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December 2011

Eat + Drink:
Special Sparklers
Written By: 
Claire Cunningham

Not only lovely in the glass and on the palate, each of these bubblies has a family story to tell


Soter Vineyards Brut Rosé 2005 (Willamette, Oregon), $50 
Soter Vineyards owner and winemaker Tony Soter has quite a resume. In addition to consulting for acclaimed wineries such as Viader and Araujo, he founded Etude and served as winemaker. Soter’s full-bodied sparkling rosé has notes of rose petal, strawberry, and biscuit and has been compared to Cristal and Dom Perignon.

Duval-Leroy “Cuvee Paris” NV (Champagne, France), $30 
Duval-Leroy is a family-owned Champagne house among the top 15 producers in the world. The “Cuvee Paris,” a blend of chardonnay and pinot noir, has notes of white flowers and hazelnuts and a gingery and long finish. It is presented in a Parisian-themed collector’s bottle by American painter Leroy Nieman.

Billecart-Salmon Brut Rosé Champagne NV (Champagne, France), $75
Founded in 1818, the Billecart-Salmon house was honored by King Louis XIII, who gave permission for the family coat of arms to be featured on the winery’s barrels. Today, the house is still family-owned and producing some of the world’s most romantic Champagnes. The Brut Rosé, with its notes of raspberry and citrus, pairs beautifully with wild salmon.

Graham Beck Brut NV (Western Cape, South Africa), $16
In 1983, Graham Beck bought his first vineyard. Today, four farms make up the estate, which is still run by the Beck family, who continue to make excellent vintages. A blend of hand-selected chardonnay and pinot noir varietals, this brut has a fine mousse with notes of bread dough and was served at the acceptance speech of President Obama.

Bastianich “Flor” Prosecco NV (Veneto, Italy), $19
Throughout the world, Bastianich is a well-known name for great wines, restaurants, and cookbooks. Chef and author Lidia Bastianich has hosted several cooking shows, and her son Joe runs the restaurants. Their winery produces many different styles of wine, including this prosecco, which is dry and fruity with a long finish.




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