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26 May 2015, Tuesday

Celebratory Wines

There is always something to celebrate every year whether it is a wedding, a promotion or a birthday. A sparkling wine is the common choice for celebration because the bubbles are not only fun to look at; they also go to your head faster. Here are five wines besides Champagne that you should consider if you want to share your joy with others and cheers with. 

 

1. Franciacorta

Although some call it Italian’s answer to Champagne, there is a difference in the flavor. This wine is found in the province of Lombardy. If you are stopping by Milan, it is not far away. The grapes are in most parts similar to Champagne. Made in the same way as Champagne by having the bubbles created in the bottle, the climate is warmer than Champagne, thereby creating a wine that is fruitier in character. Franciacorta can also be very steely and mineral like some Champagne with zero sugar additions (dosage zero). The better but rarer ones are fruity but yet have brioche aromatics like Champagne. This makes it a great accompaniment to food. 

2. Prosecco

This bubbly drink made from the Glera grape comes from the region of Veneto, Italy. It is generally cheaper than Champagne or Franciacorta because its bubbles are created in a giant tank rather than in the bottle, thereby requiring less labour. At its optimal potential, its flavor profile is more attuned to light flower, mineral and light citrus flavours. Such a Prosecco took us seven years to find. At its worse, it is bland, boring, highly acidic and better as a mix with orange juice. Still, if you are on a budget, this still makes a perfect celebratory drink. Keep some orange juice on the side just in case.

3. Moscato d’Asti

Not just any Moscato, but one from Asti, Piedmont Italy. This sweet bubbly drink brings happiness and respite to many parties because it goes down easily. Most people who do not drink much wine will find this as a great introductory wine. The bubbles in this wine are created in a pressurized tank and not fermented dry. Most versions are overly sweet and syrupy. When it comes to choosing Moscato, we are very particular about it. Not only its bubbles have to be fine, there needs to be a balance between sweetness and acidity. 

4. German Riesling

We are not talking about sweet Riesling. German Riesling can be dry too. The reason why good German Riesling makes a good celebratory drink is that is goes with almost any type of food. Are you throwing are party where there is fish, pork or chicken? Riesling’s versatility can go a long way. Good Riesling has flavours of blossom, citrus or apricot notes depending on the ripeness and with age, you get that slight earthy scent. Depending on how the red meat is cooked, dry Riesling can work due to its vibrant acidity. It’s the one Riesling to rule them all!  

5. Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon

This full-bodied red wines from Chile make a good celebratory drink especially if the event is in the night. A glass of strong red to end the day gives a sense of accomplishment. Besides that, Chilean reds are value-for-money. Try to find Cabernet Sauvignon of about 14% alcohol. This can indicate that the wine is fruitier and has more flavour. Good Cabernet from Chile has strong capsicum aromas as well as blackcurrant flavours. Better ones have a wider spectrum of flavours such as cigar box and oak. And if you are serving a nice piece of steak that night, it will seal the deal. 

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