Noughty NA Sparkling Chardonnay Review – Like a Cider

During our dry January, we decided to try some non-alcoholic wines to see what they were like.

We quickly realized that sparkling NA wine was among our favorite, as the characteristics of the bubbles and, often, added sugar to offset the lack of alcohol, works nicely for the style. To put it bluntly, sparkling wine is sometimes sweet, so added sugar works.

Noughty makes an interesting sparkling Chardonnay that, while well made, reminded us a bit more like a sparkling cider than it did a sparkling wine.

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Moet & Chandon Rose Imperial NV Review – Subtle and Bubbly

Whenever we drink Champagne, we often go for the more common blanc de blanc or blanc de noir bottles over rose and other styles. But when we found Moet & Chandon Rose Imperial NV at a duty free store at an approachable price point, we knew we had to give it a try.

If you are looking for a sparkling wine with some intense red fruits and, admittedly, more mellow lees character, this one may need to be on your radar!

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Veuve Clicquot Champagne Review – Delicious at a Price

Whenever we travel, especially to regions that are not known for wine production, we often pick up a bottle or two of sparkling wine at duty free to enjoy somewhere beautiful.

Whenever our duty free shopping happens in Europe, odds are good we are picking up a bottle of Veuve Clicquot Champagne to enjoy if only because it is at a vastly lower price point than we are able to find at home.

For a bottle that you are paying for the name recognition as much as you are what is inside, a lower price point is always welcomed!

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JZ Revolution White Solera NV Review – Refreshing White Wine

Normally when we think of wine aged in a solera system, our minds go to the fortified wine Sherry. But some still wine is also aged in solera style, with Johannes Zillinger “JZ” Revolution White Solera from Austria being one such bottle.

This blend of Riesling, Chardonnay, and Scheurebe came with an intensity that we honestly did not quite expect!

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Cameron Hughes Lot 863 Chardonnay 2019 Review

California Chardonnay can be hit or miss with us if only because we are not terribly fond of the overly oaky bottles we have tried from major producers.

Thankfully, the industry is moving away from oak bomb, buttery wines and instead incorporating oak and malolactic fermentation minimally to display an elegance that we prefer. Cameron Hughes Lot 863 is one such bottle, and, much like the Cameron Hughes Lot 896 Cabernet Sauvignon that we also got to try as part of a sample delivery from the negociant, was a winner for our palates.

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Arista Russian River Valley Chardonnay 2018 Review – Balanced All Around

After visiting wineries in Sonoma, we fell in love with one particular producer of Pinot Noirs- Arista.

We liked their Pinot Noirs so much that we joined their club, and after ordering many bottles we decided to expand our cellar to include some of the winery's acclaimed Chardonnays as well. One of the first ones we opened was the Arista Russian River Valley 2018 which shines almost as much as their acclaimed Pinots!

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Champagne Dumenil Cuvee Prestige Vieilles Vignes Review

Whenever it comes to fine Champagne, you generally have many categories of bottles to choose from. These can include non-vintage, vintage, and more exclusive blends that feature the best of the best the producer has to offer.

Prestige-branded Champagne often is the top of the top for any given producer, and we knew we were in for a treat when we opened Champagne Dumenil's Cuvee Prestige Vieilles Vignes Brut.

But it wasn't until we sampled this astoundingly delicious bottle that we truly understood how special it was. This one is quite the gem!

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Iron Horse Brut LD 2010 Review – Delicious Aged Sparkling Wine

When we visited several Sonoma wineries on a California trip a few years ago, we made sure to stop at Iron Horse Vineyards to try their acclaimed sparkling wines. We fell in love with them and brought many bottles home with us to enjoy later on.

Most of those bottles did not last very long, but we held onto a few to give a few more years of age to for good measure. One such bottle was Iron Horse Brut LD 2010, and we decided to open it up in mid-2022 to celebrate our 10-year wedding anniversary.

It was better than we expected.

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Vinicola La Trinidad Afrodita 2019 Review – Mexican Chardonnay

When we visited Mexico City, we knew we had to try Mexican wine. We had heard that wine production in Mexico was increasing in recent years, but living in the United States we found that wines from the south of the border are hard to come by (and by hard, we mean virtually impossible- we simply never see it locally).

We have to admit that when we went to a few wine bars in Mexico, we left somewhat disappointed. The high alcohol and lower acidity in the wines were, well, harsh (and was something we expected since Mexico is so hot). But we did not let that deter us and we found some high-end bottles with good reviews at a wine shop in the city and took a risk by buying them sight unseen to bring home.

Vinicola La Trinidad Afrodita was one such bottle, and the Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc blend was one of our favorites from Mexico to date.

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Taittinger Champagne Brut NV Review – Impressive Flavor Profile

We often find that non-vintage Champagne can have flavor profiles all over the place. Some are high acid with simple citrus fruit flavors. Others have strong lees components. Others still may have some indication of age because, well, we simply have no way of knowing how old that bottle was to begin with.

Champagne Taittinger's Brut NV definitely fell towards the end of being one of the more complex non-vintage Champagnes we've had to date, and now we simply want more!

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