Wednesday, August 19, 2009

No bubbles

I love bubbles. Bubble baths, carbonated water, and of course, Champagne. I mean, you basically have to be brain dead with the palate of a wet donkey not to enjoy Champagne.

Which is such a shame that there has yet to be an LCBO release this year which focusses on this delightful wine. The last major Champagne release was about June of last year - I still have the bottles because as much as I'd like to drink bubbles daily, there's never really an occasion that seems appropriate enough to pop a cork. That will soon as I have a proper cellar. Where I don't have to drive 40 min to a friend's place to pick up a bottle.

So what's up LCBO. How come no decent Champagne. The economy's in the shit, we all know that.....what better to bring us out than the most sublime expression of joy that wine can bring?

Please, stop depriving us. The next bottle of Salon Champagne I see, I'm getting. Oh, and any and all 2002's.


  1. Have you tried any local bubbly? 13th Street makes some good stuff. I've had 3 bottles of the Cuvée Thirteen over the past couple months and never been disappointed, for $22 it's a deal. I actually liked it better than the Premier Cuvée, which costs more ($28), it was a little too heavy on the acid. Both were 2005s I believe, the Cuvée Thirteen was for sure. Unfortunately, as far as I know, you can only get them at the winery...

  2. Ben, thanks for the comment.

    I've tasted 13th Street's sparkling wines the last time I was up there, and I agree that they're well made - they just occupy a different space than Champagne. I actually prefered the Premier Cuvee, for the acid, but as you said, it's a bit pricier.

    Of all Niagara sparkling wines, I think Henry of Pelham is the most European, in the sense of showing more regional characteristics, and not just fruit. A lot of people don't have the courage to make it, because it's expensive and difficult, but I think the dedicated ones can do it. I'd love to see Thirty Bench attempt it - they have all the ingredients already, and they do a 100% pinot meunier cuvee already. But as of now, most Niagara sparkling wines are unspectacular. Until they can produce a wine between $20-$25 that shows complexity and balance, you'd have to be out of your mind not to buy cremant instead.

    Having said that, there's really no substitute for Champagne. There's something about the high acid, aromatic fruit, and intense minerality from the chalky limestone that great Champagnes possess. Nowhere else in the world do you find these characters. Of course, the big luxury houses are ruining it (Veuve Clicquot, Moet, etc), but the smaller, family-run houses or grower Champagnes are worth every penny.

  3. You're right, the Cuvée Catherine and it's rosé partner are both great sparkling wines from Niagara. Maleta is not bad either, for that matter.

    While they're not as great as Champagne, they are quality wines and the price point is such that you don't have to feel bad opening one on a friday night just to celebrate the weekend with a little (good) bubbly.