This summer with all the sparkling wine choices that are now available at the NSLC and local private wine stores it's hard not to bubble over with enthusiasm. Prosecco, Northern Italy's preferred sparkling wine style, are stylish and fresh; although I admit to liking mine best when combined with a healthy dose of Aperol - an orange scented aperitif now available at select NSLC stores. For a slightly more refined sparkling wine choice, I am currently sticking close to home with L'Acadie Vineyards, Blomidon Estate, Domaine de Grand Pre all making excellent traditional method sparkling wines. Of course, for those without a spending limit Benjamin Bridge's top end sparklers are simply world class. Any and all make a great choice for local seafood. Here are a couple selections that are sure to spark conversation at your next summer party; and as a bonus they available at most NSLC stores.
Everyday: Jacob's Creek Chardonnay Pinot Noir Brut Sparkling (NSLC, $13.99)
I can still recall the first time having this wine. I had low expectations but was pleasantly surprised to discover a serious sparkling wine with a fine mousse, lemon and apple flavours and pleasant, albeit slightly short finish. This wine certainly doesn't have the vibrant acidity of Champagne but ultimately if you want a sparkling wine to sip on at casual outdoor occasions, I consider that a plus.
Pairing: Brie with fresh grapes and baguette
Gourmet: Bouvet Ladubay Saumur Brut (NSLC, $18.80)
Okay. I'll admit this is hands down my favourite sparkling wine for the price. It delivers everything I love about Champagne including vanilla and brioche-like aromas but unlike most of its more expensive brethren it has a hint of residual sweetness that keeps its acidity in check. Gourmands can serve this in place of Champagne and any wine snob with complete confidence while those that simply like a good quaff of bubbly can also enjoy it. The great thing about great sparkling wines, such as this, is that they pair with just about anything. Eat, drink and be merry.
Pairing: Nova Scotia lobster with ginger beurre blanc or seared Digby scallops with crispy pancetta
Mark DeWolf is the Food & Drinks Editor of Occasions Magazine, a sommelier instructor and owner of By the Glass.