Wine Time

Wine of the Week: Domaine Ste. Michelle Brut

Thanks to the generosity of my neighbors, this week's wine is a bubbly made in the Méthode Champenoise, which, according to the wine's website, is pronounced, "may-tawd shaw-pah-nuaz." This method is a replica of the traditional way that Champagne (named after the region in France where it is produced) is made. This technique of winemaking requires a secondary bottle fermentation, which varies from several months to up to six years (pretty sure this one fell in the months category) - this is why it has those famous bubbles that set it apart from regular wines.

A brut, at least on the Domaine Ste. Michelle scale, falls at dead center at number five, one being the driest and ten, the sweetest. It's a very accurate description.

Since I'm not into syrupy-sweet sparkling wines and can't handle the saliva-inducing crazy-dry ones, this had just right amount of acidity versus sweetness for me.

It may sound a little Pollyanna, but I drank that first glass pretty quickly. The day was hot, the wine was bubbly, and it was a perfect burst of sweet tempered by a strong taste of green apple, lemon zest and grapes - it's rare that I taste the actual fruit in wines. It finished up with a nice, clean taste of minerals and a very contented sigh.

Maybe it's my newness to the world of bubbles and maybe it's the whole romanticized view of sparkling wines in general, but this bottle went down without a hitch, and at $10, I have zero complaints.

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Amber Ambrose