Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Wine Blogging Wednesday #28: Sparklers!

Just in time for the holidays, Seattle's Culinary Fool is hosting this month's Wine Blogging Wednesday. The theme she set? Sparklers (but not champagne), which are perfect for holiday quaffing and gifting.

Wine Blogging Wednesday is the monthly wine blogging event started by Lenn Thompson over at Lenndevours, now in its third year and still going strong. Today wine bloggers all over the web will be popping their corks, pouring their sparklers, and picking up their pens to report their findings. In a few days the Culinary Fool will be posting a wrap-up of all the submitted posts, divided into budget sparklers good for parties, special splurges, and duds. I'll be sure to post a link to that roundup here on the site.

My contribution to this month's effort was to drink a sparkler from the Auxerrois region of Burgundy: the NV Blason de Bourgogne Cremant de Bourgogne Cuvee Brut (Trader Joe's, $7.99). This straw-colored sparkler had excellent QPR with its aromas of pears, apples, and the yeasty smell of lightly-browned toast. One of the things I look for in a sparkler is a relatively small bead--smooth bubbles, not too big, moving to the top of the glass in a syncopated stream--and this wine has the right stuff. When you sip this very dry, brut wine, you taste apples with a little bit of a nutty edge, and finally a tiny bit of pithy bitterness.

Maybe it was the sunny label that influenced me, but I swear this tastes like Veuve Clicquot yellow label champagne. This certainly qualifies as a budget-friendly sparkling wine that you can buy in quantity for your holiday party and serve without embarrassment. It is undoubtedly the best under $10 sparkler I've had, given my taste preferences.

The NV Blason de Bourgogne Cremant de Bourgogne Cuvee Brut is made by a co-op of four top-notch Burgundian growers: Cave de Buxy, Cave de Bailly, Cave La Chablisienne and Cave de Prissé. Readers from the UK will be more familiar with this wine than those in the US, since it features regularly in Tesco and Waitrose wine selections. Made with a combination of chardonnay and pinot noir grapes, you can find it in this brut blanc, and in a rose (review coming shortly). At this price, you can afford to buy both!

Thanks to Culinary Fool for a great holiday theme, and see you back here for the roundup.


Brooklynguy said...

See that? Cremant can be awesome! I enjoyed a glass almost every evening as an aperitif while in Burgundy. If only there were a reliable way of keeping the stuff bouncy and bubbly in the fridge over 4 days I would continue that tradition here...

Dr. Debs said...

I had to pick between a German and a Burgundian sparkler--reading your fab Burgundy posts made my choice clear. What an impressive wine for the price. Very Veuve-ish--and the location is close to Champagne, so maybe this is not suprising. I'm headed to your site to read your post now.

David said...

Sounds great for the price--I wish our local Trader Joe's carried wine. My WBW was about a Westport Rivers bottle that's a nice treat. Full post here:

Dr. Debs said...

Thanks, Cooking Chat! I went over to your site earlier today but it wasn't up yet. Great to have a heads up!