Thursday, December 22, 2011

Another Bunch of Bubbles

I'm still working my way through a group of American sparkling wines and this time it's back to California for Domaine Chandon and their Brut Classic.

Domaine Chandon led the European invasion to California to produce sparkling wines thirty years ago.  I've been to the winery on a couple of occasions and eaten at the winery restaurant both times, but it has been awhile since I tasted their wines.  This particular wine carries the California appellation, and not the Napa Valley one. 

This bottle was loaded with carbon dioxide.  When the cork came out of the bottle the Gordon Setters thought it was a gunshot and they were ready to go bird hunting.  That pop was clearly an omen as this wine bubbled like one of those tall bubble lights that go on Christmas trees.    This was the little engine that could for sparkling wine.

The nose had a definite apple aroma to it, with some citrus and maybe some pear.  There was also a hint of cardamon in the nose.  Wonderfully bright and fresh flavors of tree and citrus fruit, tart and sharp acid and lots of tiny bubbles all chimed in to produce a great balanced flavor profile.  This went down very easily.  At the finish the cardamon and perhaps some apple pie spice left a nice memory in the mouth.   

Dinner was a small piece of Alaskan salmon that was pan seared and then finished in a sweet and sour sauce.  There was no problem with this combination.  Very tasty.  After dinner we poured one more glass since there was no dessert for the evening.  There was a single, small square of white chocolate - the last piece in a package.  A bite of chocolate and a sip of wine and my mouth felt like it was at the circus  eating cotton candy and those large, orange, marshmallow circus peanuts.  This was totally unique and unexpected flavor combination and it made me laugh.  Note to self to buy another bar of the white chocolate and try this again with some other sparklers.

$15 and 12.5% alcohol

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