Category Archives: New Year’s Eve 2011

Cantine Maschio Brut Prosecco

Lets slide one last one under the door for New Year’s Eve.  Hailing from Treviso, Italy, this Brut is a much more affordable prosecco from the folks at Cantine Maschio.   Being a brut, Cantine Maschio Brut Prosecco has the characteristic dryness, but how much fruit and flavor does it bring to the party?  Continue reading

Sparkling Rosé: A New Years Eve Alternative

The time to crack open the bubbly is only a few days away, lets take a look at a couple of bottles that might fill-in for Champagne, namely Sparkling Rosé:


Yellow Tail Sparkling Rosé

Yellow Tail made one of the best Sparkling White Wine’s I’ve ever had about 2 years ago, and since switching their branding to Yellow Tail Sparkling, it hasn’t been quite right since.  Given that some people like a drier style of wine, it seemed like it might be worth a shot to have a dry Rosé on for under $10, but is it any good?

Sight:  It’s an orange sort of color, quite a bit more than it’s pink.

Smell:  Not a lot of anything.  It’s strongest characteristics are semi-sour tangerine and a bit of earth.  Maybe a hint of raspberry.

Sip:  The fizz is light compared to the white, and the flavor profile isn’t particularly powerful.  The mouth feel is also moderate.  The weak flavors are primarily orange and tangerine, on the sour side, with hints of minerality.  A touch of strawberry, but mostly not much. [A.B.V. 12.5%]

Savor:  There’s minimal activity here too, just hints of tangerine and raspberry that disappear faster than seems possible.

Overall, Yellow Tail Sparkling Rosé commits the most mortal sin of wine, it’s boring.  It’s an inoffensive, orange tinged, dry bottle. It’s completely unmemorable.  If you buy this wine, no one is going to remember it (but they might remember you as the person that showed up on New Years with that boring bottle of Yellow Tail).  Do yourself a favor, if you must have something dry and sparkly from Yellow Tail, buy their white.

Verdict:  A Rosé By Any Other Name Might Smell Like Something
Price: $7.99
South Eastern Australia

[Disclaimer: This wine has been stored for 2 – 3 months, and there is a new style of bottle out. At the time, the newer bottle was not available. The newer bottling may have better results, and is at least resealable, so now you could take home this wonderful bottle.]

Can you guess which was more popular?

Barefoot Bubbly Pink Moscato

Disclaimer: This bottle was sent to us by the folks over at Hunter PR, not purchased by the First Pour Wine. The opinions expressed are solely those of First Pour Wine.

Sure, the folks at Barefoot still seem to be missing the message that the wine isn’t from Champagne.  What the marketing department is lacking, the winemaker is making up for, shipping out simple, fun, and enjoyable wines.  Without a doubt, the Moscato Spumante earlier was one of the most fun and tasty sparkling wines this year, and so it only seemed right to give their Pink Moscato a go as well.  Does it live up to it’s kin, or is it the black (pink) sheep of the family?

Sight:  A bright fun soda like pink, reminiscent of raspberry ginger ale.

Smell:  How much strawberry can you pack in one glass?  How about tons, with a lot of rose, and some light touches of citrus.

Sip:  Lots of strawberry and roses here in a glass full of sugar and a lot of brightness.   Slightly floral as well,  this wine make sure to keep a balanced mouth feel between sugar and acid, while having nice moderate bubbles.   Light and fun [A.B.V. 9%]

Savor:  While not the longest finish, there’s a nice musky ending with plenty of fresh strawberries.  It doesn’t last long, but long enough to be pleasant and ask for a bit more.

Overall, Barefoot Bubbly Pink Moscato is stepping in perfect rhythm for sweet drinkers.  It’s balanced enough to not be overwhelming, but has enough Moscato floral notes to not seem like a cloying soda.  The acidity is fun as well.  This wine doesn’t take itself too seriously, and is a great way to ring in the new year.

Verdict:  Two Step from Barefoot Bubbly
Price: $9.99

Bortolomiol Cartizze Prosecco

France is of course not the only player that can show up for a holiday sparkler gathering.  Hailing from Italy, the often dry and delicious Prosecco.  In recent years, Prosecco has been on the rise as a replacement for Champagne, and is used in the Bellini’s.  This particular Prosecco hails from Cartizze, a region of Italy renown for their great quality. Bortolomiol Cartizze Prosecco should be a home run then, but does that mean you should serve it for the holidays?

Pop The Cork

Cuvée Laurent Muscat Rosé

Cuvée Laurent Muscat RoséEvery time Greg comes on the show, it’s rather obvious that dry wines aren’t his thing.  Not only is this true of wine, but he also tends to lean toward cider or lambics over beer, and fruity, sweet cocktails.  That’s just the way his palate is.  Unfortunately, Bruts and champagne aren’t going to necessarily make New Years a happy occasion for anyone who leans in the sweet direction.  However, there are alternatives in France, such as Cuvée Laurent Muscat Rosé.

Made from the Muscat grape, which is more recent memory has been getting a lot of it’s face time as Moscato.  This grape is renown for it’s musky character, and tendency to make bright, happy, slighty fizzy, wines that can be either dry or sweet. In the case of the Cuvée Laurent Muscat, it has been turned into a Rosé which is no guarantee of sweetness.  So can it please the sweet palates, or is this one just for the dry folks?   Pop Another Cork

Louis Perdrier Brut Excellence

Louis Perdrier Brut Excellence

With one week until the New Year, and even less time until New Years Eve, it’s time to kick off the celebration with nothing but bubbly.  Champagne,  the often imitated but never duplicated sparkler from the Champagne region of France, is nearly always far to expensive for the under $10 crowd, and, for some who don’t like the bubbles, an unnecessary expenditure.   Nonetheless, France is the birth place of the wine that kicks off the new year for so many, and it’s only appropriate to start with a Brut from France.  Brut refers to the sweetness of the wine (or in this case drier than dry), and not the ability of this wine to put you on your rear (although if you have too much, that’s also a distinct possibility).  Given the low price tag of Louis Perdrier Brut Excellence it could be the perfect friend to fans of no sugar sparkling wines.  Does it kick off the week with a bang, or just a sputter?   Pop the Cork

Freixenet Extra Dry Cava

Cava is distinctly different from Champagne in a few major ways.  First, it’s not made in the Champagne region of France.  Second, as long as it’s made in the Method Champenoise, or Champagne method, and is produced in Catalan, Spain, it can be considered a Cava.  The region actually has a D.O. associated with it for this reason.  If the wine is not made in the champenoise method, it is only a sparkling wine.

There are also several qualifications of dryness, or the amount of sugar wine in the wine.  The sugars from lowest to highest are as follows:

  • Brut Natural
  • Extra Brut
  • Brut
  • Extra Dry / Extra Sec(o)
  • Dry / Sec(o)
  • Demi-Sec(o)
  • Doux / Dulce / Sweet

While these are traditional for Sparkling Wines, there are also many other specifications based on region.  This wine is an Extra Dry version of Freixenet.  Can Freixenet Extra Dry Cava make a great holiday starter, or is it too dry for a party?   Cava Popped

Yellow Tail Bubbles Sparkling White Wine

Welcome to the first First Pour Wine Holiday Sparkler. For the next few weeks, we’ll be looking at some options for under $10 to kick off your holiday celebration, or close out the old year while bringing in the new one.  Leading us off is Yellow Tail Bubbles Sparkling White Wine.  While Yellow Tail’s previous version of sparkling wine managed to fool at least a few champagne judges, this new one is anyone guess.  Most people don’t care about Champagne judges, so the question is, should you serve this wine?  POP goes the Kangaroo