Happy happy Friday!
This past weekend was tons of fun. I had some girlfriends over for a sparkling wine tasting and a Stella and Dot jewelry party.
I bought three inexpensive sparkling wines and we decided to do a taste test to celebrate my birthday.
I picked up three sparkling wines: Depreville from France, Berberana Cava from Spain, and Verdi from Italy. I thought it would be fun to taste test three different regions that weren’t true champagnes from the Champagne region. The first two were $8.99 and $9.99 respectively from Total Wine. The Verdi was only $3.49 on clearance at Target. Talk about a steal.
I had high hopes for the French sparkling wine and it did not deliver. I guess I thought it would be good solely because it was out of France. Shannon, my Stella and Dot stylist, made a pretty good comment about this wine- she said it was the white trash version of French wine. Oh man, Shannon cracks me up. I miss working with her! I hate to say it, but I would have rather had some cheap Korbel than the Depreville sparkling wine.
The Berberana from Spain was slightly better. It had a strong body and was very effervescent. Both the Depreville and Berberana were brut sparkling wines which means they are very dry by nature. I tend to like dry champagne, but my guests gravitated towards the fruity Verdi out of Italy.
I can’t believe that the cheapest sparkling wine was the favorite. The Verdi from Italy was by far the biggest crowd pleaser. Everyone liked it, even me and I usually prefer drier sparkling wines. At $3.49 on clearance, I couldn’t have gotten a better deal. It looks like it usually sells for $6, and at that price I would still consider it a steal. I need to make a mental note to always check out the clearance wines at Target.
I put out a sheet of paper for each guest to write down their tasting notes.
I also put up a piece of paper with wine tasting words to help with the tasting process.
I tried to encourage my guests to use whatever words they wanted. I don’t think there are any wrong descriptors when describing wine. Just use the words you want and make it fun.
I should have anticipated that my guests would prefer fruitier sparkling wines. I made a strawberry basil simple syrup to accompany the sparkling wine in order to make a flavored spritzer. It ended up being pretty good, but way too sweet for me. I’m not a cocktail girl. Give me straight up wine or beer and I’m happy.
We played with jewelry and enjoyed some light snacks while tasting our sparkling wines.
If you’ve ever wanted to buy some Stella and Dot jewelry, click on this link and buy from Shannon: http://www.stelladot.com/
What are your favorite Champagnes and sparking wines? My friend, Tara, and I had a Barefoot Rose sparkling wine a couple weeks ago and I really enjoyed it. I’ll have to write up a complete review soon!