CTV Morning Live

Today on CTV Morning Live, CTV host Lianne Laing and CTV Guest Sommelier Matt Steeves discussed different sparkling wine options to enjoy during your election party celebrations.  We also had a special guest help us out with some sabering, the talented Melissa Lamb gave her best and successfully sabered (on her first try, talk about a natural!) a gorgeous Italian Metodo Classico sparkling wine from Ferrari.  Check out the video here:


Election Party Wines as seen on CTV October 19
Election Party Wines as seen on CTV October 19

Sparkling wines are great for all occasions, and when it comes to celebrations they’re the perfect choice!  And, just as Napoleon was famous for saying “Champagne! In victory one deserves it; in defeat one needs it.”

To celebrate Canada’s federal election we’ve picked some sparkling wines for you to enjoy at your election party, no matter what stripe, preference, age, or outcome, there’s a sparkling wine for you.

As I’ve mentioned before, sparkling wines are incredibly food friendly making it a real no-brainer when it comes to choosing complementary pairings.  They’re great with all sorts of foods from canapés, soups, seafood, fish, poultry, and snacks like popcorn or potato chips. One of my favourites is smoked salmon, cream cheese, with onions and capers, although I love sparkling wine with just about anything, any time of the day!

Produced in many styles, from sweet to bone dry, affordable to unaffordable, each style has its place and complements a wide array of dishes making it an easy wine to pair with food if you choose to do more than simply make that special toast with it.  Ideal for celebrations and large gatherings, they’re also terrific gifting wines, especially vintage sparkling wines.

And the best thing is sparkling wine doesn’t have to break the bank.  That’s right, although fine Champagne is wonderful, one doesn’t have to buy a $40-$400 Champagne to get a quality sparkling wine. Spanish Cava, made the same way as Champagne, are often $15-$20 and taste twice that good.  Canada is excelling in each of its major wine producing regions with the production of high quality traditional method (i.e. same as Champagne) sparkling wine.  British Columbia, Ontario, and Nova Scotia are all producing fantastic traditional method sparkling wines that have garnered international acclaim (Blue Mountain Winery in BC, Benjamin Bridge in Nova Scotia, and too many to mention in Ontario (but here are a few of my favourites from what I’ve tasted recently: Jackson-Triggs, Creekside Estate, Featherstone Winery, Huff Estate, Hinterland, and the list grows every year!)). Canada isn’t the only region outside of Champagne making terrific sparkling wines though as virtually all wine producing regions in the world are making traditional method sparkling wines meaning you don’t have to look to hard to find a great sparkling wine at a reasonable price no matter where you call home.

The wines I’ve chosen offer great value and would be terrific for your election party celebrations.

Election Party Bubbly line-up as seen on CTV October 19, 2015
Election Party Bubbly line-up as seen on CTV October 19, 2015

I’ve also included a couple less traditional sparkling wines for those that want some bubbles but don’t necessarily want to pop a cork on a traditional method (Champagne style) sparkling wine.  These fun and fruity (sweet) sparkling wine-based beverages are becoming increasingly popular and given how affordable they are they make a great party beverage.

Myx Fusions Moscato And Mango Wine Cooler – $12.40 for four.

MYX Moscato Fusions – Pale lemon yellow with greenish hue and a light sparkle; forward and exotic aromas of mango, mixed tropical fruit, lemon/lime candy, with floral/orange blossom notes and hints of bosc pear, green apple and peach; light bodied, soft but balanced palate, with light tingly effervescence, flavours of fresh mango, candied citrus fruit and apple with juicy tangy/sour fruit and grassy notes; long sweet, fruity and refreshing finish.  A great beverage to enjoy as you celebrate a milestone whether that be the weekend’s arrival or anything else!

Dirty Blonde Sparkling Raspberry wine-based Beverage. Low alcohol, high sweetness. $9.75 at LCBO.

Dirty Blonde is a sparkling raspberry and wine beverage that’s best described as a sweet and slightly sparkling rosé wine. Sweet with a touch of fizz, it’s intended to be enjoyed with your friends, and a side of shooting the breeze.  Enjoy with sweet desserts or on its own.  Serve chilled in a standard white wine glass.

Now, into the Traditional Method sparkling wines:

Trapiche Extra Brut 2014 – Argentina – $11.95 – This is a super impressive sparkling wine for the price ($11.95). A blend of Chardonnay, Semillon, and Malbec (which by the way is quite a unique blend!), from the Mendoza region of Argentina, the nose is full of lovely flinty minerality, toast, pineapple and green apple. The palate comes up a bit short, in comparison to the aromas, however, this is a stand-out wine for enjoying with large crowds or simply to be your go-to bubbly to have on hand should an impromptu celebration be required. A real Smart Buy! Tasted October 2015. 88 points. Matt Steeves – @QuercusVino

Ferrari Perlé 2007 was recently awarded finest sparkling wine in the world, outside of Champagne, “World Champion Sparkling Wine Outside Champagne” in the “Champagne and Sparkling Wine World Championships” organized by Tom Stevenson, the world’s foremost authority on sparkling wine.

This is an exceptional Metodo Classico Blanc de Blancs sparkling wine, produced from 100% estate grown Chardonnay, from the finest high altitude hillside vineyards in Trentino. The 2007 was aged for over 5 years on its lees, then cellar-aged the balance of its life. Now 8 years old, it’s reached incredible complexity and harmony in every imaginable way. The colour is straw yellow with a rich golden hue, indicative of its age and the complexity that you’re soon to experience with that first sip. Rich and nutty, with citrus and tree fruit accents, it’s very fresh in the glass, and above all displays the elegance and harmony one expects from a fine Italian luxury product. When there’s a major milestone to celebrate I can’t think of a more appropriate sparkling wine than this premium vintage Ferrari. Tasted October 2015. 94 points. Matt Steeves – http://www.quercusvino.ca

$39 via private order: http://vinsdandurand.com/docs/2015-10-13_Liste_des_IP.pdf

Note that Ferrari was also recently nominated for ‘Best European Winery’ by Wine Enthusiast at the Wine Star Awards, the prestigious prize that the American magazine will hand out at the end of 2015.

Ferrari’s 2007 Perlé – $39 – recently named World Champion Sparkling Wine outside Champagne. Available via private order: http://vinsdandurand.com/docs/2015-10-13_Liste_des_IP.pdf

International Sparkling Wine Producer of the Year, Ferrari Trento, and their World Champion Perle 2007.

Finest Sparkling Wine in the World, outside of Champagne - 2015
Finest Sparkling Wine in the World, outside of Champagne – 2015

Creekside The Trad 2011 – Ontario – $28.95 – Terrific Ontario vintage sparkling wine made the same was a Champagne.  If you can get your hands on this then I’d highly recommend it!

Jackson-Triggs Entourage Grand Reserve Brut – Ontario – $24.95

A fantastic traditional method sparkling wine from the Niagara Peninsula! Jackson-Triggs’ Entourage Grand Reserve 2011 Sparkling Brut is a fine example of the high quality value priced vintage sparkling wine that Canada’s producing and excelling at. A recent Gold Medal winner at the WineAlign 2015 National Wine Awards of Canada (the Nationals), the price does not reflect the high quality of this aged vintage bubbly. A light golden yellow colour, evidence of it’s nearly 3 years spent on the lees to extract colour, body, flavour, and aromatics, the nose is full of sweet green apple, citrus, and lime peel. A fine mousse covers and cleanses the palate leaving a fresh apple and mineral finish that persists until the next sip. Terrific with rich dishes, seafood, celebrations and those memorable toasts, this wine shows just how versatile quality vintage sparkling wine can be. Enjoy 2015-2020. Tasted October 2015. 91 points. Matt Steeves – http://www.quercusvino.ca

Featherstone Joy Premium Cuvée Sparkling 2010 – Ontario – $28.95 (awarded Canada’s best Sparkling Wine!)

VINTAGES#: 310334

$28.95 – available Winery Direct and via Vintages

Recently recognized as one of the finest wines in Canada! Featherstone Cuvée Joy won Best Sparkling Wine of the Year and Double Gold at the recent All-Canadian Wine Championships. The bottle cap (crown) closure is used on all traditional method sparkling wines (around the world) during their production and it’s only replaced with a fancy mushroom shaped cork closure when the final product is ready (after degorgement and dosage) for cellar aging or consumers to enjoy! So, don’t let this unique and very practical closure impact your perception of what’s in the bottle as it’s pure Joy that resides within. Tasted October 2015. 93 points. Matt Steeves – http://www.quercusvino.ca

A classic rosé Champagne, Drappier Brut Rosé, $52.95 at LCBO

And, if you’d like to know how Traditional or Methode Traditionelle sparkling wines are made, then here’s a great sketch showing the process:

Some key tips to knowing what sparkling wine is all about
How are different sparkling wines made? A handy infographic

Summary: Make your celebration complete by enjoying some of these fine bubblies.