What a great way to end the year! Take four great bubblies, add an absolutely overflowing hors d’oeuvre table, sprinkle liberally with good friends and you get our 2014 edition of Sparkling December!
This year we had 50 of our members tasting the 4 wines—2 from Champagne, France (Franck Bonville Grand Cru and Bollinger Brut Special Cuvee) and 2 domestics (J Vineyards Sparkling Rose and Gruet Blanc de Noirs). The 2 Champagnes garnered high praise from the crew, most choosing one of those (on the right in the photo) as their favorite if cost were no object. The Gruet Blanc de Noirs (literally white from black, so named because it is a white wine from a red grape) came in a close third and actually got almost all votes when asked to take price into account. At about $14 retail, it is truly an everyday-priced sparkler.
Before moving on, I need to give some shout-outs (shouts-out?) to everyone that helped make the evening a success.
First, our spiffy, tuxed-up servers made the service special. The tables looked great with all the seasonal decor donated for the centerpieces. Also, the use of the tablecloths was donated by the center BUT, without several of our members donating their washing/drying services, we would have had less to spend on our exciting wine choices. Once again, thanks to Pat Gougelmann for taking her time to document the evening in pixels.
And finally, the food was absolutely wonderful! Our members always do great things when it comes to appetizers, but this month was the best in memory. It was obvious that many of you chose the appetizers carefully to complement the sparkling wine. Thank you all for a great feast!
It was good to have a chance to taste and compare an array of very good sparklers. Though the French wines seemed expensive, as true Champagne goes, they were just a bit above average in price. Admittedly, spending $40 to $60 on a bottle of wine (especially white wine) may seem like a lot, but for the start to a nice evening with a few friends it works out to under $5 each. I can’t imagine a better way to kick off a celebration or special event than bringing out the good stuff. And, thanks to our wine tasting, we know what the good stuff is!
Thank you all for the great times. With your help and a bit of luck we’ll keep ‘em coming! Until next time….