#WineWednesday: Bubbly Does Not Have to Mean Champagne

By / Wine + Drinks / July 24th, 2013 / 1

This one goes out to those who stop me on the street and at events (you know who you are) and say things like “I love the taste of Champagne but its price prohibits every night enjoyment”.  You tell me that we writers are always telling you to drink more bubbly and that it pairs with everything – but who can afford it.

It is true I am a huge proponent of bubbles, but you’re not listening correctly – on this side of the world we call it sparkling wine, sparkling wine is made almost everywhere in the world, but only in the Champagne region of France can they call it “Champagne”.  But you don’t always need Champagne to enjoy sparkling wine.  Get what I mean?  No … then check out a couple of these bottles to see if you can 1) taste the difference and 2) afford to drink them more often.

Cave Spring Blanc de Blancs ($29.95)

100% Chardonnay based bubble. Nose is bready, biscuity, toasty and yeasty, that should mean quite a lot to Champagne fans.  Palate is mineral with some apple and pear and a long lovely bread crust finish.  Champagnesque without the Champagne price tag.

Sumac Ridge 2007 Steller’s Jay Brut ($25.90)

Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and some Pinot Blanc.  Toasty nose with almond and hazelnut notes; pleasantly fruity on the palate with a good toasty, yeasty, brioche and biscuits sitting on the tongue.  Touch creamy, reminiscent of lemon meringue, with toasted hazelnut finish.

Marechal NV Brut Cremant de Loire ($15.95)

A nice little bubbly made from Chenin Blanc; crisp with good acidity, fresh and clean with nice fruit from apple to citrus.  Proving that not all French bubbly has to be Champagne to be good.

For more wine suggestions, see our other #WineWednesday posts.

Michael is an award-winning journalist: Promoting the Promoters Award Cuvée 2010 and Ontario Wine Awards Journalist of the Year 2012.  He is also a national and international wine judge - Ontario Wine Awards, All Canadian Wine Championships; Best of Riesling — Germany; Essencia do Vinho — "Top Wines of Portugal".  He is currently the President of the Wine Writers Circle of Canada and the wine columnist for Ottawa Life and Grand magazine as well as regular contributor to Tidings, and Grapevine ... his reviews have also appeared in the LCBO Vintages magazine. Michael has also added a YouTube channel to his activities where he reviews bottles of great Ontario wine on a weekly basis. In whatever he does, it is Michael’s desire to educate, inspire and encourage others to grow their own love and enthusiasm for wine – and to realize that it is their palate that ultimately makes the decision.

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