Home > Champagne, Sparkling wine > Sparkling New Year Experiences

Sparkling New Year Experiences

January 10, 2014 Leave a comment Go to comments

My brain is limited – it can only support one obsession at a time. Generally, this blog wins, but last month I got hooked on the Doctor Who series (yes, I’m a science fiction junkie), and over the last couple of days, the Doctor Who was clearly winning over the blog writing, as I couldn’t stop watching. Taking the obsession under control, I will try to switch some attention to this beloved blog.

NY WinesNew Year’s day is a Sparkling wine time for me. It doesn’t have to be Champagne, but bubbles are indispensable part of the welcoming the New Year. And then January 1st is generally the day of bubbles – we have friends coming over for the small dinner and lots of bubbles on that first day of the New Year.

The 2014 was not an exception at all – so here are some of the Sparkling wines which added sparkle to our celebration. Oh yes, of course there were few other things to drink besides the sparkling wines.

If you look at the picture above, down on the right you will see… yes, this is beer! Somehow, I felt compelled to include it into the wine line up, as I was drinking it while we were cooking the day before the New Year. Also, when I see a French beer, there is almost a calling in my head “ahh, French beer, I must try it”. This was Brasserie Duyck Jenlain Winter Ale, a seasonal brew from France, produced using three French barley malts and three varieties of the most aromatic hops from Alsace (according to the back label). In style it was an Amber Ale, so it was round and delicate, with a spicy nose and very easy to drink, without any bite – in general Amber is one of my favorite beer styles, right next to the Porter.

Coming to the New Year’s day, we started our evening with 2012 Cecilia Beretta Brut Millesimato Prosecco Superiore Coneglian Valdobbiadene DOCG, Italy (11% ABV) – yes, I already talked about this wine before (here is the post), and I think at this point this is my most memorable Prosecco out of many I tried. It is perfectly together, balanced, elegant, structured and refreshing – and unbeatable value on top of everything. Drinkability: 8-

Then we had two non-common sparkling wines – one from Russia, and one from Ukraine. The Russian Sparkler was NV Abrau-Durso Semi-Sweet Sparkling Wine, Russia (10.5%-12.5% ABV) – fine mousse, touch of sweetness, ripe apples on the palate with a hint of peach, good acidity, overall quite elegant. Drinkability: 7+

The 2010 Artemovsk Krim Semi-Sweet Sparkling Wine, Ukraine (12% ABV, blend of Pinot Blanc, Aligote, Chardonnay and Riesling) was a notch up compare to the Abrau-Durso – perfectly refreshing bubbles, supple nose of apples with touch of yeast, just a hint of sweetness on the palate with balancing, rounding up acidity. If off-dry sparkling wine is your style (or a craving of the moment), I would highly recommend this wine. Drinkability: 8

What can be better than a nice wine label? Of course, a nice wine behind that label! This was the case with this NV Tsarine Champagne Cuvée Premium, Reims (12% ABV, 34% Chardonnay, 33% Pinot Meunier, 33% Pinot Noir). I was so impressed with the bottle and overall packaging, that I even had a wine quiz dedicated to this wine. I was a bit worrying that behind a gorgeous, royal, flashy label will be a so-so wine. Once I popped the cork and pour the wine, the worry went away in the instant. Perfect fizz, lots of energy in the glass. The nose shows everything which signifies Champagne to me – freshly baked bread, touch of yeast, a touch of an apple. On the palate, it had all of the same toasted bread, yeast and apple, coupled with clean, vibrant acidity – and lots of pleasure. Needless to say that this wine was gone in no time. Drinkability: 8

Tsarine Champagne

Tsarine Champagne

Our last bottle of the evening was 2005 AR Pe Pe Grumello Riserva Buon Consiglio Valtelina Superiore DOCG (13% ABV, 100% Chiavennasca, a.k.a. Nebbiolo), which Stefano generously brought over. This was an absolutely delicious rendition of Nebbiolo – brick orange hue in the glass, delicate aromas of plums and violets, with may be a whiff of cinnamon, fragrant, earthy and delicate on the palate – very un-Barolo in style, but perfectly balanced with the long finish and lots of pleasure in every drop. Drinkability: 8

Ar Pe Pe Grumello

Ar Pe Pe Grumello

And then, of course, there was food – I will give you just a few pictures – lots of traditional Russian style dishes – cold cuts, red caviar, salads, lots of pickled vegetables. I might share some recipes later on.

That concludes my report on our New Year’s extravaganza. Cheers!

  1. January 10, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    Reblogged this on Wine Tours 4 Wine Lovers.

  2. January 10, 2014 at 12:22 pm

    Happy 2014!

    • talkavino
      January 10, 2014 at 1:01 pm

      Thank you! Same to you!

  3. Antisocial Patty
    January 10, 2014 at 9:52 pm

    Looks like you had a great time. Cheers, my friend.

    • talkavino
      January 11, 2014 at 7:06 am

      Thank, Patty! Yes, we did – New Year’s celebration is my favorite holiday of all, lets me feel as a child each and every time : )

  4. January 12, 2014 at 1:12 am

    My friend, apologies for reading this only now, but Sofia has been *a lot* of work so far!
    Thank you very much once again for having us to celebrate with you: it has been a great and fun night, with lots of great food and excellent wines, beside of course the usual, wonderful company.
    Thank you also for the kind mention 🙂
    Until the next time!

    • talkavino
      January 12, 2014 at 8:10 am

      Stefano – don’t be silly! It is almost impossible to do the things we are actually supposed to do, and then write your own blog and read all the blogs we are subscribed to all the time. No worries whatsoever! It was great to have you, and I’m ohh so looking forward to our next gathering : )

  5. January 12, 2014 at 7:59 am

    Looks like a fun evening was had. I shall be looking for the Cecilia Prosecco as Moxie has really taken to this style lately, how much is it?

    • talkavino
      January 12, 2014 at 8:07 am

      it was $9.99 in Boston. Can be a few dollars different in some states, but it is a great value any way you look.

      • January 12, 2014 at 8:09 am

        Thanks, I’ll look at Total wine for it…. She really enjoyed the Cupcake prosecco as well.

        • talkavino
          January 12, 2014 at 8:21 am

          Not sure if Total Wine carries it. I got this wine at Trader Joe’s

  6. Fig & Quince
    January 12, 2014 at 5:34 pm

    Oh my, dizzy when looking at the New Year’s dinner extravaganza. Talk about starting the year right! I love bubblies & will bookmark this for future reference as I AM a philistine re wine.

    So interesting you mention Doctor Who. I was just recently wondering if I should give it a try and there you are with your tacit endorsement. I do like Sci Fi a lot … if I end up biting the bullet and watching it and getting addicted I’ll squarely blame you! 😉

    • talkavino
      January 13, 2014 at 1:00 am

      I will gladly accept the blame for the Doctor Who addiction – it is well worth it 🙂

      • Fig & Quince
        January 13, 2014 at 9:24 am

        There are so many seasons of it, aren’t there? Where should I start? At the beginning?

        • talkavino
          January 13, 2014 at 9:32 am

          Yes, start from the beginning – Season 1 from 2005 ( I’m not talking about very old and original series). Watch is sequentially, as some of the episodes are connected to the past events, so if you will be skipping, you might be missing some connections. I’m watching it all on Netflix, where Seasons 1 – 6 are available.

        • Fig & Quince
          January 13, 2014 at 9:37 am

          I can sense the addiction coming … and I’m already blaming you! 😉

          Now to make it a completely decadent experience, perhaps you can recommend a wine to go with the viewing pleasure? I may potentially indulge.

        • talkavino
          January 13, 2014 at 10:49 am

          blame accepted. no problems : )

          Now, for the wine pairing while watching Doctor Who – this is a very difficult question. I’m typically watching Doctor Who on my iPad, also wearing the headset.The reason it is important, is because that makes me so emotionally engaged into what see and hear that wine would be only a distraction during those 45 minutes of undivided attention to the things happening on the screen – thus I really can’t answers your question… Sorry… Let me know if you will find something which will work for you!

        • Fig & Quince
          January 13, 2014 at 11:51 am

          I do have an idea or two! (of the Persian sharbat variety.) Entirely looking forward to the Doctor Who odyssey now. 🙂 Thank you for indulging the barrage of my questions.

  1. February 6, 2014 at 8:31 am

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