WINEormous with the Occasional Wine Council

OWC members Carmen Micheli, Karsten Boone, Linda Kissam, Marc Simpson, Robin Dohrn-Simpson, Coletta Boone and Tom Plant

That’s how we roll. As we approached the end of 2012, the seven members who comprised this version of the Occasional Wine Council gathered to toast the passing of one year and look ahead to the coming one. What better way to do it than with sparkling wines and Champagne?

Each of us was asked to create a food pairing for a specific wine. All of our sparklers were non-vintage, the first was Alcardet Brut Metodo Tradicional from the La Mancha region of Spain. Linda brought corn dogs with Grey Poupon mustard and potato chips. Guess what? We all thought it was genius. The salty, crispy components played perfectly with this citrusy sparkler. This sparkler had delicate bubbles and citrus notes, though the bubbles were quick to disappear. Chicken salad with honey also worked well with it.  We were off to a good start.

Number two was an Italian offering; Mionetto Prosecco D.O.C. Treviso Brut. Priced at about $14 I found this to be an ideal sparkler, yeasty with tiny bubbles and a hint of green apple. Robin prepared an apple-apricot tarte tatin that complemented it beautifully. The council then got their first taste of my “crack bread”, but more on that later.

WINEormous corn dogs with Grey Pouopn

Corn dogs with Grey Poupon were a great pairing with sparkling wines

Next up was Minetto “Gentle” Prosecco. The only problem with this wine was we thought it was a little too gentle. It was nearly flat and to my palate didn’t have much going on. Coletta, though, prepared a savory Pt. Reyes blue cheese biscuit with chives and creamy wildflower honey that was fabulous. We also enjoyed it with Marc’s quiche with Gruyere and pears as well as cranberry bread.

We moved on to our first rosé of the evening, ZED Moscato Rosé. Mocato is the fastest growing varietal in the U.S. and this wine featured a gorgeous pale pink color and just the right amount of bubbles. There’s a distinct Moscato flavor and it was extremely food friendly and matched the quiche, cranberry bread, blue cheese biscuits tarte tatin and potato chips equally well. It sells for about $15.

WINEormous pesto bruschetta with brie and apples

Pesto bruschetta with Brie and apples

Rosé number two was the Perrier-Jouët Blason-Rosé. This was the Champagne that the group fell head over heels in love with. It was in a word, elegant. Perfect bubbles that danced on the tongue, bone dry and gorgeous to behold, it paired with everything. Karsten prepared cream biscuits with Ferrari prosciutto, scallions, Parmesan and organic Adriatic fig spread.  The quiche, tarte tatin and salted fudge were all excellent pairings. You’ll find this for about $76.

WINEormous Cheddar Bacon Ranch Pulls

Cheddar Bacon Ranch Pulls a.k.a. “Crack Bread”

It was on to the Napa Valley for Mumm Napa Brut Prestige. A nice crisp sparkler, it featured a yeasty nose, soft bubbles and a lingering finish. I prepared my “crack bread” for this wine. To be honest, it’s actually called Cheddar Bacon Ranch Pulls. I enhanced it by adding garlic, scallions and pepper jack. Also food friendly, the tarte tatin and potato chips were a wonderful match. It’s a good value at about $20.

We wrapped up the evening with another offering from Perrier-Jouët, their Grand Brut. A nice, toasty Champagne with tiny bubbles and a great mouth-feel, it paired nicely with a honey nut chicken salad with peppers and wildflower honey. It sells for around $40.

We’ll gather the council again in the near future and I’ll once again share our experiences with you. Cheers!