Friday, December 30
I do love bubble aka sparkling wine. Years ago on a tour in France, David and I actually visited the fabled champagne region and spent time learning and tasting beautiful champagne. I think that trip and experience got my taste buds intrigued with it’s bubbles and my hoarding of champagne flutes. Here in BC, there seems to be a a lot of interest in sparkling wines and a few years ago I only spotted a few local sparklers in the liquor stores. Now apparently there are 70 (seven zero !!) producers of sparkling wine in the province. With New Year’s Eve around the corner and our 20th wedding anniversary on January 2 I’m going to pop the cork on a few of my favourites and perhaps a new one or two as well!
This summer Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards opened it’s doors and caves for touring of their sparkling program. They offer a very informative but casual tour of their wine process and of course the opportunity to taste their wines. I really liked their 2014 Fitz Brut and a few bottles found their way home. The bright orange/coral of their labels is fun and I can’t help but smile when I see that colour!
Another favourite is The Bub from Haywire Winery. Again, the idea of calling their bubble ‘the Bub’ takes the stuffiness out of the idea that sparkling wine is only for special occasions.
Summerhill Pyramid Winery has a HUGE selection of sparkling wines with a variety of price points. Their Cipes Gabriel is $350 (100% Chardonnay grapes) but thankfully my taste buds enjoy the Cipes Brut at only $29 with it’s blend of Riesling, Pinot Blanc and Chardonnay. We attended a dinner last spring at Krafty Kitchen with seven vegan courses paired with seven sparkling wines from Summerhill. I had no idea Summerhill produced the wide variety of sparkling until that delicious eye-opening evening.
My love of sparkling and rose come together in the very reasonably priced Odyssey Rose Brut from Gray Monk.
We attended a wedding this summer and the bride loved pink. We toasted the occasion with a variety of pink bubble but the one that everyone enjoyed was ‘I DO’ from Intrigue Wines in Lake Country. It was very berry tasting, a beautiful shade of pink and lots and lots of bubbles.
I did a very informal facebook survey of some friends to see what local sparkling they were enjoying lately. We do seem to enjoy a lot of the same wines but here are a few to add to my list.
The View Winery – Distraction Frizzante
Stellars Jay – Sparkling Shiraz (apparently a very nice surprise!)
Sperling Vineyards – Raves for all three of their sparkling wines.
Bella Wines – Anything from Bella got a thumbs up! They produce single vineyard wines and always sell out before I get to the winery for a visit. I’ll try again in 2018.
Blue Mountain Vineyard and Cellars – Probably the first local sparkling I ever tried and it’s just always good, year after year after year.
Tantalus – It seems I have missed out on this one entirely. Friends are raving about both their Old Vines Riesling Brut and their Blanc de Noir but their website tells me they are sold out. Perhaps there is a bottle stashed somewhere in some shop.
Orofino – Muscato Frizzante (I remember enjoying this when it was on the wine list at RauDZ Regional Table a few years ago).
Although I’ve compiled this list in anticipation of New Year’s Eve the best thing about bubbles is that you can drink them at anytime and you certainly don’t need a special occasion.