I, for one, will be happy to toast this year a big fat GOODBYE, and to carry out that proposal, I’ll have my glass filled with something special—Blue Mountain‘s 2012 Blanc de Blancs, a gorgeous sparkling wine from one of my favourite wineries in Canada. (My advice to anyone is to order a case of anything they make.)
This morning on CBC Edmonton AM, I talked about several sparkling options to pour for tonight’s celebration. (Audio link here)
Of course, you can never go wrong with Champagne: it’s a (protected designation) wine of incredible quality and if ever there was a year to pamper oneself with expensive wine, Lord knows this is the year.
You can get great a Champagne for a pretty reasonable price. The other day, I found a Gremillet on sale for $31.50 (reg $47) at a Co-op liquor store. That’s a good deal. Want to splurge? $250 will get you a bottle of Dom Perignon but $70 will get you my favourite Champagne, Veuve Clicquot.
I love VC not only for the quality and taste – but for its history as well. This was a business taken over in 1805 and successfully run by the Widow Clicquot after the death of her husband (widow in French is “veuve”). The Widow Clicquot was a formidable woman working in a business and time when women didn’t do such things, heaven forbid.
Prosecco is a fantastic choice. This is a sparkling wine made in the Veneto region of Italy. Lisa Caputo of Cibo Bistro is a wonderful resource when it comes to wine and her recommendation of Bellenda (available at Kegs, Wine & More 17404 105 Avenue) is a solid rec and a great deal at $22.50.
Cava from Spain? Delightful, and also in that $20-$30 range. Thanks to @LSathome on Twitter yesterday for reminding me about Biutiful, a rosé Cava that runs around $20. Fantastic wine.
Another type of sparkling wine worth your dollar is a crémant. These are made in France (outside of the Champagne region) and Luxembourg, I honestly haven’t found one that disappointed. My favourite is Varichon et Clerc Privilège from the Savoie region in France, again right around that $22 mark.
Luxembourg produces other lovely sparkling wines (vin mousseux), too. Look for Bernard-Massard Brut (about $25) in Edmonton. It’s perfect with lobster and shellfish.
The level of sweetness in a sparkling wine is important to note: if you love dry wines look for a wine that has less than 12 grams of sugar per litre. It’ll say brut or extra brut on the label. If you like sweeter wines, look for the words demi-sec or doux. The term sec is right about in the middle.
German and Austria make sparkling wines called sekt; Portugal and Chile’s sparkling wines are called espumante. Other sparklers from France and Luxembourg are called vin mousseux and are definitely worth your dollar. A favourite of mine in Edmonton stores is one by Bernard-Massard of Luxembourg. It pairs perfectly with lobster and shellfish and priced at $25, a heck of a deal.
A sparkling wine from the Okanagan is a great choice, too, providing it does not say “Cellared in Canada” or wine described as “an international blend from imported and domestic wines.” Look for terms like “estate grown, produced and bottled in Canada”, or the VQA symbol.
From personal experience, I have received the best guidance from independently owned and operated stores who provide quality training to their staff. The list below is by no means a list to end all lists; this is a list of some stores that carry the products I’ve mentioned. Of course, not all of these stores will carry them all.
Also, a good resource to use is LiquorConnect.com. Search for the product, find what store carries it and then call the store to make sure it’s in stock. If you can’t manage to pick up the wine yourself, many stores offer delivery for a fee, or will deliver free depending on the amount of your purchase.
Good luck and happy bubble hunting!
|Aligra Wine & Spirits (West Edm. Mall)||#1423, 8882 – 170 Street, Edmonton|
|Baseline Wine & Spirits||11 Athabascan Ave., Sherwood Park|
|Bin 104 Fine Wines||5454 Calgary Trail, Edmonton|
|Co-op Liquor (Chappelle)||14163 28 Ave SW, Edmonton|
|Color de Vino||9606 – 82 Avenue|
|Crestwood Fine Wines & Spirits||9658 – 142 Street, Edmonton|
|deVine Wines & Spirits||10111 – 104 Street, Edmonton|
|Everything Wine & More||25 -100 Broadview Drive, Sherwood Park|
|Fine Wines by Liquor Select||8924 – 149 Street, Edmonton|
|Hicks Fine Wines||#109, 150 Bellerose Dr., St. Albert|
|Highlands Liquor||11173 – 65 Street, Edmonton|
|Jasper Wine Market||11452 Jasper Avenue, Edmonton|
|Keg ‘n Cork||3845 – 99 Street, Edmonton|
|Kegs, Wine & More||17404 – 105 Avenue, Edmonton|
|Liquor Run||15636 Stony Plain Road, Edmonton|
|Rosslyn Liquor||13620 – 97 Street, Edmonton|
|Sherbrooke Liquor||11819 St. Albert Trail, Edmonton|
|Sobey’s (various locations)||(Stony Plain, Edmonton, Leduc)|
|Vines at Riverbend||2331 Rabbit Hill Road|
|Wine & Beyond||(St. Albert, Windermere, Emerald Hills),|
|121 Jasper Liquor||12110 Jasper Avenue, Edmonton|