On, January 1oth, we had the opportunity to tour Moonlight Cellars in
His background with Korbel and St. Michelle, inspired him to start his own company. He makes sparklers for Cave B, Hard Row to Hoe in Lake Chelan, TRU in
We learned that you need a wine with high acid and low sugar. Allan adds a sugar syrup and yeast to the pre-made wine. The yeast carbonates the wine, the bottles are then stuck upside down in ice to freeze the yeast plugs in their necks. Then the metal caps are removed, the plugs blow out, then the bottle is topped off, corked, then wire caged. This is the simplified version.
Here is the corking machine he uses:
See another tutorial about riddling:
Drink within 1 year.
Store your sparkler upright in a cool, dark place. Chill no more than 2 days before serving. Serve in a fluted glass. Don't use a saucer type glass unless you like your bubbles to go flat. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Champagne_stemware
To open bottle, remove wire cage, remove foil, hold cork and turn the bottle slowly (not turning the cork) while holding the bottle away from you.
If you'd like to learn more about WA sparklers, get the Winter 2011-2012 issue of Washington Tasting Room magazine (free at any local winery) and turn to page 34.
I think we ought to try following the Europeans example and serve a bubbly as a welcoming wine with appetizers (or even with popcorn or hamburgers!).
We will start this tradition at our next luncheon, Red Wine & Chocolate, Feb. 13. Cheers!
PS. It was great having Miss Vicky back from AZ with us today, too! We miss you girlfriend!