Champagne in any manner or form-It might be my affinity towards Pinot Noir and Chardonnay which makes me love Champagne as well. I had slush puppy Moet Rose last night. And no, it wasn't intentional and you might say, damn why ruin a good champagne that way? And I will answer and say:" it was fab and refreshing and certainly gives a new edge to a champagne cocktail if you should feel like spicing up the Kir" (for those who don't know- a champagne cocktail is, normally, white Champagne, cassis and a marachino cherry, yes as simple as that!). No ice was added, it was just left in the freezer too long by hubby, who can't handle warm champers.
Talking about Champagne though, it's that time of the year again when it's the drink of choice. And also the time of the year when people ask for Champagne and they mean sparkling wine (Champagne being from Champagne region France, although I don't think the US has these regulations). In South Africa I have great pleasure in taking them to our French Champagne section and watching the look of astonishment on their faces as they are confronted by prices which are ten times more than the cheap carbonated stuff, flogged by the hundreds off thousands by JC Le Roux. Although in all fairness, JC has tried to redeem themselves by making Scintilla(spelling?) and Desiderius, although I personally find Scintilla far better than the more pricey Desiderius and besides the Louis Roederer Crystal rip-off packaging on Desidirius did not 'inderius' them to me either.
Now there is a magnificent Champagne, Louis Roederer Crystal, if you've never had it, you haven't had the best, but good hunting as it's very scarce in SA. I would try Norman Goodfellows after trying everyone else, as they also charge premium for the availability! Around R1000 more than the rest per bottle, this was the case last year in any event, not sure what the situation is now with stocks. Contact Makro and find out from Jacqui at the Woodmead branch.
For those of you you lucky enough to live in the USA or the UK, enjoy and save me a bottle!
Other local stuff worth trying is Graham Beck and Pierre Jordan, although I have personally always found Pierre Jordan, from Cabriere Estate, too dry with not much flavour-and that goes for their whole range. I want all sparkling wine, not vintage that is, to have the fruitiness and complexity of a Veuve Cliquot Yellow Label.
If you want to go foreign, try Freixenet-lovely and biscuity-from Spain, in the well known black bottle, and try some of the English ones, had a very good one from Denbies the other day,Greenfields-around 20 pounds a bottle., very light and elegant with a good acidity.
I am not familiar with any Californian Sparkling Wines , as they are not freely available in South Africa, but would love to hear your thoughts on them, so please forward me your tasting notes. I am still happy to swop a case of South African Wine with a case of USA wine if anyone would like to take me up on my offer.
Other than that I am looking forward to some holiday drinking with my family. Good wine with fine people. Hope you have the same experience.
Have a bubbly few weeks till Christmas.