Three Prince Edward County Wineries have some interesting sparkling wines to introduce to your New Year’s Eve guests. Only the first is made in the traditional champagne method, and its price tag reflects that extra work, the others are a range of delightful fizz to brighten your festivities for around $20. with corks guaranteed to pop!
1. Cuvée Peter F. Huff 2008. – Huff Estates Winery $39.95
Huff Estates was #17 in the Top 25 Canadian wineries of 2012 selected by Wine Access Magazine . Winemaker Frederic Picard’s Cuvée Peter F. Huff has won gold at the 2011 Canadian Wine Access Awards, Gold and the Judges Choice medal at 2011 Intervin Awards, and received the Inaugural Lt t’Governor’s Award of Excellence in Ontario as one of the top 12 wines in Ontario. It’s sold out at the winery but the LCBO have about 240 bottles scattered at outlets between Windsor and Ottawa.
2. 2010 Vidalescco – Huff Estates Winery $19.95
As New Year’s celebrations often come with the dessert course, Huff’s bubbly 2008 Vidalessco is a delicious bargain. With flavours of mandarin orange, orange blossom, lime zest, floral undertones and a hint of sweetness, it will probably get requests for seconds from those who find traditional bubbly a little dry. This is my choice for New Year’s Eve bubbles to be served with raspberry pavlova and creme fraiche.
3. 2011 Lighthall Progression Sparkling – Lighthall Vineyards $20.00
This clear white wine with a foamy head was recommended to me by Chris Pengelly at Milford Bistro He said it was a favourite among his customers. Lighthall is one of the newer wineries in the County and owner/winemaker Glenn Symons is experimenting with Charnat Method secondary fermentation.. Unlike most Vidal wines, it is not sweet but dry and tart tasting of citrus, white pear and apple peel. I’m saving it for my New Year’s guests who don’t like desserts.
4. 2011 Dea Rosé – Casa Dea Winery $19.95
This is a great dessert or aperatif sparkling with the red stone fruit flavours of Gamay . It brings back happy memories of summer afternoons with friends on the deck, and a promise of good times to come in the New Year.
5. 2011 Dea’s Cuvée – Casa Dea Winery $18.95
Dea’s Cuvée is described in its tasting notes as a light sparkling white with stone fruit flavours. I haven’t tasted it yet but I haven’t been disappointed by any of winemaker Paul Battilana’s whites in this price category so it’s definitely worth a try.
I notice in The Dish column in Toronto Life, David Lawrason, has two other Prince Edward County bubblies on his recommendation list. I have not included them as I haven’t tried either but I will certainly take his word that they are a good choice and pass his advice on to you.
His recommendations include The Grange of Prince Edward’s 2010 Sparkling Riesling and Hinterland’s 2009 Les Etoiles. He’s also a fan of Huff Estates’ Cuvée Peter F. Huff.
Make a New Year’s resolution to subscribe to the Prince Edward County Wine Examiner for 2013 to get a virtual taste of Ontario’s other award winning wine region and follow Veronica Leonard on Twitter @travelprose