Thursday, August 05, 2010

Toasting Summer's End

Over the next few weeks, most of us will be saying goodbye to summer. Labor Day marks the official end for many, but some of us (me) are headed back into the classroom long before that. Many are getting their kids ready for school.

Take an opportunity before summer's warmth fades and the hectic back to school rush starts with a glass of sparkling wine. Even better, share it with somebody you love--or several somebodies. Invite friends over, chill a bottle of bubbles, and sit back and enjoy the long twilight.

If you're looking for a perfectly lighthearted, eminently enjoyable bottle, try the NV Gloria Ferrer Va de Vi Ultra Cuvée ($20.99 in my local independent grocery store; available for $14-$25). This pleasant domestic sparkler has a warm, pale yellow color. That soft, warm appearance is as summery as a sparkler gets, and a good indication of the gentle wine within. The wine is nicely frothy, and the bubbles are relatively fine which provides a smooth drinking experience. I detected aromas of pear and lemon, and these summery smells were echoed in the flavors along with some rich cherry notes and a hint of warm bread. This wine is technically "extra-dry" which means it is not quite as dry as a brut sparkling wine, and is made predominantly from Pinot Noir grapes with some Chardonnay and a touch of Muscat. I think it would be perfect for toasting the season with friends, and pairing with hors d'oeuvres and spicy or fried foods. Very good QPR.

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