Saturday, October 28, 2006

The rest of the story-Part I

I'm pretty new to this blogging thing. As a journalist, I want to make sure every sentence is perfectly crafted and each story recounted in detail. The problem is that this perfectionist urge kills the spirit of blogging, which to me is about recording true thoughts and feelings in the moment -- or close to it.

The moment has passed as far as recounting the Bubbly Girl's Sparkling Wine Good Will Tour. So here's a quick installment:

I arrived at Korbel just before opening and had time to enjoy the gardens near the cafe. They were some of the most beautiful I'd ever seen at any winery.

Korbel was established in 1882 by two brothers from Czechoslovakia. Today it's the largest producer of methode champenoise wines in the country. The best wine I tasted was their rose, which had crisp strawberry and citrus flavors, all for around $10 a bottle retail.

After beautiful drive through forests of Mendocino County, I made it to Roederer Estate in Andersonville. Set in a lush area with spectacular views of evergreens, the tasting room was small and very low key. What was impressive was tasting side by side from a regular 750 ml bottle of brut and a magnum, which is the equivalent of two bottles. The difference was incredible: the wine from the magnum tasted like an entirely different and amazingly more complex wine. I bought two. The other cool things were the displays of sculptures made from cork cages; these were two of the best.

Suffice it to say I nearly accomplished my goal of visiting every major sparkling wine producer. I say nearly because although I stopped at Domaine Chandon and marvelled at the mushroom rock sculptures, I didn't feel like dealing with the crowd and skipped the tasting room.