This 4th of July, while children (and/or yourself) blow things up, there is only one choice of inebriation that pairs perfectly with pyromania: bubbly. Not just any sparkling wine, not even Champagne, but all American sparkling wine.
In past, Wayward Wine has kept it cheap and cheerful with our patriotic petillance (read here: ‘Merica). This year, we get serious and go for Napa’s founding fizzy father: Domaine Chandon.
Catch up on our March visit here.
Since the 1970’s, when Champagne’s Möet et Chandon spotted Yountville, Napa Valley as their American vacation home, Domaine Chandon has churned out quality bubbly in quantity. But their tête de cuvée is Étoile Brut, California, America, NV:
This bubbly blends Champagne stalwarts, Pinot Noir, Meunier, and Chardonnay from various vintages. Moreover, secondary bottle fermentation and aging takes over five years before the bubbly is disgorged, dosaged, and topped with cork and cage. That patience seems crazy (and worrisome to accountants) when French Champagne requires only three years. But the results are clear:
Appearance: Clear, medium minus intense golden straw
Aromas: Clean, medium plus intense but filigreed and delicate ginger, honey, almond paste, ripe white pear.
Palate: Dry yet fruity, medium acidity, medium bodied, fine but upright and speedy effervescence.
Flavors: Medium intense, plump fruity pear drizzled with honey, ginger, warm almond biscotti, white lemon rind, and a light, sea-air finish that lasts a medium plus length.
Chandon’s Étoile Brut is outstanding sparkling wine (5 of 5). It has all-American fruit-forwardness emblematic of its Californian terroir and traditions, but tastes dry and structured enough to make its French upbringing proud.
It tastes great with salted watermelon. But cuts through a corndog far better than beer. Just imagine all that fry and fat getting slaked away by rapid fire bubbles and fresh fruit flavors, while matching autolytics.
So raise a bottle of bubbly and (carefully) spark that firework. Happy Fourth of July y’all.