Why You Need to Drink More Sparkling Wine

Why You Need to Drink More Sparkling Wine
Birthdays, anniversaries, New Year’s Eve. Most folks tend to save their bottles of sparkling wine for life’s big moments. There’s nothing wrong in stashing the bubbles away for a big day, but if you leave sparkling wine on the shelf as an occasion wine, you’re missing out. Yes, sparkling wine is special. Those few extra steps that winemakers take to put the bubble in your bubbly elevate any get-together or tête-à-tête from the ordinary. Nothing beats the prickle of your taste buds as the bubbles pop and the thirst-quenching acidity revitalizes your palate. There are plenty of excuses to drink more sparkling wine. Here are a few reasons to reach for a bottle of fizz next time you’re in the mood for a glass of wine.
Sparkling Wine is Outstanding with Food
Traditionally, we’ve treated sparkling wine as an aperitif. In all fairness, it does a beautiful job of prepping the palate. It’s also much preferable to slaving away in the kitchen mixing up Negronis or Martinis. Simply pour and serve. Along with stimulating the appetite, a glass of bubbly can carry through a meal. This is especially true now that we’re fully into spring and moving towards summer. Lighter summer fare and a refreshing glass of sparkling wine can be a match made in heaven.
Have something a bit richer in mind for dinner? Not a problem! Sparkling rosé or vintage bottlings can hold up to more robust dishes. This means that yes, you can even enjoy a glass with poultry, game birds or certain meats. Sure, white Burgundy may be many people’s go-to for a roast chicken, but a vintage bottle of sparkling wine will provide an equally satisfying dining experience.
If finger foods and canapés are on the menu, the combination of high acid and the bubbles in your glass makes a nice foil to anything fried.
Opt for off-dry bubbly when it’s time for dessert. Virtually every sparkling wine making region from Champagne to Okanagan offers off-dry incarnations of its best bubbles. These slightly sweet versions should also be on your radar if you’re a fan of spicy food. A little bit of sweetness can take away some of the burn in a fiery plate of Thai curry, a vindaloo, or Szechuan stir-fry. An off-dry (i.e. slightly sweet) sparkling wine will offset the fire from chillies and cleanse your palate between bites (and help you not break out in a total sweat).
The Crowdpleaser
Having a few friends over or hosting an all-out bash? Stocking your home bar with sparkling wine is a safe bet. There’s a reason why sparkling wine consumption is going up in places like Canada, the UK, and many Asian countries; most people love it.
The same holds true if you’re out with a group or trying to impress a dinner date. Is everyone struggling to agree on what sort of wine to order? It’s hard to go wrong with a bottle of bubbles. If nothing else, because sparkling wine goes well with many appetizers, ordering a bottle to start will buy you time to figure out what to order with main courses – assuming you don’t decide to stick with your bubbly!
Stellar Value For Money
While it’s true that Champagne tends to command a higher price point, sparkling wine from other regions and countries are often available at a fantastic value. Cool climate regions the world over release stunning, premium traditional method sparkling wine at a fraction of Champagne’s price. And like other on the rise sparkling regions, there are plenty of terrific examples found locally here in Okanagan.
Sparkling Wine – Good for the Body, Good for the Soul
Studies show that moderate sparkling wine consumption might help prevent certain conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s and can have heart-healthy benefits. This is thanks to polyphenols, a type of antioxidant present in bubbly (and red wines, too!). Plus, if you’re wary of your waistline, sparkling wine has fewer calories than other styles of wine, beer, and most cocktails. Naturally, the key here is moderation, but why not reap the benefits of the odd glass of fizz?
As a sommelier, sparkling wine is my first port of call for almost every occasion. This light, easy to drink beverage refreshes between sips and sets the stage for the flavours that follow if you’re enjoying it with food. No longer the ultra-expensive product it used to be, there’s no reason not to add a satisfying bottle of sparkling to your wine drinking routine. It’s sensational year round from spring picnics to summer barbecues, cozy autumn evenings, and of course, winter celebrations.

1 Comment

  • May 16, 2018
    Claire Cantwell

    Oh yes I couldn’t agree with you more. Sparkling wines are my all time favourite so much so it’s become a weekend thing for us.