Friday, April 12, 2013

Sparkling Wine Nightmare (Ontario / New Zealand / Ontario)

This Friday I felt like captain Walter E. Kurtz from Apocalypse Now as I experience "The Horror.  The Horror." ... but not of war, the horror of a sparkling wine debacle of the like I have never seen.  Earlier in the day I consulted with my wine database and decided this weekend I was going to celebrate Friday with my oldest bottle of bubbly in the cellar:  a Jackson-Triggs 2003 Methode Classique Proprietors' Grand Reserve.  And so I put it in the fridge in the morning hoping to open it around 5 or 6 o'clock in the afternoon after the work day was done.  And it it came to pass.  Six PM and I got out two sparkling wine glasses - unwrapped the capsule and slowly started to remove the cork ... with barely a pop, a hiss or a fizz.  Had I been able to pull the cork out of a bottle of bubbles soundlessly?  If so this was the first time I have ever done that.  Alas the bottle had lost all its bubble it was flat, uninteresting and for the most part oxidized.  I looked at the cork and it was a short, stubby thing that never (even three hours later) expanded.  So bottle one was faulty.  Now I had to hastily find something else.  This time a bottle of Oyster Bay Brut Rose from New Zealand ... I popped this one in the freezer and waited half an hour ... this one made a beautiful explosion as the cork was pulled from the neck and the fizz in the glass was exactly what I was looking for.  I poured one glass, and before I could pour the other a funny smell hit my nose.  I put my sniffer in the glass, and wouldn't you know it ... corked.  Shit.  Back to the cellar for a third bottle - my plan for dinner at 6:30 backed up by another half hour as I waited for my third bottle of bubbly to chill in the freezer: this time a bottle of Cave Spring Blanc de Blancs - I popped the cork at 7:15pm; washed out the sparkling glasses and poured my third bottle in the glass ... hazzah - finally a bottle we could drink ... but the time for bubbly had passed.  We drank the wine and it had its usual deliciousness, but we were not in the mood for it.  Although I love sparkling (and so does my wife) it just had lost its appeal this evening because of the trouble; the time for bubbles had passed.  Sigh - we'll try again in a few weeks and hope for better results - but now I know that there's a time for sparkling and there is a time to just give up.

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