Monday, November 05, 2007

Add Some Sparkle to Your Life

Are you feeling a bit besieged? Is your to-do list longer than the combined total length of all your limbs? Does your boss keep giving you "just one more thing" to do before you leave work today?

You need to add some sparkle to your life. And if you feel like I do, this is not the time to go for the cheapest thing you can find. As life heats up and we move towards the holidays, why not take some time out for you and the one you love and buy a nice bottle of sparkling wine, put your feet up, and take a few moments to relax and recoup?

I have two contenders for you that are widely available and won't require much hunting. If you are feeling stressed out, the last thing you need to do is spend time in the car searching out a less familiar sparkling wine. I'm usually a big advocate of lesser known varietals and makers, but sometimes you just want to pick up the sparkler with the milk and head home. Here in Southern California, both of these wines are available in supermarkets and Trader Joe's. They are well-made, widely distributed, and nice to drink.

The 2003 Domaine Carneros Brut is a vintage sparkler that is priced lower than many non-vintage sparklers. ($19.99, Beverages and More; available from many merchants for just under $20) The age on this wine makes it more toasty and biscuity than the NV sparklers you may drink more often. I found this wine full of mineral notes, especially stone, in both the aroma and in the flavors. The flavors were a nice blend of citrus, biscuit, and stone which made it an interesting sparkler for the price, and excellent QPR.

If you would like to buy a real French champagne without breaking the bank, the NV Moet and Chandon White Star is a good QPR sparkling wine that is available everywhere. ($30.99, Trader Joe's; available from nearly everybody for around this price) The color reminded me of underdone toast, and it had lots of fine mousse. I found the medium size of the bubbles a bit larger than my preference, but its aromas of hazelnut and toasted bread made up for that. The flavors were nutty, toasty, and had just a hint of pear underneath. This champagne is just a bit shy of true brut, so it wasn't searingly dry. This would be perfect with some crackers and cheese, and just as good on its own.

Give yourself a chance to relax and reconnect with your nearest and dearest in the next few weeks. Pretty soon, it's all going to be a blur of friends, family, and festivity. Add some sparkle to your life now, and you'll get through the holidays with no trouble.

6 comments:

Wine Scamp said...

I applaud this notion! No one can be unhappy while drinking delicious bubbly!

Dr. Debs said...

Agreed, Wine Scamp! What the world needs now is more bubbles.

farley said...

We're definitely on the same page, Dr. Debs. I drink the Domaine Carneros at least once a week, thanks to a co-worker who moonlights there. And I just bought the White Star (at TJ's, no less) for another co-worker who's about to take the sommelier certification.

But I'm always up for bubbly of any kind!

Marshall from WineQ.com said...

Great post! I think it's wonderful how you give everyone easy-to-find recommendations during what can be a truly stressful time. I am definitely going to pick up a bottle of that Domaine Carnernos.

Speaking of sparkling wines, you might be interested to know that WineQ will soon be introducing the first and only Certified Organic sparkling wine in the US! It also won a Gold in the SF Chronicle Competition, and is no longer available from the winery that produces it. Intrigued??? :)

Dr. Debs said...

Marshall, that will be going into my Q posthaste. Hopefully it will be released in time for the holidays!

farley said...

Yes, Marshall. Don't keep us waiting...