After several flight delays, the in-laws arrived and we settled down to a late dinner, preceded by this very good QPR sparkling wine from Domaine Chandon, purchased at Beverages & More back in early September for $12.99. (picture courtesy of Domaine Chandon). This sparkler is a blend of five varietals: pinot noir, chardonnay, muscat, pinot meunier, and pinot blanc. It has a fabulous color, like ripe cantaloupe melons, and there is a distinctive melon taste on the palate.
I still can't keep the classic levels of sparkling wine dryness-sweetness straight without consulting the Wine Pros. On their site they explain that:
"Style is determined by the maker. There is a Common Market Standard for levels of residual sugar (in parentheses) in sparking wines, but adherence is voluntary. Brut nature (.0-.5%) should taste bone dry. Brut (.5-1.5%) should taste dry with no perception of sweetness. Extra Dry (1.2-2.0%) tastes slightly sweet and is a style invented for the American market that "talks dry and drinks sweet." Sec (1.7-3.5%) literally translates to "dry", but is noticeably sweet. No wonder the public is confused! Demi-Sec (3.3-5.0%) is very sweet and Doux (over 5.0%) is extremely sweet."In this case, the extra-dry label is right on--"talks dry and drinks sweet." There is a sweet impression but the wine is really not sweet at all. It is perfect for appetizers, and would be great with spicy food or toasting over dessert.
With the main course we had a 2001 Don Antonio Nero d'Avola--both over $20 and hard to find so no notes here, but I did leave one on Cellar Tracker!