Friday, April 29, 2011

A Toast to the Happy Couple

Hockey playoffs? Not today. Canadian federal election? Are you joking? As far as today goes, the whole world is raising its collective glass and toasting newlyweds, Will and Kate. In Vancouver, the wedding ceremony was being shown live at 3 a.m. or some ungodly hour like that. I wasn't one of many watching - let alone lifting one for the happy couple. However, I know of more than a few friends that were glued to the telly, with or without drink.

I'll admit that I turned on the morning news to catch a few glimpses and highlights, but the toast had to wait until later that evening.

788. N.V. Hungaria Grande Cuvee Brut (Hungary)

I'd have really liked to pop a cork on an English sparkling wine - as that is the forte of the fledgling English winemaking industry - but, alas, I've never run across such a bottle in Vancouver. That pretty much opened the door for any bubble that happened to be available - especially since I hadn't actually been invited.

I wouldn't normally think of Hungary as being a source of sparkling wine - does anyone? In fact, I don't really know much about Hungarian wine in general. There's Tokaji dessert wines but they're hardly well-known by the general wine drinking public and as expensive as icewine if I'm not mistaken. All the same, I'd read a bit of buzz of this Hungaria Grande Cuvee and how it offers a lot of bang for the buck.

I doubt the royals were pouring this particular bottle though. If they had been and I were Kate, I think I'd have to re-think the family I was marrying into - as if she hadn't done enough of that already. But the wine served our purpose. I don't know that I enjoyed the Brut enough to buy it on a regular basis. I think I'd stick to a more familiar Spanish Cava or even fruitier Prosecco, but there's no denying that at $14, it offers up more complexity than you should likely expect and the addition of Riesling (20%) to the traditional "sparkling" varietals Chardonnay and Pinot Noir may have given it a fruit profile that was a bit brighter than it would have otherwise featured.

Whether it's my favourite or not, there's apparently a lot of it being made - around 500,000 cases and a lot of it is making its way to Canadian markets. In fact, on one site, I read that Hungaria's producer, Torley, was the first Eastern European winery to export its wines to Canada.

I don't know what our buddy, Merlot Boy, was serving Down Under at his little wedding affair, but he did e-mail us a shot of him doing it up with Will & Kate after they'd finished with the rest of all those guests and hangers-on. Who knew Kate was so tall?

Cheeky Aussie that Merlot boy is though - he asked us if anyone had seen Harry's father at the ceremony?

Cheery-O. Pip. Pip. And all that jolly banter. Here's to ya kids.

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