You know you're back from vacation when it takes you at least 2 or 3 times the amount of time it normally would to undertake just one, every day, item on your list. Yes, I've been trying to get caught up on all of my wine industry news, sifting through the virtual paperwork to bring you a few headline highlights this Friday. A few winemakers have passed on (too depressing to write more about in the New Year, but you can hop over to Wines & Vines to learn more); several wineries are set to open or expand their lands; and there's been some 'action' in Bordeaux (Ch. Latour is on the market again and there is on-going banter about who is In and who is Out as far as their Classification system goes).
But today, since I'm not quite ready to give up the New Year celebrations, I bring to you two headlines about bubbly that happened to grab me for personal reasons....
Christmas morning I was determined we would not only have our traditional breakfast feast, but we would also enjoy lovely mimosas with it. The trick to a good mimosa is not necessarily good bubbly... it is, in fact, a noteworthy float of Grand Marnier. But I digress. In choosing a bubbly, I usually opt for a basic Cava; in this case, my Mom's local store had an ample supply of Freixenet Brut. Perfect.
I know many women are afraid to actually open a bottle of bubbly. I am not one of these women. I have only had success in gingerly coaxing the cork from the bottle, with only a few occasions when the temperature of the wine or too much giggling in the car set the stage for a bit of overflow upon opening. Of course, we can't always be perfect - and you are even less likely to be so when you most want to avoid additional scrutiny from the likes of your nudging siblings. Suffice to say, I nearly took my brother's eye out as I readjusted the (too thick) towel I was using and the cork (not one that moved at all while I was attempting to "coax" it out, mind you) flew out across the room into my mother's (inactive) fireplace. Sigh... You win some, you loose some. I heard about it after for days. Fortunately, I have a sense of humor about such things. And it certainly got the festivities in motion!
Ironically, just two days prior to this "incident", a fabulous little piece on this very phenomenon - cork speed - was issued. A German scientist actually clocked a cork at nearly 25 mph. Impressive! (Granted, it was a shaken bottle, but still... I believe it!) Check out additional details here.
Once back in Beantown, I was back in the shop to help with New Year's Eve madness. The boys brought in a new, easy-drinking, dry little bubbly from Italy - an Italian Chardonnay Brut by the folks at Borgo Maragliano (they make one of my favorite Moscato d'Asti's, "La Caliera"). It was retailing for only $9.99 - even better! This little wine ended up being our top seller, no doubt because the price was so good and it is decent juice after all. But in checking out headlines, it seems like Italian Sparkling is on the minds of more than just greater Boston residents. Better-known sparklers like Prosecco, Moscato d'Asti and Brachetto d'Asti are responsible, but it is interesting to see Italian bubbly gaining serious momentum in the European market... Read more here!
Did you let a few corks fly over the holidays? How fast do you think they were moving?