Herbert: It’s not a party without bubbles

Plenty of sparkling wines to enjoy in B.C.

Let’s face it, a party without bubbles is just a meeting. We celebrate the start of a New Year with bubbly. We launch ships with bubbly. We enjoy it with orange juice, or on its’ own. We call it sparkling wine, champagne, or prosecco. The latter two being regional names of origin and known by other tags in wine producing areas.

Cooler climate (49th parallel) grape-growing regions with natural acidity and the bright fruit flavors they produce combine to make excellent sparkling wines, fundamentals British Columbia shares with the celebrated growing region of Champagne France.

The traditional method of creating sparkling wines demands that only three grapes be used, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, using one, two or all three grapes with the secondary fermentation occurring in the bottle. While frizzante or tiny bubble wines offer a refreshing tingle but are slightly less effervescent than their traditionally crafted cousins. Only those wines made in the traditional method qualify for the VQA Wines of British Columbia designation and are available at VQA Wines of British Columbia outlets. Some of the best include Blanc de Blanc – “white of white” 100% Chardonnay; lighter in style, perfect with shellfish and seafood.

Blanc de Noir – “white of black” and is either Pinot Noir or both Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, usually fuller-bodied this style can pair with a variety of foods and Rosé sparkling wines, made from one grape or all three but must contain a red grape. These wines can be robust in style pairing well with most foods. Brut, is the typical dry style, with no sweetness.

“B.C.’s sparkling wine is getting better all the time and needs to be embraced for general consumption not just as something we open to celebrate special moments.” Anthony Gismondi Wine Writer.

Sparkling wines will always be part of our celebrations, but you needn’t wait for a special event, bubbles will always put a smile on your face.

Enjoy a flute of VQA Wines of British Columbia sparkling wine with eggs bennie at breakfast, with lunch and dinner or while you kick back in front of the fire having chased the last of the holiday visitors out the door.

Here are just a few of the 50-plus sparkling wines for you to enjoy: Vancouver Island wineries: Unsworth Winery Charme De Li’le or Charme De Lile Rose’, Averill Creek Vineyard Charm de Li’le. Some of the Okanagan sparkling wines include: Giant Head Estate Winery Blanc de Noir. Sumac Ridge Stellar Jay and Pinnacle Methode Classique. Time Wine new release Brut, and the always popular Summerhill Pyramid Winery Cipes family of sparkling wines including Ariel.

Chris Herbert lives in the Parksville Qualicum Beach area and works as your wine representative at the VQA Wines of British Columbia outlet at Save-On-Foods. Chris can be contacted at spillthatvino@gmail.com

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