WBW #74: Get Your Sparkle On!

After January’s “Spark” Wine Blogging Wednesday #73 comes a “sparkling” wine prompt just in time for Valentine’s Day write-ups. Hosted by Wine Cast aka Tim Elliot, he instructs participants to “pick a sparkling wine from any appellation, made from any grape but make sure it sells for $25 or less a bottle (€20, £16). This should open up a lot of interesting selections, from Crémant de Bourgogne, to Cava, to California & New Mexico sparkling, sparkling Shiraz, to even well chosen grower Champagne. Just post your notes by February 15th and ping me @winecast on Twitter or email me with your link at winecast (at) gmail (dot) com.”

I’ll toast to that! But there is so much more to sparkling wine than a wedding toast or Valentine’s ritual. I’d love to see the day where sparkling wines are as common a beverage with a party as beer!

These days, you can find a wide range of prices for sparkling wines just about anywhere, but it does seem like there’s been an explosion of quality sparklers for under $25–especially if you shop the sales, you can find some super wonderful wines that fit into any budget.

This has been a great few months for me for discovering and tasting sparkling wines: I hosted Champagne Day event in October, attended a big sparkling wine tasting at the Cave in Ventura, then had a big birthday celebration in January with more bubbly! Some of the highlights were beyond the price point of this prompt, however, (Sigh…can you say Bollinger?) so I will save that conversation for another time, AND I want to focus not so much on sparklers to toast with or for special occasions but those to enjoy with a meal.

One of our favorite easy quick satisfying dinners is clams sauteed in white wine, butter, and garlic. We can get fresh clams easily from the Jolly Oyster’s stand at the Ventura State Beach–so we do! But there are a number of frozen clam dinners out there or you can buy tinned clams. These options don’t compare with the fresh one but are still yummy and delightfully simple. We usually serve them over pasta but rice is good too.

I’ve paired this meal with a number of different wines but for Wine Blogging Wednesday #74, Continue reading

WBW #73 “Spark” Round Up; WBW #74 “Sparkling” Announced

In response to Cork Dork’s prompt to write about a wine that connects to what sparked your interest in wine blogging, ten bloggers let him know in time to join in his round-up and a few more bloggers chimed in with posts after–better late than never!

Here’s the Wine Blogging Wednesday #73 “Spark” round up.

Here’s my response to the “Spark” prompt–I mentioned Ridge Zinfandel, Grateful Palate Shiraz, and Enoforum wines from Portugal with a review of Twisted Oaks Tempranillo,

Next up, keeping with the idea of “spark” write about value “sparkling” wine. Hosted by Wine Cast aka Tim Elliot, Wine Blogging Wednesday #74 participants will join the 2011 sparkling wine trend; in 2011 Americans consumed 20% more Champagne; like the recent popular Proseco, Moscato went from an unknown sparkler to one that has been produced and appreciated more (even in a Barefoot Bubbly version!).

In the past five years, I have discovered the pleasures of various sparkling wines with food, not just as a special occasion beverage or for a toast. And so it is with great pleasure that I look forward to participating in February’s Wine Blogging Wednesday. I’ve got a rose cremant in mind to pair with ham as well as trying that Barefoot Moscato, Chateau Ste Michelle’s 2005 Luxxe, and ?? with oysters and ?? After all, this is still my birthday month and I’ve got more celebrating to do!

If you too would like to join in, you are welcome! The prompt for Wine Blogging Wednesday #74 includes these instructions:

Just pick a sparkling wine from any appellation, made from any grape but make sure it sells for $25 or less a bottle (€20, £16). This should open up a lot of interesting selections, from Crémant de Bourgogne, to Cava, to California & New Mexico sparkling, sparkling Shiraz, to even well chosen grower Champagne. Just post your notes by February 15th and ping me @winecast on Twitter or email me with your link at winecast (at) gmail (dot) com.

Oh, and I’ve having a birthday subscription drive until the end of the month! Please subscribe in the box in the upper right hand corner! It’s easy to get Wine Predator in your inbox and join in the Wine Predator fun! I’ve got big plans for 2012 and I hope you will be along for the adventure!