Goodness knows if we’ll ever get summer.
I say that as I write in the middle of a rainy weekend, which — while it’s annoying for me on a personal level because I love to be on my screened-in deck in the sun and heat — is highly conducive to productivity. I’m putting a column together without feeling I’m missing out on a gorgeous day.
Sometimes I do take my laptop out to my deck and write there, but it’s pretty easy to get distracted by the view and the temptation to try wines as I comment on them, which, in the long run, gets in the way of what I’m supposed to be doing.
So it’s the basement for me, with complete focus on my keyboard and my subject, which today is one single wine.
Anyway, back to the weather. The forecast is for a lovely day today, when this piece is published — I can only hope that’s the case. Because my initial lament is that it’s tough to talk about great warm-weather beverages when the conditions outside are anything but summery.
But I’ll cross my fingers, maintain my faith in the forecasters, and proceed with wild abandon, because I think this is a wine folks should try.
While dozens of fabulous bubblies abound — and I’ve written about almost all of them (some that I could afford, and some I couldn’t but bought anyway) over the years — new ones, or new-to-me ones, are always popping (!) up all the time. And my most recent discovery was courtesy of a friend who was also experimenting, but thought the price was right and was in an adventuresome mood the day we tried this wine.
The Thierry & Guy Fat Bastard Blanc De Blancs Brut is $15.99, but is certainly a sparkling wine I would buy again. And because bubbly not only screams celebration to me (frankly, I guess, it calls to me all the time, and I usually answer), it’s also a super beverage to enjoy in the summertime.
Several times, I’ve heard sparkling wine referred to as a ‘welcome beverage,’ a phrase I adore. There’s nothing better than bubbly to indicate warm feelings, such as "I’m glad you’re here," or "Because you’re here, this is a special occasion," or "You’re fun to be around, so here’s a glass of something that’s equally fun."
And since this all-too-short season usually involves more socializing, especially outdoors, than the rest of the year, bubbly just seems to make sense for the summertime.
Anyway, right off the bat, the Fat Bastard Blanc De Blancs Brut impressed me with a veritable volcano of bubbles. They practically exploded out of the glasses, and then kept coming.
Because I’d had a Fat Bastard product before with which I wasn’t impressed, my expectations for this sparkler were, honestly, not very high. But as the cork was popped, I reminded myself not to pre-judge what I was about to try. And that’s a good thing, because the FB bubbly more than delivered.
As I mentioned, the bubbles never subsided. From France, the wine was akin to Champagne, with just the slightest hint of that yeasty, doughy aroma and flavour that I love. There were hints of citrus and herbs, and for the price, the Fat Bastard was surprisingly nuanced.
There was a hint of sweetness that really isn’t there — this is a dry wine, I promise — but there was something about it that took the edge off in a good way.
It would be perfect at any time by itself (well chilled, of course) but would also be a great choice for mimosas, Champagne (even though it technically isn’t) cocktails, or any concoction that calls for bubbly wine.
Plus, because of its wonderful combination of dry with a misting of sweetness, I’d be willing to bet it would satisfy all sorts of palates.
So here’s — I hope — to the advent of summer, and a season full of sunshine, sipping and sparkling wine.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition July 5, 2014