Tag Archives: Sparkling Wine

Mulled Apple Cider Cocktail

Mulled Apple Cider Cocktail
Serves 4
The football games have already started, and it’s time to think of cider mills, sweet caramel apples, toasty bonfires and tailgate parties. Apple cocktails are a great way to start the season.
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  1. 1 Quart Apple Cider
  2. 3 Cinnamon Sticks
  3. Knob of Fresh Ginger
  4. 3 Whole Cloves
  5. Pinch of Nutmeg
  6. 1 Firm Red Apple (skin on), cut into small cubes
  7. 1 Firm Green Apple (skin on), cut into small cubes
  8. 2 Lemons juiced
  9. ¼ Cup Granulated Sugar
  10. 1 Bottle of Sparkling Wine
  1. In a medium pot, over medium heat, add the cider, cinnamon sticks, fresh ginger, cloves and nutmeg. Stir to blend.
  2. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Reduce by half and taste for seasoning. Set aside to cool.
  3. In a large bowl, add apples, lemon juice and sugar. Toss to coat and add to the cider.
  4. Pour the cider and apple pieces in champagne flutes, filling them halfway, and top with sparkling wine.
  5. Stir and serve.
Nino Salvaggio https://www.ninosalvaggio.com/

Jen’s 2013 Sparkling Review

Champagne: the mere mention of it evokes an exuberant feeling of excitement and happiness as bubbly memories flood the mind. Laughter, love and new beginnings are all associated with the shimmering drink. New Year’s Eve is fast approaching–a time to toast the year past and drink to what’s ahead. Whatever your budget, Nino’s has the bubbly for you!

JP Chenet Brut $9.99 

I have sung the praises of the JP Chenet Rosè, but I like the Brut just the same. Fresh and flavorful, with pear and apple, it is a great pick for toasting and mimosas.

Chandon Brut $14.99 

Every time I sip the Chandon Brut, I am transported to the sunny spring day I spent at the winery. Featuring green apple, citrus and spice, the finish is refreshing and bright. This bubbly way over-delivers.

Nicolas Feuillatte $32.99 

Citrus and white flowers on the nose, with a pretty golden hue and a steady stream of bubbles, the Nicolas Feuilliatte is full and rich with candied citrus and bready notes. The bubbles create a creamy texture with a long, crisp finish.

Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame $149.99 

This Champagne is luxe, with white tree fruits on the nose and hints of candied lemon peel and nougat. Bright citrus and crystalized ginger are on the front, but as it evolves, notes of warm puff pastry and Sorrento lemons come forth with the powerful and weighty mid-palate. A rich, creamy mouse dissolves into a long, lean finish with chalky minerality and tart citrus. It’s elegant and complex, much like the Widow herself.

Bubbles are my favorite to drink. Holding the wine in my mouth as the bubbles burst brings me the kind of joy I had as a kid with Pop Rocks. In the New Year, I hope to taste many, many more fizzy wines, and with each one, I will toast to all the things I am thankful for.

Which is your favorite Champagne or sparkling wine? Tweet me at @NinosWineExpert!

– Jennifer Laurie

2012 Sparkling Wine Review

I am a very lucky girl. I know this. My job allows me to travel the world and taste amazing wines. As the year comes to a close, I remember getting an actual pearl in an oyster I had New Year’s Eve last year. I knew then that 2012 would be an amazing year. It did not let me down. In April, my husband and I toured and tasted at the Chandon Winery in California. In June, while I waited for the bus at Oregon Pinot Camp, I was given mimosas made with Argyle Sparkling Brut. Last week, I was able to sit down with Master Sommelier and Krug Champagne Ambassador Ian Cauble to taste some of the world’s most sought-after Champagnes. From beginning to end, my year was full of bubbles. So here are the Sparkling wines that really stood out:

Domaine Chandon Etoile Brut NV, California –

Etoile means star in French, and this definitely lives up to its moniker. Notes of ginger, lemon curd, and spice abound, making it terrific for foods like salmon, sushi, or Thai.

Argyle NV Brut –

While in Oregon this summer, I tasted a few different sparkling wines, but the overall king was Argyle. Biscotti, apple, and pear are found on the nose, with bright, lively bubbles of honey, almond, and baked apple on the palate. Enjoy this with classic appetizers like baked brie and smoked salmon or with a dessert like Nino’s delicious cinnamon raisin bread pudding.

Lanson NV Brut Rose –

Lanson has been served by presidents and royalty for centuries. In fact, Lanson has held a Royal Warrant from the Royal Family since 1859. So when I had the chance to taste the Brut and Brut Rose about three months ago, I was very curious. I figured that if the Queen drinks it, it has to be good, right? Right. I was wowed. The Rose had a beautiful bouquet of rose hips and apple blossom, with black cherry, red and black raspberry, Christmas spices, and cake on the palate. Be like the Queen and have this stunning Rose with berry tarts, crumpets, and clotted cream.

Krug Grand Cuvee NV –

Me and Natasha with Ian Cauble, Master Sommelier and Krug Champagne Ambassador

I’ve blogged about my affinity for the Krug Champagne House. I simply love it. As I listened to Mr. Cauble last week over lunch, I could tell he loved it too. I learned a lot about the care that goes into every bottle of Krug. For instance, every bottle of Krug is aged in used French oak barrels so that the flavor of the delicate grapes is not overshadowed by the oak of the barrel. Every bottle of Non-Vintage Brut has up to 20 years worth of production put into it. The blend can be a cépage of wines that date back 15 years if the cellar master feels it is right. The bubbles in the particular glass I tasted produce a steady fine steam, and on the nose, I got brioche, ripe pear, and roasted almond. The bubbles formed a creamy mousse, and the flavors of fresh-cut lemon, marzipan, and candied citrus flourished. Refreshing, with acidity that leaves you wanting more, this Champagne is perfect for lobster with drawn butter, along with caviar, or even as an aperitif.

Well, I hope 2013 is even better–for us all–than 2012 was. I can’t think of a better way to ring in the New Year than by raising a glass of delicious Champagne and toasting to not only the future but also the past.


Jennifer Laurie

Champagne: 2010 ‘Sparkling’ Review

Just like most people, my first sip of bubbly was Tosti Asti, most likely at a New Years Eve party, and I thought, hmm… well that’s fun!

As the years went on, and my passion for wine and all things bubbly grew, I was introduced to the Champagne houses of Veuve Cliquot, Philipponnant, Roederer, and finally, the one that ruined me – Krug. I’m now known as what we in the industry call a “Bubble Head” – a person devoted to all things bubbly. Whatever the occasion, special or not, Champagne (or a good sparkling wine) is the perfect libation.

Of course, this brings me to one of my most frequently asked questions – “What is the difference between Champagne and Sparkling wine?”

The simple answer is… Continue reading