Decadent and luxurious, Sparkling wines are a rarity in Washington’s wine vernacular. The state isn’t known for its sparkling wines and only a small number of wineries produce them (along with their still wines). But sparkling wine houses are starting to surge in Washington and many of them are small, family-run operations that are producing outstanding bubbles. These wineries are a welcome addition at wine events because they offer something refreshing that you can’t just get anywhere.
Sparkling wines (you can’t call it the ‘C’ word, as wines with that name must come from the Champagne region of France) are extremely food friendly. Not just for celebrations and holidays, Sparkling wines pair well with cheeses, poultry, seafood, Asian dishes and of course, desserts. Sparkling varietals vary in the state but we’ve seen Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Syrah, Riesling, Gewürztraminer and of course Chardonnay, which opens up to even more food pairings.
And if you needed another reason to try one of the Washington’s sparkling wines, the prices are sure to entice you. Some of the best sparkling producers in the state sell their wines for less than $20 retail (including the three featured in today’s Wine Wednesday).
This week’s three featured wines all use Méthode Champenoise (may-tawd shaw-pah-nuaz), which is the traditional way to make Champagne and Sparkling wines. This method requires that the secondary fermentation take place in the bottle (thus extending the life of the bubbles in the bottle up to five or six years).
Get a taste of other Washington sparkling wines in the Bubble Lounge at BLEND, one of Seattle’s hottest wine events September 18 at Bell Harbor International Conference Center. Sparkling wines paired with Taylor Shellfish freshly shucked oysters will be one busy room at this event!
Domaine Ste. Michelle NV Blanc de Noirs – $11
A light sipper with a pink tint, this Sparkling Rosé is 100% Pinot Noir. Aromas and flavors of strawberries greet you and then extend into the finish.
Mountain Dome NV Brut – $16
Comprised of Chardonnay, this non-vintage wine comes from one of Washington’s oldest, family-run sparkling houses. Flavors of crisp green apple lead to a creamy finish. Drink as an everyday sparkler or save it for special occasions when you want to impress your guests.
Treveri Cellars NV Sparkling Riesling – $17
This semi-sweet sparkler is from one of the newer producers in the state, although owner/winemaker Juergen Grieb has been making Washington wines for 30 years. Get a taste of these wines at their tasting room in downtown Yakima, The Sparkling Tasting Room (how’s that for a name?)