Doug Sloan

Mother’s Day sparkling wines – buy them now!

The Mirror welcomes wine aficionado Doug Sloan to our pages to serve up his favourite selections

More than a week until Mother’s Day… Chocolates will be bought and flowers better be acquired.  But you should get ahead of the pack and buy that perfect sparkling wine for your sister, spouse, mother or grandma now!

Il Vino dei Poeti Rosé  (90886) $8 in a tiny, shiny pink 200 ml bottle has arrived just in time to help celebrate the day.

An inventive blend of Pinot Noir and Raboso, it sizzles with strawberry nuances and raspberry fruit flavours.  If 200 mls just doesn’t make it, this deligfhtful wine also comes as Il Vino dei Poeti Rosé  (223669) $24.99 in a standard sized 750 ml size in an even more eye-catching teardrop-shaped metallic pink bottle.

Far from being expensive, Cook’s Brut (216614) $9.99 from California shows lots of classic “malic” tree-fruit apple and pear notes leading a subtle “toasty” finish. Tough to find a better bubbly than this at a splash into the glass kind of price!

Spain has been offering us their sparkling wines – which they call ‘Cava’ – for many years.  And their offerings come in a variety of styles and prices.  While there are many similar, there isn’t a better quality sparkling wine, for anywhere near the price, on the market than Spain’s Segura Viudas Brut Reserva (158493) $15.99.  Rich and “creamy” it has that authentically “champenoise” toast-iness with citrus, pear and vanilla flavours in it.

A step up the scale takes you to Freixenet Elyssia Gran Cuvée (169995) $22.99 – a premium Spanish blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay with the addition of the traditional Spanish Cava grapes – Macabeo and Parellada.  Bright lemon, freshly cut pear and honeyed peaches sizzle on first sip.  Over a creamy minerality, subtle tropical fruit flavours fill out the mid-palate.

Italy is another reliable source of affordable quality sparkling wines, many of which are Proseccos.  Made from the ‘Glera’ grape and packaged in an eye-catching neon-green plastic-clad bottle Anna Spinato Prosecco Organic Brut (374769) $15 stands out from its companions on the shelf.  As well as “classic” apple and pear aromatics and flavours, there’s a mouth-filling dose of underlying nutty, toasty sweetness.

Very deliberately “Old World” and an exceptional sparkling wine in a traditional style, Valdo Prosecco di Valdobbiadene Spumante D.O.C.G. Marca Oro (550111) at $20.99 shows a chalky streak of minerality that frames tart flavours of Granny Smith apples and softly sweet freshly sliced pears.  Slipping onto the tongue as the wine finishes, there is a bright twist of lemon and grapefruit acidity.

Outside of the Prosecco zone, but still in Italy, for presentation there isn’t anything with the ‘bling’ of Bottega Diamond Spumante Brut (829804) $39.99. This beautiful shiny black bottle even sparkles and is encrusted with a series of small gem-like brilliants representing the name Bottega and the brand Cantina dei Poeti.  Crisp citric flavours scintillate in the fine mousse of bubbles with subtle red berry notes lingering in the finish.

And don’t overlook what we make here in British Columbia.  From the Okanagan Valley, Stephen Cipes is an outspoken advocate for ‘natural’ wine.

Summerhill Cipes Brut (314419) $31 is made from Riesling and Chardonnay grapes that are 100 per cent organic and is ‘finished’ by aging in Summerhill’s legendary pyramid  where it purportedly benefits from the sacred geometry and the alignment to true north.

Chateau Moncontour Vouvray ‘Cuvée Predilection’ (670182) $30 is an interestingly unusual and refreshingly bright and fruit sparkling wine made from 100 per cent Chenin Blanc in France’s Loire Valley.

Dry and nicely ‘nutty’ it leads with a sprinkling of hazelnut notes and finishes with a generous mouthful of casaba and honeydew melon flavours.

And – while it is a French sparkling wine – it’s half the cost of France’s legendary Champagnes!

If your sister, spouse, mother or grandmother deserves the best, consider Baron Fuente ‘Grand Millésimé’ Brut Champagne (72231) $60.  The Grand Millésimé is a blend of 45 per cent Chardonnay, 40 per cent Meunier and 15 per cent Pinot Noir with more than five years aging on the ‘creamy’ lees.

The Chardonnay sets the stage with rich lemon rind, peach, apricot.  An intriguing wave of toasted almond and biscotti flavours are enhanced by subtle undertones of strawberry and blackberry fruit flavours from the Meunier and Pinot Noir.

This Mother’s Day surprise the women in your life with a tantalizingly tasty bubbly!


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