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TrishCT

Your favorite sparkler?

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Everybody thinks of Champagne when thinking of sparklers, and Champagne is the undisputed king. But the quality of sparklers from other regions can be outstanding. Cremant de Bordeaux and cremant de Bourgogne can be very good, and relatively very cheap. There's a cremant de Vouvray I really like, confusingly called Tete de Cuvee but it's really nice chenin blanc applely fruitiness produced with methode champenoise.

You won't get the pin point bubbles and the exciting feel of true champagne from these wines. They were initially called cremant because they had a creamier texture (bigger bubbles). They are closer to a champagne now, but still have a little of that creaminess. If you take them for what they are, they are great. And since they're cheaper, you can drink them more often and even pair them with food on a weekday!

That said, I'll be drinking L'Allier grand cru over the holidays...

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nunc est bibendum...

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For a largish party I was recommended the Veuve du Vernay Brut and Brut Rose. A pretty remarkable price at under $10 a bottle. Has anybody tried this French sparkling wine from the Loire region? It would be served on its own as requested as well as mixed in various champagne cocktails.

The online reviews have generally been pretty positive. Haven't tried it myself yet but hope to test drive a bottle over Christmas.


If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. ~Mark Twain

Some people are like a Slinky. They are not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs...

~tanstaafl2

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For a largish party I was recommended the Veuve du Vernay Brut and Brut Rose. A pretty remarkable price at under $10 a bottle. Has anybody tried this French sparkling wine from the Loire region? It would be served on its own as requested as well as mixed in various champagne cocktails.

The online reviews have generally been pretty positive. Haven't tried it myself yet but hope to test drive a bottle over Christmas.

I don't know anything about that Loire sparkler, but I assume it's all chenin blanc right? If so, for cocktails the richness of chenin blanc doesn't dry up a drink as much as a typical champagne might. So if you're making a drink recipe that depends on the sparkler to dry up the drink, you might have to tweak it. Try making something like a French 75 and see if you need to adjust it if the sparkler you have is fruitier. That will provide you a nice baseline to get a feel for how the wine will work in drinks and it will show you some things about the wine you might not notice otherwise. While the extra fruit might be less apparent when tasted neat, for instance, it can really throw off the balance of a drink.


nunc est bibendum...

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For a largish party I was recommended the Veuve du Vernay Brut and Brut Rose. A pretty remarkable price at under $10 a bottle. Has anybody tried this French sparkling wine from the Loire region? It would be served on its own as requested as well as mixed in various champagne cocktails.

The online reviews have generally been pretty positive. Haven't tried it myself yet but hope to test drive a bottle over Christmas.

I don't know anything about that Loire sparkler, but I assume it's all chenin blanc right? If so, for cocktails the richness of chenin blanc doesn't dry up a drink as much as a typical champagne might. So if you're making a drink recipe that depends on the sparkler to dry up the drink, you might have to tweak it. Try making something like a French 75 and see if you need to adjust it if the sparkler you have is fruitier. That will provide you a nice baseline to get a feel for how the wine will work in drinks and it will show you some things about the wine you might not notice otherwise. While the extra fruit might be less apparent when tasted neat, for instance, it can really throw off the balance of a drink.

I think it is a mix of Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay and other white wines from the region since it is classified as a Blanc de blanc but I suspect you are right that it may not be as dry as most champagne despite being classified as a brut. The Rose definitely has a little more sweetness to it.

I will have to play with a bottle as you suggest and see. But at about $8 a pop that is easy enough to do!

One small correction. The website says: Colombard 40%, Sauvignon Blanc 40%, Chardonnay 20%


Edited by tanstaafl2 (log)

If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. ~Mark Twain

Some people are like a Slinky. They are not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs...

~tanstaafl2

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For a largish party I was recommended the Veuve du Vernay Brut and Brut Rose. A pretty remarkable price at under $10 a bottle. Has anybody tried this French sparkling wine from the Loire region? It would be served on its own as requested as well as mixed in various champagne cocktails.

The online reviews have generally been pretty positive. Haven't tried it myself yet but hope to test drive a bottle over Christmas.

I don't know anything about that Loire sparkler, but I assume it's all chenin blanc right? If so, for cocktails the richness of chenin blanc doesn't dry up a drink as much as a typical champagne might. So if you're making a drink recipe that depends on the sparkler to dry up the drink, you might have to tweak it. Try making something like a French 75 and see if you need to adjust it if the sparkler you have is fruitier. That will provide you a nice baseline to get a feel for how the wine will work in drinks and it will show you some things about the wine you might not notice otherwise. While the extra fruit might be less apparent when tasted neat, for instance, it can really throw off the balance of a drink.

I think it is a mix of Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay and other white wines from the region since it is classified as a Blanc de blanc but I suspect you are right that it may not be as dry as most champagne despite being classified as a brut. The Rose definitely has a little more sweetness to it.

I will have to play with a bottle as you suggest and see. But at about $8 a pop that is easy enough to do!

One small correction. The website says: Colombard 40%, Sauvignon Blanc 40%, Chardonnay 20%

Funny enough I stopped by the wine shop today and this wine was sitting on the counter ready to be shelved. I didn't taste it, but I've been told it's a bit drier than a typical Loire blend and with that bill of varietals that makes sense. Should be more acidic than anything 100% chenin with the Colombard and Sauvignon blanc. Sounds like a great deal that should work well with cocktails. Always good to do some tests, if only for the tester's satisfaction, but it does sounds like a winner on any account. Would have bought a bottle myself if there was a cold one around...


nunc est bibendum...

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Gave the Veuve du Vernay brut a try last night and was rather impressed, especially considering the price tag. Seemed like it would work well in champagne cocktails and not bad on its own in my opinion.


If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. ~Mark Twain

Some people are like a Slinky. They are not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs...

~tanstaafl2

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My faves are:

Roederer Estates NV

Gruet Blanc de Blancs

Korbel Sec

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