EatInEatOut Holiday 2014 - Page 76

Instead of champagne, try traditional method sparkling wine: Champagne is the king of all sparkling wines. The Champagne region in France is where the style of wine is believed to have originated. Today, the same production method (“methode champagnoise” or “traditional method” on a label) is used in many other regions using the classic grapes of champagne – chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier – or grapes that are local to the region making the wine. Some other famous traditional method sparkling wines include cava (from Spain), Franciacorta (from Italy), and there are even some amazing bubbles coming from the United Kingdom, just to name a few. Because of Canada’s cool climate, we are also well suited to making world-class traditional method sparkling wine. Henry of Pelham Cuvée Catharine 2008 Blanc de Blanc “Carte Blanche” Niagara Peninsula, Canada $44.95 This sparkler made from 100% chardonnay is a stunner. I would expect in a blind tasting, many would assume it to be champagne. Aged on lees for 54 months, it is yeasty, toasty but with plenty of orchard fruit character and complexity. The Speck family is making some of Ontario’s best sparkling wines. If you were to look for a vintage-dated, blanc de blanc champagne, you would likely pay in well in excess of $100, so this wine is a phenomenal value. Consider having this as an aperitif alongside hot crabmeat dip. 76 WWW.EATINEATOUT.CA Instead of Burgundy or Barolo, try Priorat: Although “young” in wine years, Priorat has quickly catapulted itself to Spain’s most important quality wine region in a mere 35 years. Garnacha and Carineña (Grenache and Carignan respectively in French) from old vines combine to create powerful yet remarkably elegant wines due in large part to the unique schit-slate soils called llicorella. Often regarded as Spain’s answer to Burgundy in France and Barolo in Italy, these are ageworthy reds that often require time to show their true beauty. Spain’s most iconic red wine, L’Ermita made by Alvaro Palacios, is likened to the Bordeaux first growth châteaus at easily half of the price. 2011 Alvaro Palacios Les Terrasses Velles Vinyes Priorat, Spain $46.95 Made by one of the original pioneers of the region, this wine is coming from the 60+ year old Carignan and Grenahce vineyards. Exploding with exuberant flavours of cherry, spice, and licorice, this wine has impressive length and depth of flavours. It will age easily for over a decade [