Friday, December 20, 2013

Festive Bubbles and Stickies

The Holidays (Christmas and New Years for my family) makes me very sentimental for the great loves of my life: family, friends, food, hockey and, of course, wine. It's a time to splurge (if you can) on your loved ones and when you get into this festive frame of mind, if you're anything like me, your mind will drift to more frivolous things like sparkling wines and those intensely sweet dessert wines that our Australian cousins so perfectly describe are 'stickies'.

These are the ultimate celebration wines as they deviate from our norm and excite the palate in ways we don't regularly explore. They are a treat, and are meant to be enjoyed by groups seeking the comfort of a shared experience. Below are a few suggestions for your next, joyous shared experience:

Backyard Vineyards N/V Blanc De Noir Brut - $23
Backyard Vineyards' Blanc De Noir is a traditional example of a sparkling wine made from 100% Pinot Noir offering a light, yellow-gold hue and fat, persistent bubbles. On the nose you'll find an array of aromas ranging from sweet citrus fruit to fresh brioche with light nutty notes and a touch of brine.
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Blue Mountain Vineyard and Cellars N/V Brut - $24

A blend of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Gris (47/47/6) grapes produced in the traditional Champagne method, this sparkling wine has been built to last. The lees-y character (two years sur-lie) will bloom over time and create a richly textured sparkler that will be sure to impress even the most severe of your Canadian-wine skeptic friends.
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Chateau Des Charmes 2010 Rosé Sparkling Wine - $29

traditional method rosé, with a brilliant pink hue and fine, persistent bubbles, made from a blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes offering off-dry levels of residual sugar and loads of strawberry, cherry, honeydew and light mineral flavours.
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Summerhill Pyramid Winery NV Cipes Rosé - $29

A well balanced, fresh and vibrant Rosé sparkler with fine, persistent bubbles that delivers subtle cherry and tart cranberry characters and a touch of sweetness on the otherwise dry palate.
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Cassini Cellars 2010 Moscato - $24 (375ml)
This charming, honeydew and spicy peach flavoured wine opens with a lovely nose of pecans, tangerines and violets and will compliment your favourite nutty pie or crème brûlée rather than compete with it. Ready to be enjoyed now and though it will hold for many years I'd recommend early consumption while the wine is still youthful and fresh with well-balanced acidity.
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Chateau Des Charmes 2009 Vidal Icewine - $25.95 (200ml), $44.95 (375ml)
At 4 years of age this Vidal icewine has developed a yellow-gold hue and some lip smacking caramel characters to go with the classic, honeyed orchard fruit flavours on the maturing palate. A nice vein of citrus acidity keeps the intense sweetness (mostly) grounded.
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Bench 1775 Winery 2011 Whistler Sauvignon Blanc Icewine - $29 (200ml)

delivers an impressive punch of concentrated, honey crisp apples on the serene, sweet-smelling nose and on the well-balanced, intense palate. The sticky, pineapple upside-down cake and candied-peach flavours are beautifully managed with impressive, green apple acidity keeping the gooey texture fresh and mouth-watering.
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Tinhorn Creek Vineyards 2012 Oldfield Series Kerner Icewine - $58 (375ml)

Delivers what we all expect from BC Icewine with intense, sweet, baked fruit on the nose and palate. Apple cider, apricot, peach and lime fruit galore with light mineral and nut characters. Texture is more of the 2% variety than the homo milk mouth feel that other Icewines offer, yet the balance is good and the finish is long.
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 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2013

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