'Asti especial pure moscato seem light and sweet. I think that is why I prefer prosecco as well, its light, but has very noticeable flavors that vary from brand to brand. Prefect for these warm early summer nights we have been having here.

BourbonJoe
06-21-2007, 06:41
We purchased a case of their Le Premier Champagne, about $23 bottle.



I like their "Natural".
Joe :usflag:

jeff
06-21-2007, 06:46
Trina and I went and saw Korbel last year in California, located near Santa Rosa in the Russian River Valley. I always thought as Korbel as that really cheap sparkling wine they serve receptions. I was wrong!

First, they sell Champagne. You might say, wait a minute, if it comes from outside the Champagne region of France, it has to be called sparkling wine or something to that notion. Actually, Korbel opened in CA in 1882. They were making Champagne before the Treaty of Madrid in 1891, which included a clause giving legal protection to Champagne Region. Hence, they are grandfathered in (Note - this came from a tour guide. I have had tour guides that really did not know much, but this was seemed very knowledgeable. I also checked around internet a little and story seems legit).

I will admit that some of Korbel's product is destined for that cheap reception, but they also make some great Champagne. We purchased a case of their Le Premier Champagne, about $23 bottle.

Their description: "Korbel's very best Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes are used for this special cuvée. The fruit is gently whole-cluster pressed before fermentation. After fermentation all of the young cuvées for Le Premier Champagne are aged in large oak casks for one year, where they undergo malolactic fermentation. After the secondary, méthode champenoise fermentation, Le Premier Champagne is aged for three years before being released. Stylistically, Korbel Le Premier Champagne is a complex cuvée with toasty nutty aromas followed by a delicate apple and berry flavor."

We just finished the last bottle this past weekend; just in time for another trip to Santa Rosa.

Leslie and I went to Korbel 2 years ago, and I agree completely.

Bob O.
06-21-2007, 12:52
My wife and I enjoy sparklers quite a bit. We favor them on the dry side, but an occasional asti or prosecco is nice. Some of our favorite wineries to visit are sparkling producers. Chandon, Mumm, Gloria Ferrer and Domaine Carneros are all good California properties making outstanding sparkling wines. You mention Chateau St. Michelle in Washington. That is our value sparkler, at only $11 in Lexington.

Great wineries you have listed, Jeff. Have you been to Schramsberg (http://www.schramsberg.com/)? If not, I would suggest a tour next time you are out here.

mier
06-22-2007, 01:14
I don`t drink it very often and if i do please not the French champagne,you have for half the price or less a nice cremant from Burgondy,some sekt from Germany or some very good sparkling ones from South Africa specially the Ouwe Tyde Vonkelwine is there one to try.Also the Spanish cavas can be nice but some of them are just to sparkling makes me think if it is natural or not.With the Italian ones i never have a problem,nice as a aperitif.Eric.

jeff
06-22-2007, 10:30
Great wineries you have listed, Jeff. Have you been to Schramsberg (http://www.schramsberg.com/)? If not, I would suggest a tour next time you are out here.

We're headed back to SF and the Wine country in late July. We have talked about visiting Schramsberg, and I think we definitely will. Thanks.

Martian
06-22-2007, 11:56
Like it a lot for a change. The American made Balletore Spumante is amazing for the price. I will be having Perlino Asti on July 4th.

Gillman
06-22-2007, 14:47
I found more of the sparkling wine I mentioned but on seeng the bottle again I realise I made an error, the wine is not New Zealand's, it is Australian from the Margaret River area.

It is called Thompson Estate 2002 Sparkling Chardonnay Pinot Noir.

It is 80% Chard and 20% Pinot. Grapes were whole bunch pressed with the methode Champenoise followed including 12 months aging in French oak, then 18 in the bottle for the secondary before riddling and disgorgement (the process to precipitate the yeast in the neck and then remove it).

These very French procedures, allied to quality grapes and a classic Champagne recipe (the grape types and blend), make for a fine Champagne-style wine that is very French in taste - for $28.00 (CAN) a bottle - a bargain. I've had some fine California sparklers but none that resembled the Champagne taste as closely as this one.

Gary

bigtoys
06-26-2007, 22:56
Jeff's plans:
We have talked about visiting Schramsberg, and I think we definitely will.


Coincidentally, my wife and I are in Napa Valley this week. We had dinner with the tastemaker at Chandon Sunday night. We tasted about 6 different sparkling wines with an amazing dinner--smoked clam appetizer, duck,...

Monday, we went to Schramsberg. They have a great tour. We went into the caves where there are 2.2 MILLION bottles of sparkling wine aging. We tasted several. Some great stories. Make a reservation for the tour/tasting. It's worth it. The drive up to the place is crazy--one lane for both ways. We had a driver, thank heaven, especially on the way down.

Today, we went to Domaine Carneros (owned by Taittinger). They built a winery that looks like a giant French chateau at the south end of Napa Valley in the Carneros region. Took their tour, too. Not as good as Schramsberg, but interesting. Saw the automatic riddlers. Extra discount at the end of the tour for what you buy.

When I get home, I'll try to post some pictures.

Sijan
11-09-2007, 21:03
Am a big fan of sparklers. Bollinger and Krug are my favorites, but I like a wide variety of sparkling wine.

I think Roederer Estate (from Roederer's California winery) is one of the best values out there - about $20/bottle for very high quality stuff that can easily beat a $50 champagne in a blind tasting.

Freixenet is another very good value at a much lower price range. Gruet is also a great value. I am not a terribly big fan of the Domaine Ste. Michelle sparklers, although I like many of their other wines.

Paul Goerg is another very good value that is also a genuine champagne from the Champagne region. About $25/bottle around here.

De Margerie used to be a really good value, but the price has inched up since people discovered it. Was supposed to be the cheaper alternative to Veuve Clicquot but now it's only about $5 cheaper in my area. Actually, Total Wine now has them at about the same price - $35/bottle.

polyamnesia
11-10-2007, 05:57
always like the occasional Asti Spumante during gatherings at my parents. it's my mom's favorite.

they recently discovered, in Mississippi, some decent italian red sparkling wine i think called Casa d' Medici or something like that (not "de Medici"...i don't think, as would be expected, grammatically).

it's quite chuggable, but not in that cheap way. nor is it as sweet as spumante.

i hope they bring up a case!

BourbonJoe
11-10-2007, 06:13
In Germany you can buy a red sparkling wine known as "KremSekt" which is a sweet sparkler made in the Crimea. Very good. I've never seen it in the USA.
Joe :usflag:

Sijan
11-11-2007, 04:51
Emily and I tried a bottle of Rondel Brut Cava last night and were unimpressed. Ok, subdued yeasty nose. Weak palate. Bitter, unpleasant finish. Improved slightly with some cheese, but not much. We didn't finish the bottle. Won't buy again.

Picked it up at Total Wine based on one of their shelf hangers advertising a good rating, and a low price. The bottle looks like a purple version of the Freixenet bottle. I'd much rather have Freixenet.