What’s better than gourmet food and wine? Well, probably having a little (or, a lot) of both under the same roof! We #sparklingwinos have been going to the Gourmet Food & Wine Expo in Toronto for the past six years. Every year, the expo is a little bit different but we always come across a new bite and beverage that piques our interest.
At this year’s expo (the 22nd annual!), we noticed that there was much more emphasis on spirits and beer, but we put our #bubblegoggles on and found six spectacular sparkling wines from around the world that we loved and wanted to share!
Aure Blanc de Noirs Sec 2015 – Canada
Aure is located in Beamsville, Ontario. Give it up for the Beamsville Bench! We were pleasantly surprised by the 2015 Blanc de Noirs Sec, made from red Gamay grapes and in the Charmat Method. While we typically prefer extra brut and brut sparkling, we enjoyed the fruit forward, easy drinking nature of this surprising Beamsville bubbly.
Kir-Yianni Akakies Rosé 2015 – Greece
A Greek traditional method sparkling? Yep! This slightly off-dry rose coloured sparkling wine, made with 100% Xinomavro (prounounced ksee-NOH-mah-vroh) hit us with an intense aromas of ripe strawberry and cherry, with a slight vegetal note that we weren’t quite expecting. This vivacious bubbly made for a lively discussion and gave us visions of Greek salad and warm summer days spent in Greece.
Pitars Prosecco Extra-dry DOC (NV) – Italy
This extra dry DOC Prosecco was a nice surprise and brought back memories of our recent trip to the Strada di Prosecco in Veneto, Italy! With a pale straw colour, beautifully effervescent quality and aromas of apple and citrus fruit, we really enjoyed this wine and its balanced, fresh flavour profile. We came back for a second glass!
Villa Conchi Brut Selección (NV) – Spain
The Taste of Spain station is one of our favourite exhibitors at the expo! This year, we sampled Villa Conchi Cava. We found it to be aromatic and citrus fruit forward on nose and hints of fresh, baked sweet bread. Kind of like a sunny day in Barcelona, this Cava was fresh and bold in flavour, giving us hints of apple, pear and providing a good acidity. Maybe it was the addition of Chardonnay to the usual blend of Macabeo, Parellada and Xarello?
Pitars Ribolla Gialla (NV) – Italy
A sparkling wine from Italy that’s not Prosecco or Franciacorta, huh? As we learned, the Ribolla Gialla is the most representative grape variety from Friuli, located near the Veneto Region. So what did we think? We loved the dryness (it’s got a residual sugar level of 1.5 gram a litre) and the freshness of this wine, along with the fine perlage. Not quite as bubbly as Prosecco, this wine shares some characteristics with its cousin, like the straw colour and fruity aroma. We loved the flavour profile of the wine and the bread-like aftertaste. Delicious!
Joiy – New Zealand
A sparkling wine from New Zealand that’s not a Sauv Blanc, but a Riesling? Yes indeed! Joiy comes in cute 250 ml bottles and is delicious and refreshing, with citrus characteristics and a slight effervescence. While on the off dry side, we really enjoyed sipping this wine with its delicate Reisling profile. We also appreciated the winemaker’s approach, considering it a “spin” on prosecco, and having no reservations about enjoying the wine in a cocktail. We can’t wait to try the Mulled Joiy this winter!