Hello Wine Lovers,

Yes, it has been sometime since I have written a bit about wine here at the Ralphs Wine Bar.  My absence in script has been noted. I must thank Alec Silverman for helping keep the interest in the wine evenings in my absence.  Monday night (tonight) will be a nice selection of sparkling wines from all around the California wine growing regions. Join me on a relaxed journey through specialty to pedestrian sparkling wines around the great Grape State. For a mere $12 dollars, your taste buds will be tested and tantalized into several forms of sparkling wines.

You will notice my deliberate reference of sparkling wines.  It is recognized that Champagne is from the District of Champagne France designated such by French Law.  We will not be tasting any Champagne, just sparkling wine from appellations best suited to grow Pinot Noir Chardonnay and other sparkling blending grapes.  There is a micro climate in the Central part of California that is producing an interesting sparkling wine produced by a grower that I find quite interesting.  I will keep some suspense in your mind perhaps you will join us for that one bottle.

Sparkling wine varies from appellation to appellation just like any grape grown in different climates. Most sparkling varietals enjoy the same climate if it is in Carneros the South of Napa and Sonoma County or if it is Monterrey to the West and South of the Valley.  Soils and coastal influences can change the style and flavor of the sparkling being produced. A wine maker is liable to blend wines from separate blocks of vineyards to balance the taste of a sparkling wine much like an artist uses contrasting colors and bases to achieve the perfect balance of color and tone on the canvass. The result is a symphony of flavors on the nose and palate. Hints of brioche fresh baked bread yeast sweet nectars of fruit bound forth from the flute pumped up by minute bubbles of carbonation flowing in streams to the top of the glass. Remember, less is more here, the tinier the bubbles and the more of them the finer the glass of sparkling wine. The vessel, which you drink from can enhance or detract from this experience. I personally prefer a fine crystal flute with a tulip edge, but this is not always at hand.  Baccarat Crystal is a favorite of some of my customers, I’m not at leisure to provide such art of glass, but it is an experience to enjoy given the chance. If the time permits join us tonight from 5pm to 8pm for a mere $12 as we journey through California’s premier sparkling offerings.  Thank you for your interest and hope to see you at the Wine Bar. 

Mike The Wine Guy

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