Most things that sound too good to be true usually are. However, if you know where to look, free isn't so hard to come by. One such opportunity that most people have is to attend free in-store wine tastings (though not all states allow this activity). These events are a good way to get to know a wide variety of wines and perhaps wines that you might not normally drink. Educating your palate is a good way for wine shops to help you buy more and more expensive wines in the future! The best way to find out about these tastings is to sign up for your local wine shop's newsletter or visit LocalWineEvents.com to see a calendar of events near you.
With today being the last day of 2010 and many people celebrating with bottles of bubbly, Incredible Wine and Spirits in Denver offered a special tasting of sparkling wines. As if free wine needs a hook, the headline for today's tasting was Free Dom Pérignon! Who can pass up free Dom? So, while I was out running errands today, I stopped by to have a few tastes.
On the counter at the tasting bar, four bottles looked at the customers with a sparkle in their eyes hoping to be a part of someone's New Year's Eve celebration; two from California and two from France. I tasted a Domaine Chandon Brut Rosé, Domaine Chandon Extra Dry Riche, Veuve Clicquot Brut Yellow Label and a 2002 Dom Pérignon. While all were tasty, I left without bringing any of the suitors home. Tonight, I am bringing two Cavas to ring in the New Year.
Domaine Chandon Brut Rosé
This bright pink sparkler provides fruity flavors of strawberry and watermelon; almost like a not-so-sweet strawberry cupcake. Sample $22. Good (tasted 12/31/10)
Domaine Chandon Extra Dry Riche
The extra sugar is apparent in this bottle. Honey and stone fruit aromas entice my nose. This one tastes just like an apricot cupcake with vanilla cream cheese frosting. Sample $22. Very Good (tasted 12/31/10)
Veuve Clicquot Brut Yellow Label
Much toastier than the previous two, this wine is nice while being nothing special at the same time. Stick with Grower Champagne for this price. Sample $43. Good (tasted 12/31/10)
2002 Dom Pérignon
This is the biggest and most yet the most precise of the bunch. Biscuits, lemon, and crisp pear filled my mouth. While this wine is eight years old already, it will need another ten years to begin showing what it really can do. It is very nice, but there are many other sparkling wines I would rather have for what this one costs. Sample $150. Very Good (tasted 12/31/10)