What I found in the bottom of 8 bottles of Bubbles

Happy 2015!

My sincere apologies for the lack of content of late. It's embarrassing to say but after a system reboot, I lost the password to this blog and it took me some time to get it back.

But we are back, which is the main thing.

Over the holidays, as most people do, I indulged. Not just in food. I indulged in Wine. Within 3 days, I consumed 8 bottles of bubbles & 2 bottles of white wine...basically on my own. I'm not proud of this but it was an interesting experience. It is an experience I'd like to share.

Here is the list:

  • Hentley Farm Blanc de Noir 2014 (Barossa Valley, Aus)
  • Clover Hill Cuvée Exceptionnelle Blanc de Blancs 2010 (Tas, Aus)
  • Bird In Hand Sparkling Pinot Noir 2014 (Adelaide Hills, Aus)
  • Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label Brut (Ponsardin, France)
  • -some other french Sparkling-
  • Janisson Baradon Brut Rosé (France)
  • Chandon Vintage Brut 2010 (Australia)
  • Peterson's Bubbles House Pinot Chardonnay Meunier 1994 (Hunter Valley, NSW) - yes, 20 year old bubbles...and it was exceptional!!
    White Wines:
  • Chandon Yarra Valley Chardonnay
  • First Creek Verdelho (Hunter Valley)

As you do over the holidays, you start to reflect on the prior year and what you want from the next. I was overcome however by the amazing sparkling wines we have to choose from around the world.

I am a self confessed red wine drinker. I appreciate all wine but over the holidays, based on the heat I knew we would experience, we opened the "champagne" fridge and went to town on it. I found it fascinating how the Tasmanian Clover Hill had more subtleties and complexities to Veuve and the other French traditional method sparkling/champagne. I found it remarkable how 'moreish' blanc de noir is. I find it fascinating that people still continue to purchase sub $20 sparkling when, for a tenner more, you can have a party in your mouth with the complexities within some of these wines.

I mean, Chandon Brut is okay...but pay $6 more and get the Vintage Brut.
Random Aussie bubbles are okay...but pay $15 more and try Clover Hill...or Arras...their entry level wines are better than some on the market.

Want to know the best part of trying all these bubbles? I drank and drank...and didn't end up with a headache. I still managed to wake up and go for a morning run or finish the day with an afternoon one. Don't settle for cheap bubbles. If you choose bubbly, choose well, spend the extra couple of dollars to ensure you are feeling bright the next day.

What I found in the bottom of all these bottles of wine is how far Australian bubbles have come in comparison to our French brothers and sisters. I'm so proud to be a part of this country and our culture for making delicious and competitive products.

What I also found is the majority of Australians don't appreciate what they have right in front of them. I am a big advocate for trying wines from all over the world (I mean, come on, Italian Wine is my favourite) but we cannot understand the different qualities of international wines if we don't first truly understand and appreciate our own.

What I also found is the most prominent wines may not be the best. After the bubbles I had been drinking, Veuve tasted so commercial and didn't taste complex at all. I was once a huge advocate of Veuve...now, I'll pass it up for GM Mum or Heidsiek... for a few less dollars, I can get some seriously delicious less prominent French bubbles or for an extra $20 I can get Grosset..one of the first Champagne houses, which I know I will enjoy more. Raise Your Standards people..that's what its all about. At first you panic about the dollar but when you are enjoying the wine, you completely forget about it...trust me.

What I also found at the bottom of all these wines is that yes, Sparkling does make you put on weight....so drink slowly, drink responsibly & raise your standards!

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