Sparkling Wine 101 Event

Spring is upon us, so no better time to have a Sparkling Wine 101 tasting and seminar from the Windy City Wine img_11051Guy.  The event took place at the Binny's South Loop Tasting Room.  It was an intimate setting with a gorgeous view of the Chicago skyline, including the Sear's Tower.  My guests were set to taste three sparkling wines paired with cheese, and a whole lot of info.

The tables were pre-set with three Riedel sparkling wine glasses and the pouring began.  The sparkling wines we were about to taste are simple and affordable examples geared to give occasional bubbly fun, without the need to splurge on a Champagne.  The three samples included:

  1. Mionetto "Il" Prosecco.  This is a great, every occasion, sparkling wine.  It is light and bubbly, with simple peach and pear flavor.  The perfect apéritif!

  2. Gran Sarao Brut Cava.  Cava is always made in the méthode champenoise, and this is a great value example.  Green apple and light, doughy flavor.

  3. Dm. Ste. Michelle Blanc de Blanc.  A Washington state sparkling Chardonnay produced in the traditional method.  Dry, tart, and rich, with pear, pineapple, and toasty coconut.

We also had three perfectly paired cheeses to go along with the wines:

  1. Brie le Chatelain.  This creamy, buttery, soft cow milk cheese from northeast France is delicious inside and out.  A perfect rich texture to accompany the crisp acidity of a sparkling wine.

  2. Mimolette.  This semi soft cow milk cheese from northwest France has a Parmesan-like sweetness and nuttiness.  Perfect with sparkline wines.

  3. Gorgonzola Dolce.  Dolce in Italian means sweet, but it also means young when referring to this cow milk blue cheese.  It hails from northwest Italy (Lombardia).  The creamy texture and mild, salty flavor make it ideal for sparkling wine.

The lecture ranged on subjects from differing sparkling wine viniculture methods to Dom Perignon and the history of Champagne.  There was a very informative Q&A segment, followed by a pour-off of the remaining wine.  A great time img_1101had by all!  I want to thank the Binny's staff, especially GM Juan Torres, and all the attendees.  Ciao!img_1095img_1099img_1103img_1092img_11041