The marketing mavens behind Certs breath mints once ran a campaign predicated on the product?s peculiar tendency to spark in the dark, when bit with a modicum of force. The spots successfully knitted one?s fresh breath and dimming the lights with the promise of sexual congress (like most advertising). They also provided a perfect visual for what it?s often like sipping a sparkling wine. Indeed, there is a bit of a spark in sparking wine (and, with any luck, the wine?s aphrodisiacal qualities won?t be false advertising).
Traditionally, of course, New Year?s Eve is fine time for sparkling wine, so I suggest beginning twenty-aught-nine with more ?pop? than ?bang? with a dazzler from Mendocino County.
Roderer Estate (or ?Rodererrrr? as I?ve heard it pronounced at the Fig after a few) is nestled above Booneville off Hwy 128 and fine place to stop when avoiding vehicular manslaughter from tourists motoring heedlessly toward the coast. The Anderson Valley brut cuvee has all the immediate intensity of biting into a green apple or perhaps sticking one?s tongue on a nine-volt battery. For those who have played guitar in a rock band and needed a fresh battery for the wah-wah pedal mid-gig, the affirming jolt on the tip of one?s tongue is a tremendously satisfying experience. Ditto this mid-priced sparkling, which finishes the experience with a hint of marzipan dipped in?? ginger ale.
Gloria Ferrer?s Blanc de Noir should change its name to ?Sonoma?s mother?s milk? for the succor it provides the soul. I suspect one could heal a wound by pouring this wine on it.? And when I?m old and enfeebled and again gumming a bottle, the blanc de noir will be in it. This time of year, one can hardly change rooms without having a glass of this heavenly nectar pushed into one?s willing hand. A relatively dry wine ? the bubbles dance on the palate like a silver spoon faintly dusted with Pez candy, but is neither metallic nor sweet. Moreover, this is one of the more affordable wines in Gloria Ferrer?s canon, so it should fill your refrigerator?s vegetable drawers (my kind of cellar).
If you’re as lucky as I hope to be on New Year?s Eve ? forget the mints ? there is nothing sexier than kissing someone whose lips last touched sparkling wine. Mwah!