For some reason, I was craving some champagne this weekend, so we opened up a bottle of the Domaine Ste. Michelle Brut sparking wine. This is the wine that we had for our wedding toast, thanks to the generosity of Jon’s Aunt and Uncle.
A little Champagne 101 for you. Champagne can only be called Champagne if the grapes were grown in the Champagne region of France. Which translates into: the wines that most of us buy and consider champagnes are technically sparkling wine. Champagnes and sparking wines can be made from any grape varietal, although you will typically see white sparkling wines. Occasionally you will see a red grape with had its skins removed made into a sparkling wine. Or even less common, a red sparking wine. Apex Cellars in Prosser makes a red sparkling wine from Syrah.
I found that Domaine Ste. Michelle Brut is a nice balance between dry and sweet. It has a light citrus taste, which is great for cutting the bite on heavier cheeses or buttery sauces. If you are in the mood to sweeten it just a little more, make it a mimosa. Fill the flute 3/4s of the way to the top, and then top it off with a little bit of orange juice. I have found that it mixes better if you put the orange juice in on top of the sparkling wine. I consider mimosas to be an investment in my health. Ever since I got that recent sinus infection I’ve been trying to get more Vitamin C.
One thing to remember if you are having sparkling wine without a big group of people. Open the bottle gently, to preserve the bubbles, because otherwise it goes flat very quickly. And make sure to finish the bottle within a day or two. And enjoy – it doesn’t have to be enjoyed only at weddings and New Year’s.