What can we say? 2017 was such a ✨sparkling✨ year, where we took our #SparklingShenanigans across the country (…and the globe)! From Toronto to Niagara to the seaside of Nova Scotia in Canada to Las Vegas, Chicago and sunny Florida in the US of A, we’ve been blessed with some amazing moments, met some incredible people, and had plenty of fantastic sparkling wine along the way. We are the Sparkling Winos, after all! 😉 So, without further ado, here are our Top 20 sparkling moments which helped make our year such a bubbly and memorable one! 🍾
#20 – Finding the Champagne Vending Machine in Vegas!
Yes, it’s in Las Vegas. We don’t gamble, but putting a crisp $20 (or in our case, $26 Canadian with the exchange rate) is a sure fire bet for a good time. Brut or Rosé, the Moët & Chandon Vending Machine at the Mandarin Oriental was a highlight of our trip to Las Vegas. That, and meeting Cher. That’s right. We did that.
#19 – Adopting Sylvester (Our Sabre 😜)!
Don’t worry, Sylvester is not a cat (there’s one only cat in our hearts, and that’s Milo!). Sylvester is a lean, mean sabrage machine and he’s direct from Italy. He’s sabred at least 50 bottles since mid-June when we adopted him (…with a very special guest appearing in number 4, so keep reading and watching!).
#18 – Tasting Krug Rosé (and more!) at the #QueensQuayTastingBar!
We don’t think there’s anywhere else in the world where you can taste so many beautiful and exclusive champagnes than at the #QueensQuayTastingBar! From Krug Rosé, to the 1995 Charles Heidsieck Blanc des Millenaires, to the Grande Dame to a vintage Dom Perignon… what can we say? It was a sparkling experience. We can’t wait to try more with @TorontoVino!
#17 – Learning Hand Disgorgement at Hinterland Wine Co.!
We’ve had an amazing summer, and a highlight was visiting our friends at Hinterland Wine Co. in Prince Edward County. Vicki and Jonas took us through the winery (#SparklingSpotlight coming soon!) and… Jonas hand disgorged a bottle of their latest sparkling rosé for us. TBH, it was totally amazing!
#16 – The Epic Experts Tasting of Sparkling Rosé at Brock U's CCOVI!
We were absolutely honoured to participate in a rosé themed Experts Tasting at Brock U’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI) in the spring. To be in the presence of so many wine industry professionals, wine makers and researchers was an absolute dream. And, all-the-while tasting the beautiful expressions of VQA Ontario Rosé!
#15 – "The Explosion of Canadian Fizz" at Terroir 2017!
What comes to mind when you think of terroir? Soil, place, culture. Yes! This year, Terroir Talk 2017 focussed on the incredible fruits of Canada’s surf, turf and viticultural areas. A highlight for us were the Riesling, Orange Wine (woot!) and Sparkling Wine workshops. Hey, if you ever want to experience how wonderful Canada is … line up sparkling from Ontario, British Columbia and Nova Scotia and enjoy!
#14 – Sabering in the Trius Sparkling Wine Cellar!
It’s not every day a winemaker will take you down into the cellar and … have a sparkling wine themed experience lined up! Trius’ Sparkling Wine cellar experience is a sight to behold, but it was made even more special when we sabred a bottle of the absolutely amazing Trius Showcase 5.
#13 – Veuve Clicquot's #Yelloweek Mardi Gras Party!
Veuve Clicquot + a carnaval theme + pure festivity? That’s exactly what we got at this amazing even in the late spring. Can’t wait for next year!
#12 – Suiting Up for the Epic Niagara Icewine Gala!
Icewine put Canada on the map, and let’s keep it 100: Ontario makes the best Icewine in the world. We had the pleasure of attending the Icewine Gala and while we keep our focus sparkling, we can’t deny that there’s nothing like a Canadian Kir Royale… aka Sparkling Wine topped with a Cab Franc Icewine! We’re on to something here! 😉
#11 – Being Named One of the Top 20 Wine Accounts on Instagram!
We love Sparkling Wine, you might gather! But we were blown away to be named one of the top wine accounts on Instagram and one of the top sparkling wine blogs in the world. Such an incredible honour that we do not take for granted. Thank you everyone for checking in and following along on our #SparklingShenanigans.
#10 – Launching our Ontario Sparkling Wine Map!
In the spring, we mapped all the sparkling wines being produced in Ontario. While the list is always changing as availability of special releases goes up and down, we are SO proud to say that there are over 120 Ontario VQA sparkling wines being produced in this beautiful province. We sure are sparkling here!
#09 – Becoming Writers for Glass of Bubbly!
We were so honoured when Glass of Bubbly, the world’s top sparkling wine blog and magazine, asked us to write for them. Our feature on the sparkling wines of Canada was a pleasure to craft and it seems like there’s lots of interest in what’s bubbling up in the Great White North! Cheers to that (….and massive thanks to Glass of Bubbly).
#08 – Our #GotTheGuide Video for Wine Country Ontario!
Shhh… here’s our little secret: we think the Niagara Escarpment and Twenty Valley is a Sparkling Wino dream. From bubbles at Angel’s Gate to Kew to Redstone to Henry of Pelham to Flatrock, there’s something incredible happening in this appellation! We were honoured to participate in @WineCountryOnt’s #GotTheGuide feature on the amazing 2017 guide prepared for this appellation and others in Ontario. Make sure to check them out.
#07 – Cuvée 2017: A Celebration of Excellence in Ontario Winemaking
A highlight of our calendar was Cuvée 2017 - a celebration of excellence in Ontario winemaking. Oh wait, that’s the name of the event. But, guess what? It’s totally expressive of this amazing event. Recognizing the amazing wine makers, industry professionals and media personalities involved in the promotion of Ontario wine, we were humbled to participate. Looking forward to the 2018 event!
#06 – Our Instagram Takeover at VQA Into The Vine!
It’s not every day that art intersects with wine. Into the Vine, and our instagram takeover of the event, was an absolutely amazing experience where we had the pleasure of experiencing many of Ontario’s key VQA varietals in the presence of some amazing art. From a floral sculpture paired with aromatic Riesling to 10,000 pearls on a string for Sparkling Wine and a light projection for Cabernet Franc, we were blown away by the most beautiful event of the year (and humbled to capture it for @WineCountryOnt).
#05 – Acing WSET Level 3 & the Certificate in Ontario Wine!
Shh… here’s another little secret: while we love to enjoy Sparkling Wine, we’re also very serious about it. Learning about the science, history, process and magic of wine is part of appreciating it. From achieving WSET 3 to completing our Ontario Wine Certificates through CCOVI, this year had a very educational bend!
#04 – Teaching Jann Arden how to Sabre!
So, Jann Arden sabred in our backyard. That’s the only introduction needed for what was a sparkling highlight for us. Oh, and in case you’re curious, Jann’s sabrage resulted in the cleanest sabre ever. Way to go, lady!
#03 – Touring & Tasting all of Nova Scotia's Amazing Sparkling!
Nova Scotia’s Sparkling Wine scene is truly special. From @BenjaminBridge to @LFWwines to @Blomidon to @LAcadieWines, a unique scene is emerging that embraces the wonderful acidity in the local crop and produces some incredible wines. We were honoured to experience the sparkling scene through Nova Scotia with @WinesofNS (…and had some bomb lobster rolls along the way!).
#02 – Leading our first Sparkling Winos Bus Tour!
This was a pipe dream just a few months ago, but we made it happen! We led our first Sparkling Winos Tour through three incredible Ontario wineries: Westcott Vineyards, Creekside and Henry of Pelham and treated our guests to unique and amazing sparkling focussed experiences. From harvesting and brix testing with Grant Westcott to lunch and sabrage with Josh at Creekside to a barrel tasking with Olivia at Henry of Pelham, it was a memorable and special day. Stay tuned for the next one!
#01 – Literally Everything About #i4C17 Weekend! EPIC!
And without further ado… i4C: International Cool Climate Chardonnay Celebration was so incredible it’s hard to explain. From Flights of Chardonnay where we sampled amazing VQA Ontario and world cool climate chardonnays and blanc de blancs, to a media tasting room where we had access to a lineup of beautiful sparkling wines across the globe (which, PS, were amazing to sample back to back) to a dinner under the stars that featured amazing cuisine paired with incredible cool climate wines, we were honoured and humbled to participate and capture it for @WineCountryOnt! What can we say? It’s a Sparkling Winos holiday, in the summer. Next to Halloween, we can’t think of a more festive celebration (…sorry, Christmas and New Years, you’re cool but i4C is “cooler”).