The Wine Guy looks at the sparkling factor with these three bottles of bubbly
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Let’s hear it for the fizz.
Any day can be a sparkling wine day, a reminder recently brought top of mind by an influx of bubbles crossing the tasting desk. And not just any sparkling wine, but local bubbles.
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There’s no denying the vinous magic, a bottle of bub gives mid-week curry takeout a sudden uplift — and pairing prowess — adding fizz to brunch can’t help but add a festive air. Call it the sparkling factor, see for yourself with any of these bottles.
Hester Creek 2019 Old Vine Brut, British Columbia ($34.99, available through the winery)
This is the second vintage of Hester Creek’s Old Vine Brut, which is named to reflect the Pinot Blanc grapes used in this sparkler are sourced from the estate winery’s historic 1968 Golden Mile Bench vineyard. Made following the traditional method of secondary bottle fermentation, this light golden-coloured Blanc de Blanc offers nuances of lemon, green grape, and flowers. Thanks to 24 months “en tirage,” or rested in bottle on its lees, there’s nice texture and finesse — a compendium of fruit and bright acidity that equates to fun sipping. Menu planning is easy, pair with friends and pretty much any dinner from fried chicken to fresh oysters.
Bottom line: B+, Party Pinot B.
Black Hills Estate Winery BH Brut, British Columbia ($55, available through the winery)
From seconds to firsts, noted Black Sage Road-based Black Hills Estate Winery has released their inaugural sparkler and it’s a seriously fun bottle. Serious in the sense that it also follows the time intensive traditional method — the winery labels this process the “Classical Method” — and is built around two classic grapes used in Champagne, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. However, fun resounds in the wine’s exuberant brioche and lemon creamsicle aromas, not to mention its bracing, fresh attack and lingering, crisp finish. It’s a splurge, to be sure, but certainly presents a great, elegant excuse to gather around the table and properly pop a cork to kick off an evening of conversation and good cheer.
Bottom line: B+, Boisterously elegant.
Sperling Vineyards Organic Speritz Pet Nat, British Columbia ($30, available through the winery)
Only ready to half-commit to sparkling wine? Opt for a spritz. Or a “Speritz” in this case, Sperling Vineyards take on a lightly effervescent wine. Not only do the bubbles provide just a kiss of fizz, this bottle is produced in the “Pet Nat” style. This means its blend of organic Perle d’Csaba, Bacchus, and Chardonnay juice finishes fermentation — using wild yeasts — in the bottle, trapping carbon dioxide. No sulphites are added and no filtration is employed, and the final result in the glass is fresh and aromatic, showing citrus and peach pit, in quite a different and unique sparkling style overall.
Bottom line: B, Pair with clam linguine.
After an unfortunate, forced three-year hiatus the Oliver Fall Festival is set to return greater than ever Sept. 30 to Oct. 2. Back are the classic Cask & Keg and Festival of the Grape — featuring the Grape Stomp Competition — but there are notable new events as well, including the Amazing Oliver Race, Beer Olympics, and a Kickoff Party at District Wine Village. Complete details and tickets can be found at visitoliver.com .
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