Introducing our Resident Wino, Damien Kanser, fine wine specialist at Action Wine. Each month, Damien spills it to us on what bottle to pop and why.
“Salute, Prost, Na zdorovje, Salud , L’Chaim, and Cheers.” Please everyone lift a glass in a toast!
This great melting pot we all live in now ranks first in total wine consumption in the world. We as a country consumed around 330 million cases of wine in 2010, 10 million more cases than France. This, however, only moves us up to around number 50 on the per capita consumption, somewhere between Estonia and Canada.
America has always been known as a beer and whiskey-consuming nation, but our time is now.
This is the best time ever to be a wine buyer. With the economic struggles worldwide, the wine industry has seen its fair share of bumps and bruises. Many wineries, importers and retailers have been forced to close and their inventory has hit the market at a fraction of the cost. Market pressure has even forced some high-end wineries to lower their prices nationally as well. These amazing deals typically don’t last more than a few days, so getting to know your local wine merchant or sommelier is a must. Let them know what types of wines you like and to keep a look out for some great deals. While always looking for the next big deal, I have bought more fine wines for under $20 in the last year than ever before and I am always looking for more.
Sticking with our theme of value, one of my favorite sparkling wines from France is Saint-Hilaire Blanquette de Limoux. It is France’s first sparkling wine, first produced in 1531 by Benedictine monks in the abbey of Saint-Hillarie. They naturally ferment the wine in the bottle using the traditional method of making sparkling wines in France. This wine is a perfect solution to bringing French bubbles to a party without dipping into the kid’s college fund. The nose on this wine reminds me of biting into my first granny smith apple. The first waves of flavors are layered with lively bubbles and a slight sweetness that would make it perfect for mimosas or bellinis, too. The finish rounds out with more of that wonderful green apple, but with lemon zest and pear notes racing throughout.
For under $20, this is a wine I could drink at home or be the hero at the party. I would definitely recommend this for all types of occasions.