Tuesday, January 12, 2010

See how they Sparkle

By Rob Bralow, Wine Post Editor

It seems so long ago, but for New Year's Eve I tasted three very different sparkling wines with my friends. I think this is going to become something of a tradition, to taste a number of wines with people on New Year's Eve. It is nice for a group that does not really want to go out to the bars on NYE. We like hanging out with each other and not binge drinking with one or two hundred strangers.

We like binge drinking by ourselves. And we like doing it with something better than Bud Light. Quick someone get me a Yuengling...

NV Bagrationi 1882 Classic Extra Dry, Country of Georgia - It is not often I see wines from lesser known regions like the Country of Georgia. This wine is made from the grape varieties of Chinebuli, Tsitska and Mtsvane grown in and around the Caucasus Mountains of Georgia. According to the winery, there is evidence of winemaking in the Country of Georgia dating to around 5,000 B.C.E. This wine is brimful of tropical fruit with undertones of brine. The taste is smooth olive and a little creamy. For me this wine does not linger long enough, but Leah enjoyed it.

NV Wyndham Estate Bin 555 Sparkling Shiraz, Southeastern Australia - It is wines like this that constantly remind me that there is no expertise that matters more than your own taste. My friend Bren who joined us on NYE enjoyed this wine best of the group. I do not taste a lot of Sparkling Shiraz, but the ones I have tasted did not impress me. This wine, while good, was still not something I would reach for with any consistency. It is a fun wine, something to open up and say, "I'll bet you've never had something like this." The wine had floral and raspberry aromas and tasted a little sweet, but had a nice balance. The tannins bothered me a little, but it was not unpleasant.

NV Casa Perini Moscatel Processo Asti, Italy - I am an absolute sucker for sweet wines from Asti. Seriously, they might be my favorite type of sparkling wine. Maybe it is because I grew up addicted to Coca Cola, but something sweet with enough acid to balance, and some tiny bubbles... yum! While the website is impossible for an english speaker to follow and find this wine, it is out there. I found this wine to have some sweet kiwi, raisons, and a little bit of bready yeast. The taste was all peaches and pears, with some citrus and raisons.
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