It's known as Champagne across the pond, but here in the New World we must simply refer to it by its more common name "sparkling" wine.
NW sparkling wine grapes get far more sun than their French counter-parts and as a result you can expect a much more expressive style of wine that delivers boat-loads of ripe fruits flavors [talking, apples, lemon and passion fruit] and much less mineralitly and yeasty characteristics in most cases.
It's perhaps thee most versatile type of wine to pair with food and with this Sunday being Easter, you just may be hosting an afternoon brunch and are thinking what is the best wine to go with your meal. Although a a flute full of bubbly melds wonderfully over the tongue on its own nicely without the need of accompaniment, it’s always a deliciously good choice to flavor or season any meal with the essence of luxury and this NV Brut helps you do it at a paupers price [elegance at a paupers-price, who doesn't want that].
Whether you are thinking of mimosas or or you just want to add a sparkle to your holiday plans, champagnes or new world bubble's are a great idea. As I mentioned above these wines are fun and easy food pairing champs. They’re wonderful for cleansing the palate, especially after eating any spicy, salty, or fried foods.
There are few differences in the style of bubbly you may encounter and one of those differences is in the sweetness level. So many times it's the sweetness level you are choosing, rather than the body of the wine, when picking out a champagne or sparkling wine to pair with your meal.
Brut [very dry]: Great with appetizers, many different fish entrees [perfect with lobster or shrimp] or even a Honey-Baked ham. Also the bubbly of choice for many folks who love to have Sunday Brunch Mimosa's.
Extra [dry]: A little sweeter than Brut, but still in the “dry” range and is often considered to be the "toasting" bubbly. Oh and it can be quite fabulous with the majority of Easter celebration dinner foods as well. Just keep it chilled for the best results.
Sec, Demi-Sec or Doux: If you see any of these words on the label, then you can know with absolute confidence that you are about to acquire what's known as "sweet" bubbly and is great to serve with dessert or it can be the dessert. A perfect match with those fresh-fruit tarts, which can be found at places like Han's and Harry's [this place rocks] here in San Diego's South Bay area.
Today's wine in the spotlight is the Woodbridge NV Brut Sparkling Wine. This bubbly was perhaps the biggest surprise of the a "blind" bubbly tasting I had recently attended and perhaps none had shone brighter than this sparkling-wine I received as a SAMPLE along with a set of four silver straws, making for a "runway" ready bottle, perhaps.
Swirly, Sniffy-Sniff, Slurp: Fresh biscuits in the nose, showing fine, green apple notes, a stylish and well defined inexpensive example of Brut Champagne. A lingering finish, engulfed in the hay/peach colored core. It has a bright, zesty aftertaste that will pair with a variety of foods, especially a night out getting after some of your favorite Sushi rolls. Don't worry BYOB is more common than ever and beats paying crazy restaurant mark-ups.
Price and Score: Selling for a mere $7.99 most places, this wine represents a great value and I scored it 90 points on the CCWB, with maximum points again for a great QPR and wide availability. I'd recommend rounding up some of this very tasty juice today, for your Easter-Day celebration, you won't be disappointed. This time of year you will most likely find that this sparkling-wine is case-stacked in many grocery stores and is priced right for a easy take home case purchase. It's an everyday drinker that won't break the bank, so sip long and prosper, cheers!