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Let's Talk Wine
updated: Jun 11, 2011, 9:45 AM

By Eric Garnier

Champagne, the wine of Kings

Mother's Day at our house was started with mimosas. This fun light drink is traditionally made with sparkling wine and orange juice. Some folks in my family like to add a splash of grenadine to sweeten it up and give it color.

Sparkling wines come in several varieties from the classic champagnes of France to Prosecco from Italy, to California sparkling wine. In Spain, sparkling wine is called cava. I enjoy prosecco for my mimosas because it is a lighter style and is slightly lower in alcohol.

With graduations and weddings just around the corner, sparkling wines are an important ingredient of these two occasions. But, it is important to remember that sparkling wines are not just for celebrating, they are also a great accompaniment with meals. Next time you are having a salad for lunch or dinner, try a sparkling wine. I especially like sparkling wine with seafood dishes. If you are an oyster lover, sparkling wine is a must.

There are different styles of sparkling wines. The driest of them all is called extra brut. This is the most popular because there is no dosage added and pairs well with most foods. Next is called brut, then extra-dry. Opposite to what it says, extra dry is less dry than a brut, with a slight amount of dosage added. Dosage is the amount of sugar added after the second fermentation and the amount added will dictate the sweetness of the finished product. A fairly new style that has emerged in recent years is a sparking wine with an addition of the moscato grape. This style is fun to drink, especially in the hot summer months.

Be sure to check out the following tastings coming up in June. Several of the wines from the Wine Trail will be pouring their wines, and some local restaurants will also be serving some of their great dishes.

www.cpwineandfoodfestival.com Sunday June 5

wineinthepines.com Saturday June 11

ojaiwinefestival.com Sunday June 12




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