Saturday, December 31. 2016
As I noted this time last year, there has never been a wider range of sparklers to choose from than there is today. From classic Champagne to Spanish Cava through lighter Italian Prosecco, numerous New World choices and, of course, Nova Scotia’s own startlingly good Traditional Method bubble,
Among the classic Champagnes available at the NSLC, I particularly recommend: Louis Roederer Brut Premier $73.29 (Port of Wines Selection), Bollinger Special Cuvée $78.99, Deutz Brut Classic $64.99 (Port of Wines Selection) and Pol Roger Brut $65.99 (General List). Bishop’s Cellar, Bishop’s Landing in Halifax also has an excellent selection of Champagne and other well-chosen sparkling wines, including those from Nova Scotia. It is worth browsing through their website to see what they have to offer. My favourite among their moderately priced Champagnes is Pierre Gimonnet Premier Cru $60.00.
On the NSLC’s General List, my first choice for inexpensive but very well-made party bubble is Jacob’s Creek Chardonnay Pinot Noir Brut $13.99. It will please even discerning palates and nothing decent can match it for price. Freixenet Cordon Negro Brut $29.99 (Magnum), in its familiar black bottle, is a steady performer which will not disappoint. Among the fine Nova Scotia offerings on the General List look for L’Acadie Vineyards Cuvée Rosé $27.79, L’Acadie Vineyards Prestige Brut $33.99 and Blomidon Estate Crémant $24.99. This one has a very light touch of sweetness and somewhat gentler spritz on the palate.
NSLC Port of Wines selections available at larger store around Metro include Louis Bouillot Perle d’Aurore Rosé Crémant de Bourgogne $28.29. Made in the Traditional Method, bottle-fermented style, this Pinot Noir Gamay blend is stunningly good, offering Champagne style sophistication at a much more affordable price. Benjamin Bridge Sparkling Rosé $44.99 is another elegant Traditional Method gem from Nova Scotia.
In recent years Prosecco, the lighter, lower alcohol fizz from Northeastern Italy, has become enormously popular. There are now numerous examples available from both the NSLC and Private Wine Stores. Typically, they offer clean apple fruit with good acidity and a touch of sweetness, though some drier styles are beginning to emerge.
The best and most authentic Prosecco comes from the hilly region between Conigliano and Valdobbiadene, not far north of Venice. Bolla Conigliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco DOC Superiore is widely available on the NSLC General List and it is currently on sale for $17.99. Villa Sandi is also located near Valdobbiadene and their Villa Sandi Il Fresco Prosecco, is on the NSLC General List and comes in convenient 375ml bottles priced at $10.99. The 750ml size is $17.99. Most NSLC stores offer at least a couple of Prosecco labels and they offer generally reliable quality.
Cristall Wine Merchants in Sunnyside Mall, Bedford, does not have a wide selection of bubble but they do have one of my favourites, Villa Teresa Organic Prosecco DOC, priced at $19.99. They also boast the best value in moderately priced Champagne in the Province, Champage Faubert Brut at $46.00.
Happy New Year and Best wishes to All for 2017!