An $18 bubbly showdown! Well, it was and I didn’t even plan it. Some friends came over recently and we each had a bubbly ready to go. So what are wine lovers to do? Why, open them both, of course!
First up, from the Loire was Thierry Puzelat, naturalista wine maker who made it through to the quarterfinals in the Wine Madness tourney back in March. I was ready for Thierry to bring the shazam since I am a fan of his wines. But the cork on the Vin Pétillant de France Naturel Non-dosé released with a whimper rather than a bang. The mousse–the foamy part–was weak! This pétillant did not have the gas (literally) to keep it frothing! Upon tasting, it was more like cider than Champagne–that non-dosé stuff can be tough to make. A bummer! One person dumped her glass! (Ahem!) Puzelat, upended! Shades of Wine Madness all over again!
Then it was on to the Strohmeier…I mean come on, who’s ever heard of Strohmeier? They’re an Austrian producer founded in 1990, which is practically a New World time frame. And it’s not even from the esteemed Wachau–it’s from Styria! Some southern part of Austria that has produced, among other things, the Governator! And the grape in this Schilcher Sekt nonvintage–Blauer Wildbacher? Let’s get serious! Now to the pour: major mousse! Frothing all over the place. Bright pink effervescence in the glass! Now on to the taste. Oooh, it’s got hints of strawberry, it’s juicy, it’s got good acidity–in short, a delightful summer sipper on the deck! No glasses dumped on the geraniums! Strohmeier takes home the trophy in this spontaneous $18 bubbly showdown!