On a snowy day… drink bubbles!

Or you could drink a hot cocoa, hot buttered rum, hot toddy, Irish coffee, kahlua and milk, etc. I prefer bubbles. To me, champagne, sparking wine, bubbles are an any occasion drink. Hot or cold weather, special event or a night in watching movies. Sparkling wine creates good moods and let’s you feel fancy. So, after 4 days of being cooped up with a 2 and 6-year-old due to “Snow Extreme 2012” in Seattle, I needed a night to relax with some bubbles.

I appreciate quality bubbles. Ian and I took a “growers Champagne” class – which promotes small, boutique wineries in the area of Champagne, France. I came home with a bottle (or two) of small vineyard Champagne’s. Unfortunately, these champagne’s are not cheap. Each bottle that we tasted during the class priced around $35-$100. I have to say though, worth every penny. I have never tasted such smooth, lively, quality sparkling wines.  On the other side of that, our wallet’s did not appreciate the price of the smooth, lively, quality wines.

Not everyone is able to spend large amounts of money on a sparkling wine. Which is why I am here to help you. Now, I would suggest if you have a little extra money to spend, head to your local wine shop and talk to the owners about a growers champagne. If you are able to find a bottle, snag it. Or if you are at your brother-in-laws on Christmas you are lucky enough to enjoy a 1984 Dom Perignon, then take a moment to really enjoy that glass (because it probably won’t happen again). But, if the mood hits for a nice, inexpensive bubbly, I have one for you!

Tonight’s Tasting

Mumm Napa, Brut Rose, Napa Valley, CA (Safeway, $15.99).

Mumm Napa

When the mood  calls for bubbles, then this is wine I will purchase. Mumm Rose Brut is a go-to bubbly. This wine can be found in most major grocery stores.  It’s relatively inexpensive, has a dry/sweet/bouncy flavor that lingers in your mouth and a smell to awaken your soul. It is primarily a Pinot Noir grape with a little splash of Chardonnay thrown in. On the nose you smell strawberry, cherry and a slight citrus breeze – all with a taste to match. I have brought along this bottle to non-wine drinkers, which they have enjoyed its pop, fizz and smooth finish. And since Valentines day is right around the corner, you will be a favorite if you show up with pink bubbles. If rose isn’t your color, their other sparkling wines are also decent (try to find the reserves if you can).

I guarantee you will be able to find this wine almost anywhere. So, when an occasion like snow hits, put on your snowsuit and head to the store. Cozy up by the fire and enjoy!

http://mummnapa.com

Cheers and stay warm my friends!

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Grocery Store Challenge 1

Alright, it has been a couple of months since I decided to take the “Grocery Store Wine Challenge”  and I now have my first chain grocery store finding.  This was hard for me… since I am so partial to my local stores. So as I stopped by Safeway, with a sleeping baby, I decided to use my time wisely and peruse the wine section. I went in to this, with a sour attitude,  but to my surprise the wine section  at Safeway wasn’t horrific (meaning, there was more than just Carlo Rossi boxed wine!). So, to my fellow novices who are unable to hit West Seattle Cellars, Picnic on Greenwoood, Esquin wine merchant, and/or Vino Verite on Capital Hill (or any other wine shop in your neighborhood), there are decent options at your local grocery store. Here are some of the wines I found at Safeway on Roosevelt (and 75th). I am sure that each store (especially in a different state) has different wine selections, but take a look at these wines the next time you pop by Safeway.

*** I also have a wine tasting tonight, so take a look below!

Grocery Store recommendations – Safeway

Just a little information – if you purchase 6 or more bottles, you receive a %10 discount – with their Safeway Club card

L’ecole 2006 Caberent Sauvignon  $26.94- A Walla Walla red. I have only had L’ecole once, but loved it. For the most part Walla Walla wines are smooth and full of flavor. This wine is worth the investment. You can also find this wine in local wine shops as well.

2006 Cabernet Sauvignon - Columbia Valley

Kestral – Lady in Red  $14.99 – Prosser WA – another great wine. I have been to this winery twice and have always enjoyed their wines. Great everyday drinking wine.

Gascon Malbec – Argentina  $11.49.  I have had this wine once. Not my favorite Malbec but has a nice, light flavor. Good wine to take to a party.

Red Bicyclette Syrah – France  $8.99. A can’t beat price. I purchased a glass of this wine in a restaurant once and had a nice flavor – a hint of pepper if I remember correctly.  

Powers Cabernet Sauvignon 2007  – Tri-Cities, WA $10.84. I met one of their wine makers about a year ago. Very nice gentleman and his wines do not disappoint. They also own Badger Mountain Vineyards as well. Once fact about Powers, is that all their wines are organic. Exceptional price.. pick up a bottle.

If in doubt and need a wine in a hurry – Bogle Vineyards  in CA make inexpensive wines that hold their own. Make sure to drink this wine last. Always start with your more expensive, hard to find wine first – then end with the cheap stuff. Bogle wines are around $10.00 and I have seen them at most major supermarkets.

Tonight’s Tasting:

Tre Donne – D’Arc 2006 Italy ($15.00 West Seattle Cellars):

This wine is a blend of 40% Barbera D’Alba, 30% Pinot Noir, 20% Dolcetto D’Alba, and 10% Freisa.

We opened this wine with our dinner – which was vegetarian Chili. Wow!! That is pretty much all I have to say.  A smooth, vibrant and intense wine, I was more than impressed.  I was planning on having just a glass with dinner, but I have a feeling this bottle may be gone by the end of the night. If you can find this (and it won’t be at Safeway) – please grab a bottle. They say this wine goes perfectly with pork, but I beg to differ. It goes great with a vegetarian meal. Take my suggestion, grab this wine while you can.

I hope you have a great time searching for tonight’s tasting or grabbing a Safeway wine!