Thursday, January 16, 2014


Like many people I know, I took a week's respite from booze and sugar and carbs for a little January detox.  A little bit to fight the post-holiday bloat, a little bit to prep for a photo shoot.  Either way, it was nice to kick off the New feeling refreshed.  But boy, did I miss my vino!

After the photo shoot, I racked my brain... what was the way to properly celebrate returning to the land of the Wineaux?  There was only one answer: BUBBLY.

I marched downtown to one of my fave little Village haunts, the Blue Ribbon Downing Street Bar.  The place is so tiny, they can't even fit its name on the door (har har.) With an always very thoughtfully hand-picked selection of wines, I was sure I'd find something to please.

Out of the five or six selections of bubbles by the glass, I chose three tasting pours for $15 so I could decide what style I was in the mood for.

Up first was the 2011 Salina "25 Reasons" from Sonoma.  A little lovely oddball offering: it's a lightly frizzante Sauvignon Blanc, unfiltered, natural, organic, you name it.  It's a bit hazy (totally appropriate for how it was made) and had a nose of honeysuckle, gardenia and candied melon.  On the palate, notes of green olive and some briny elements balanced with tropical fruits "which is SO cool," said my notes.  Sadly, the wonderful flavors dissipate rather quickly in the mouth, although the finish is refreshing and bright.  It pulls you back to it for sure! WM: 89, mostly for its uniqueness. (By the glass, $14.  Retails around $25/bt.)

Next I tried a more traditional sparkling wine, the NV Ricci Curbastro Brut Franciacorta.  I love Franciacorta, Italy's answer to Champagne (< sounds familiar? I use that phrase a lot!)  This was a solid option; light lemon and a little pleasant terroir funk on the nose, with a rich mousse in the mouth, although light in style, with nice depth, minerals, and a bit of brioche.  Very pleasant.  WM: 88. (By the glass, $15.  Retails around $30/bt.)

Finally, the NV Franck Peillot Vin du Bugey-Montagnieu P√©tillant Brut, Savoie (France.) With a nose of yellow apple and wet stone, I was immediately intrigued.  It had an intense flavor, but was balanced with a long, steely finish.  Pretty huge personality, but not overblown.  Notes say, "yesss." WM: 91 (By the glass, $15, a 2012 of this retails for $21 in CA.)

While I truly enjoyed the Salina for its compelling individualism, the glass I finally ordered?  The Peillot.  On its own, there was enough going on to keep me interested, and it truly felt like a wine that fit my little celebration.

If you ask me almost any question, BUBBLY will probably be the answer, and it was definitely the perfect way to re-introduce wine after my little respite.  Now off to the sugar and carbs!  Cheers.


  1. Great article! Bubbly is the answer to almost everything!