By Jerilee Davis
Spring time can bring so many delightful and entertaining events. Wine readily comes to mind for things such as bridal showers, graduation parties and just the chance to enjoy the outdoors. Whether it’s a fancy dinner, a casual “order in fare” or just lots of fun snacks and desserts; sparkling wines easily fit the bill.
These wines have significant levels of carbon dioxide, which create the FIZZ. This occurs via a secondary fermentation in the bottle caused by a small amount of sugar, usually being a concentrated grape must (also called a DOSAGE). These “bubblies” have various levels of sweetness, as indicated by the following on the label:
BRUT - Wine that is dry with a small hint of sweetness. Example: Champagne from Champagne, France.
EXTRA DRY - Wine that retains a slight bit more sweetness; however, not sugary. Example: Proseccos from the Piedmont region of Italy.
DEMI-SEC - Wines with more noticeable sugars in the taste and aroma. For example: numerous, New World Sparklings. Sparkling wines can be very diverse in aromas, tastes, grapes used and various wine makers’ preferences.
CHAMPAGNE is made usually of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pint Meunier varieties in varying ratios.
CREMANT WINE is also from France, but from various regions and can be different grapes. It’s similar to Champagne, but at a fraction of the cost.
PROSECCO is a wine from the Piedmont region of Italy. The Glera grape is the only one allowed. There can be numerous levels of sweetness as well. A very well-balanced example is Luminore by Lamarca
CAVA is sparkling wine from Spain. The grapes used are Xarello, Macabeo and Parellada. These wines can be fruity, figgy, nutty and toasty bread in character. A great example is Juve ‘y Camps Reserva
NEW WORLD SPARKLINGS can be made from various grapes and with a large variation of profiles. An excellent example is Domaine Bousquet Rose Brut, an organic bubbly from Argentina. Another is the award winning Gruet Brut from Albuquerque, New Mexico.
ITALIAN SWEET SPARKLINGS such as Mia Dolcea Moscato and Banfi Rosa Regale are made from notable varieties mostly from the Piedmont region of Italy.
A sparkling wine can be a party saver in so many aspects. Most bubblies pair with any appetizer such as spring rolls, spicy chicken wings, soft cheeses and all types of cured meats. These wines can even make buttered popcorn a special treat. The sweet sparkling wines are ready for a fun cookie swap, delicious chocolate truffles and all types of cheesecakes.
Another party idea is to build a potato bar with all the trimmings. Just bake or steam small Yukon Golds and Purple Blues; open each up for scooping in all your favorite toppings such as creme fraiche, cheeses, sautéed mushrooms, caviar, scallions and more.. So many lovely wines can be selected for this tasty fare. From lovely Cote Des Roses Rose to fabulous Bugey-Cerdon La Cueille, the entire gamut of wine can seal that perfect event.