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WBW#28: Sparklers!

13-Dec-2006
This post is going to be short and sweet.  Just about midnight last night I finished writing the roundup for Mixology Monday 10 – Drinks for a Festive Occasion which we hosted on The Spirit World.  After writing that up and seeing the entries that have already come into my mailbox for today’s event I’m going to save my energy for the WBW#28 summary!  ;-) I can see that people went all out for this one.  Not to mention I’m currently operating on about 4 hours of sleep – oh, poor me!  Okay, on with the write-up of my wines.
 
First though, can you believe that this is WBW#28?  Lenn’s idea has certainly taken on a life of it’s own!  Much of that is due to Lenn himself, his great work in the food and wine blogging community, and his easy yet knowledgeable style of educating us about his Long Island wines.  If you haven’t spent any time checking out LennDevours, you should do it and soon.  He has a great site and you’ll find it to be a great resource for your wine journeys – both physical and virtual! 
 
As you remember the rules for this game were:  Sparkling wines but NOT from Champagne.  And we are to place our sampled wine in one of three categories:  Party (something good that won’t break the budget); Special Occasion (maybe more expensive but for an intimate gathering, just the thing); or Dud (tried but just really didn’t like it).  
 
I tried one new sparkler and returned to a tried and true bottle for this event.  Let’s start with the new one. 
 
 
 
This is a beautiful Australian wine!  The photo does not come close to doing it justice.  The lighting wasn’t great and I was trying to quickly capture the gorgeous bubbles before they all disappeared, which wasn’t a good combination.  When you first pour this wine it really froths up with a gorgeous deep pink foam topping the inky wine below. 
 
The nose is interesting.  I would say almost musty.  With the deep purple color you expect something deeply berry or cherry but it’s not there.  The taste is of very sweet grape juice.  It reminds me of a bubbly version of concord grape juice that we used to make from our grapes at home.  It’s kind of funny but although I love wine, I don’t really like grape juice.  So I wasn’t crazy about this wine. 
 
I really tried to like it and sipped it over a period of time to try to find something noteworthy.  But I just didn’t.  It is so soft and sweet that it is almost nondescript, if that makes sense.  I can sometimes find an elegance in wines that don’t happen to strike my fancy but that was not the case here.  I actually tasted it with four others (my dinner club group) and none of us cared for it.  For a couple people one sip was more than enough. 
 
This is my second tasting of sparkling Shiraz and I didn’t care for the first one I tried either, so I guess this category of wine is not for me.  But feeling as I do and especially with the $24 price tag I need to rate this wine a Dud.  I wouldn’t buy it again nor would I recommend it to anyone. 
 
My second wine turned out much better!  Phew!
 
 
I "discovered" this wine about a year ago in my local grocery store. The bottle caught my eye, as the cork is held in with string instead of wire and is not covered with foil.  It’s a great sort of rustic looking presentation. (You’ll actually need a corkscrew to remove this cork.) When I stopped to take a closer look at the bottle I noticed that the store staff was highly recommending this Prosecco.  I thought I better try it out and I’m really glad I did. 
 
Whenever I need a Prosecco now I look for this wine.  It’s a very pale straw color, with just a hint of fruit in the nose.  I actually think of fall fruits – maybe apples more than anything.  The taste is so, so light and delicate.  Clean, crisp with a hint of sweet but just a tiny hint.  There are bubbles but as this wine is frizzante they are gentle bubbles. 
 
I especially love this wine in the morning.  I don’t mean that I use it to start my work day!  But I do mean that it’s a great brunch wine.  It pairs well with many foods and is versatile enough to handle the eggy breakfast items, yet can stand up to the heavier more substantial items on your menu. It’s also nice all on it’s own as an afternoon take-a-break-on-the-deck wine or as a gentle aperitif before a heavier dinner.  
 
With it’s $10 – $12 price tag, I rate this wine as great for Parties. This Prosecco is from the Veneto region of Italy.      
 
Okay, those are my two entries and I’m looking forward to seeing even more entries from the rest of you! I am bound and determined to have the summary up on Friday so that you can peruse the list and use the information as you head down the holiday home stretch. 
 
The summary will be sporting this colorful logo designed by Dave at Avenue Vine.  Thanks, Dave!   
 
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