Want a Champagne Icewine Cocktail?

I was just browsing around on the web and I found this recipe for a champagne with icewine cocktail recipe and thought I’d pass it along to you. Although the recipe is listed as “champagne”, it really should be identified as “sparkling wine” as champagne is only from the Champagne region in France.

Since this is a long weekend, you may want to make some tonight or on Sunday night with friends. Enjoy and Happy New Year!

Fusion Royale Champagne Cocktail

By Scott McTaggart, Fusion Grill, Winnipeg
750 ml bottle sparkling wine (suggests Sumac Ridge Stellar’s Jay)
375 ml bottle icewine (suggests Inniskillin Vidal)
Preserved Bing cherries

Fill champagne flutes 3/4 full of sparkling wine. Add a dash of icewine to each. Drop in a cherry.

Makes 6 servings.

A Sparkling Wine Tasting!

Today was a special Trade tasting day for me. This is typically the Trade tasting where the sparkling wines are brought out by agents in preparation for wine buyers, to pick up these sparkling wines for their hotel, restaurant, etc and offer them over the Christmas and New Year season. So i’d like to share some of these sparkling wines with you. One of the nice things I saw this year is more rose coloured sparkling wines. Very festive!

Some terms you may see in a liquor store for sparkling wine are: Champagne, Cava, Prosecco, Frizzante, Cap Classique, and of course Sparkling. There are other terms, but these are a few common ones. Champagne is from the Champagne region of France, Cava is from Spain, Prosecco from Italy, Frizzante from Italy, Cap Classique from South Africa, and Sparkling, which can be from anywhere.

I think my overall favourite sparkling wine today was the Laurent-Perrier Cuvee Rose Brut ($107.99). Pale salmon in colour. Oak and black currants on the nose. Light bubble with raspberries and currant flavours.

If you can’t afford a case of Laurent-Pierrier, I have a few less expensive choices for you:
Cantina Breganze Prosecco Extra Dry ($21.99) (Italy). Pale lemon in colour with a tinge of green. Lemon and juicy orchard fruit on the nose. Orange, lemon, and rose petal flavours. Recommended.
Cantina Breganze Blanquette de Limoux Demi-Sec ($26.99) (Italy). This is a semi-sweet, organic sparkling wine. This one has a nice white flower nose. Bright lemony colour. Flowery, light spice, and orangy flavours. Nice.
Codorniu Pinot Noir Sparkling Brut ($19.99) (Spain). Light orangy pink in colour. Light strawberry aroma. Very bracing in your mouth, with strawberry and raspberry flavours.
Hungaria Grand Cuvee ($13.90) (Hungary). Quite a deal for this sparkler. Light lemon in colour, with lemon/lime aromas. Light bubble with lemon flavour.
Cuillier Pere et Fils, Brut Selection ($58) (France). Fine bubble with green apple and pear aromas. Fine bubble with lemon and pear flavour. This wine was like enjoying a fresh pear. Very tasty!

Also at this Trade tasting, was red and white still wines. A few I liked:
Pampas del Sur Reserve Malbec 2007 (#13.98) (Argentina). Deep purple colour. Very aromatic. Black currant and cherry flavours. Medium body and very smooth.
Eikendal Stellenbosch Classique Reserve ($35.99) (South Africa). This is a Bordeaux blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot. Medium garnet in colour. Oak, tobacco, mint and cherry aromas. Chocolate, tobacco and cherry flavours. Smooth with a long length.

Enjoy some bubbles for the upcoming holiday season. And if you are interested in some nice Chilean wine, please check out my website, www.MyWinePal.com.

Chile Day 7 – Maipo Valley

Chile Day 7, Half way through my visit to Chile and the wineries I planned to visit. Today I visited 3 wineries spread across the Maipo Valley, south of Santiago. The first winery of the day was Santa Rita. I’ve met two of Santa Rita’s wine makers in the past through their visits to Vancouver, and now it is my turn to see the winery. Mr. Jose Ignacio Villalobo gave me a tour of their winery as well as pointing out the historical sites that are within the winery. One of the lines of wine is the “120” series. I’ll write about it when i’m back in Vancouver, but if you are interested, please check out Santa Rita’s website, www.santarita.cl. Mr. Villalobo had selected 5 wines for me to taste: 2 Sauvignon Blanc, 1 Carmenere, and 2 cabernet sauvignon. These wines were from their entry to to their premium levels. Although i can’t take you through all wines from all 3 wineries in this brief blog, i’ll point out a few wines. The Santa Rita Casablanca Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2008 had a mix of asparagus and citrus on the nose. Medium acidity, with more asparagus flavour as well as some herbaceousness and citrus. The wine had medium body and a bit of roundness. For a red, I’ll point out the Santa Rita Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva 2007. This one was deep garnet in colour, with cassis, back cherry and a hint of vanilla on the nose. Lots of black cherry flavour, with a bit of meatiness. The tannins were medium and allowed for a smooth mouthfeel. Nice.

 

The second winery of the day was Vina Undurraga. Their grounds and winery were beautiful, just like Santa Rita. I’d love to just spend a day at each on their grounds enjoying the sites. At Undurraga I met with a wine maker named Pilar. She led me through a tasting of 5 different wines; 2 whites, 2 reds, and 1 sparkling. I found out that Undurraga has a range of sparkling wines. Hopefully we will get them in BC sometime soon. A white from Undurraga was the Sibaris Sauvignon Blanc 2008 from the cool climate, Leyda Valley. This wine was light lemon in colour. It had a sweet and saliness to the nose with lemon and a herbal note. It was quite high in acidity making it quite refreshing. I tasted green fruit, herbaceousness and some lemon. it had a long length with a spicy finish. On the red wine side, I enjoyed the Sibaris Carmenere, 2008 from the Colchagua Valley. This wine spent 23 months barrel aging in French and American oak. It was deep purple in the glass with good legs. It had tarry, meaty, cassis ad a bit of capsicum aromas. On the palate there as tar, vanilla and black cherry. It was quite smooth in the mouth with a slight peppery and dark fruit finish.

The third winery of the day was from Vina Tarapaca ex Zavala. This winery was a bit out of the way but well worth it. It has 8 km of private road that leads you to the winery. You drive through their vineyards along the side of the valley overlooking I think the Maipo River. Once there, there is beautiful grounds, and a private airstrip! Mr. Edward Flaherty, winemaker, led me through the tastings of his wines. Edward is originally from California, but has been living in Chile for many years. A white wine I enjoyed was the La Isla Sauvignon Blanc 2009 from the Leyda Valley. This wine ha a herbal nose with some green pepper, some floweriness and some lime. It had a ice round mouthfeel which was balanced with medium acidity in the glass. Green pepper and herbal flavours, with a long length. For the reds, I enjoyed the Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 from the Maipo Valley. This wine was deep garnet in colour. very aromatic. Tar, ripe black fruit and cassis aromas. On the palate, there was tar, cassis, and black cherry. The tannins were medium, leading to a dry, sweet ripe black fruit finish. Very tasty.

That is all from the Maipo Valley. I’ll provide full tasting notes for all the wines once i’m back in Vancouver. The next valley for me to visit is the Colchagua Valley. Saludos!

Sumac Ridge Estate Winery Tribute Sparkling Wine

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} catch(err) {}Yesterday at O’Doul’s Restaurant and Bar, Christa-Lee McWatters Bond from Sumac Ridge Estate Winery gave those in attendance, a sneak peek at their newest sparkling wine, called “Tribute”. This is a non-vintage 100% chardonnay based sparkling wine. What is the twist as there are other chardonnay-based sparkling wines from around the world.

The twist is that Sumac Ridge will donate $1.25 from each bottle sold to support our Canadian Olympic athletes. From what I hear on the news, our athletes are not supported as much as athletes in other countries, so if we have a way to support our athletes, and enjoy some bubbly, it is a win-wine situation 🙂

FYI, 100% Chardonnay-based sparkling wines tend to be lighter bodied and have finer bubbles than sparkling wines that have pinot noir or pinot meunier mixed in.

Tribute is not yet released, but will be available in BC Liquor Stores in the start of August. Each bottle will cost $30, with $1.25 going to our Canadian Olympic athletes. Enjoy!