Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Bubbly New Year

          What better way to get ready for New Year’s Eve than to taste sparkling wines and champagne.  And that’s just what we did at The C Bar at The Clement Hotel on Cannery Row.
Happy hour, 4-7 p.m. on Sunday through Thursday, at The C has some pretty nice specials.  The New World Flight of sparkling wines is half price, as are the appetizers and beers.
We ordered two of their four flight options: the New World and Old World flights. Each came in a visually beautiful presentation—five small champagne glasses, the middle one filled with sliced strawberries.
From the New World Flight, we enjoyed the Taltarni Rose, Brut Tache, NV from Australia.  It had a lovely blush color, a citrusy and slightly sweet taste to our palates, and was full, satisfying and especially good with the strawberries.  The Taltarni website calls the wine “elegant in style, elegant in color.”  It is made from grapes from both the Australian Pyrenees and Tasmania, and the rose color is created by the addition of red wine liqueur.
The Gloria Ferrer, Blanc de Blanc, 2006, U.S. (Sonoma) was our second favorite bubbly of this flight. It was full yet delicate and the Best of Show Sparkling Wine in the 2011 Monterey Wine Competition.  You can read more about Gloria Ferrer wines at
Of the Old World Flight, the Ca’Del Bosco, Franciacorta, Brut, NV, from Italy tickled our taste buds, literally, with its fine “mousse.”  For us, this bubbly seemed hardy enough to make a good pairing with our cheese/chutney plate and our rock shrimp meatball with vegetables and saffron-crème sauce.
Finally, the Veuve Clicquot Champagne, Yellow Label, NV, from France was excellent as well. The only “real” Champagne, it was full and pleasing.  Or as the Wine News experts said…a “lovely bouquet of fresh bread dough, chalk and vanilla.  Ripe apple flavors laced with vanilla and pecan.” Okay!  We’re not proficient enough to identify all those nuances, but at least we’re getting to know what we like. And we liked this champagne, especially with the salted dark chocolate MK just happened to have in her purse.
          By the way, here are some sparkling wine terms we came across: “Brut” means very dry; “NV” stands for “non vintage” which means that the wine was made from grapes from different years; “mousse” is the foam formed on the top of a glass after pouring.  Size is important when it comes to bubbles and smaller is better. Big champagne bubbles are called "oil de crapaud" or "toad's eyes" in French.
In all, The C Bar provided a very classy, festive experience, and we now have some wonderful new bubbly to accompany us into 2012. 
                                     Happy New Year, everyone!

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