Starry Night (Sparkling Wine) – River’s Bend Winery (Surrey, BC, Canada)

  • My Rating: [C-]

Starry Night – River’s Bend Winery (permanently CLOSED), 12.0% ABV, 750 ml., (Surrey, BC, Canada) (*local BC wine*)

on the back label:

“A blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay this sparkling wine is made in the classic Champagne method with aromas of fresh-baked bread, walnuts, citrus and violets.”


  • (permanently CLOSED)
  • Style: (Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, champagne method) Sparkling Wine
  • Taste: Dull buttery off-dry generic white wine curd soft tangy sour
  • Where I got it : Kensington VQA (perma Closed) / Burnaby
  • How much: $28 CAD – 750ml., December 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to fruit wine aficionados: not at all

Visual: (cellared for 4 years). Resealable plastic cork, twisty steel top cap, foil cover. Pours medium apple juice yellow with lots of fizzy activity, clusters of steady streams (< champagne), large bubbles hugging the glass.

Nose: buttery sweet baked bread, “DIY ehrenfelser” I did way ages ago (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: tingly-fizzy, soft-sour crisp acidity

Mid-palate: butter, (lvl-1-sweetness), generic dull white wine, curd, continued medium short sourness

Finish: hints of sprite, almost salty-savoury nut finish.

Summary: Definitely a starter to a meal wine, with a drier mouthfeel and sourish disposition to help open up the palate. It went pretty well with my mushroom burger, but pretty meh on its own. The effervescence disappears after a couple of hours even after re-corking.


Fizziotherapy Rosée 2011 – Therapy Vineyards (Naramata, BC, Canada)

  • My Rating: [C]

Fizziotherapy Rosé 2011 – Therapy Vineyards, 14.0% ABV, 750 ml., (Naramata, BC, Canada) (*local BC wine*)

on the back label:

“Make sure to stretch your jaw muscles with this deliciously off-dry and frothy wine. Intense aromas of strawberries, red flowers and cherry play nicely with the fruity, full bodied rosé.

Packed with bubbles and strawberry flavour this Pinot Noir and Merlot Rosé is the perfect aperitif or enjoyed with fresh Okanagan fruits and summer sun. Produced slightly off-dry frizzante style.”


  • Style: (rosé) Sparkling Wine
  • Taste: Alcoholic muddly strawberry off-dry tart non-refreshing
  • Where I got it :Legacy Liquor / Vancouver
  • How much: $25 (after 10% off), September 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to sparkling wine aficionados: no

Visual: (cellard for 5 years). Bottle cap top. Pours clear blush pink with bubbles hugging the glass. Drank almost flat after cellaring for so long so I injected it with some CO2.

Nose: strawberry, tangy-sour acidity. (lvl-8)-pungency

Attack: crisp-alcoholic bitter

Mid-palate: tart, persistent alcohol presence, (lvl-2-sweetness), strawberry, slightly salty

Finish: cherry exhale, off-dry sticky gums, residual fruity

Summary: The alcoholic appears right from the start, causing the berry flavours to become muddled and disoriented. Didn’t enjoy the therapy and won’t be coming back for a second session.

Valencia Moscato – The Tapas Wine Collection (Spain)


  • My Rating: [C+]

Valencia Moscato 2013 – The Tapas Wine Collection, 5% ABV, 650ml, (Cheste, Spain)


  • Taste: Medium cloying fruity apple-pear-muscat
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $14 – 750ml., July 2014
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to wine aficionados: more for casual drinkers

Visual: Pours very light beige with tight clusters in the center, small bubbles.

Nose: sweet apple pear peach muscat grape. (lvl-7)-pungency

Attack: medium acidic, dense sugars, light fizzy

Mid-palate: medium cloying stickiness, (lvl-6)-sweetness, (MAIN) red apple, pear, muscat grape

Finish: light-bodied, sour-tangy, residual sweet finish.

Summary: Inviting and playful flavours accompanied by a bubbly crisp mouthfeel, decent. Somewhat cloying and repetitive by itself, best with some appies. Beware of the heartburn on an empty stomach.

Jaillance Sparkling Muscat (Die, France)


  • My Rating: [C+]

Muscat (sparkling) – Jaillance, 7% ABV – 750ml, (Die, France)

on the back label:

“Jaillance has been involved in organic farming for over 20 years, respecting nature to extract the best from its soils. The AB quality label guarantees total compliance with organic agricultural regulations, such as not using any man-made chemical products. The flavors of fresh fruit found in this cuvée make it a very pleasant wine for pre-dinner drinks. It is also very well suited for accompanying desserts.”


A little about Clairette de Die AOC (appellation d’origine contrôlée) wines from wiki:

  • from Rhône Valley region
  • made from Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains (75% min) and Clairette (25% max) varietals
  • Style: (Muscat) Sparkling Wine
  • Taste: Sweet cloying fizzy apple peach acidic tangy sour
  • Where I got it : 16th St. Liquor (W.Van)
  • How much: $23 (after 10% off) – 750ml., September 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to sparkling wine aficionados: sure, if you’ve not yet tried a Clairette de Die before

Visual: Real cork, twisty metal cap, foil sealed. Pours clear light yellow with clustered small sized, fast CO2 activity.

Nose: fruity peach & apple, minor pear. (lvl-7)-pungency

Attack: dense sugars, fizzy-tingly

Mid-palate: big CO2 bubbles, cloying, (lvl-8)-sweetness, medium acidity-tangy/sour, (MAIN) red apple, peach, light apricot, pear.

Finish: lingering sugars & acidity, fruity sweet apple finish.

Summary: Quite fruity but also overly sticky sugars on the palate. It might work as an aperitif but a little too aggressive for me. Flavours are not bad, but unfortunately I’m comparing this to the Champagne I had on NYE.

Segura Viudas Brut Reserva Cava (Torrelavit, Spain)


  • My Rating: C-

Segura Viudas Brut Reserva Cava (NV), 12% ABV – 750ml, (Torrelavit, Spain)

on the back label:

“Segura Viudas Brut Reserva is the reflection of our passion for the vineyard and its land. Like all Segura Viudas cavas, it has been harvested by hand only with the best grapes. A period of 15 months of aging allows us to enjoy its fruitiness and personality.”

  • Style: (Brut Reserva) Cava
  • Taste: Sour-acidic tangy-tart red/green apple with bitter/salty alcohol
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $17 – 750ml., sometime in 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to sparkling wine aficionados: no

Visual: High quality foil sealed with real cork and serial number. Heavy duty thick bottle and detailed intricate labels. Pours clear light golden yellow with several very active clusters of small bubbles.

Nose: Sweet-tart-tangy acidic red + green apple, (lvl-7)-pungency

Attack: incoming fruity alcohol, tingly-fizzy mouthfeel

Mid-palate: (lvl-2)-fruity sweetness, bitter alcohol detection, medium tart-crispness, med-high sourness + acidity, (MAIN) sour red/green apple, citrus acidity

Finish: continued dense bitter/salty alcohol, thickened saliva, off-dry finish.

Summary: This being my first review of a Cava, I’m not quite sure what to compare it to. By itself as a sipper, it drinks very sour-acidic, with only a fraction of the experience being the apple flavour. I’ve tried this mixed with St-Germain elderflower liqueur + club soda and it’s wonderful. Alone, it’s just average. It’s definitely not in the same class as Champagne, flavourwise (no surprise).

Moet & Chandon Imperial (France)


  • My Rating: A-

Moet & Chandon Imperial, 12% ABV – 750ml., (Épernay, France)

-=*~HAPPY 2014!!!~*=- May the new year be filled with joyous times spent with spirits and loving company.

  • Style: (Champagne) Sparkling Wine
  • Taste: high tart/fruitiness -> acidic-crispness/pear/citrus -> dry/tart/tangy/mostly clean finish.
  • Where I got it : Edmonton
  • How much: ~$40, Summer 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: of course!
  • Would I recommend this to sparkling wine aficionados: yes

Visual: Packaged in a high quality textured paper-based box, twisty-top with authentic cork beneath golden aluminum foil. Pours light golden yellow with a quickly dissipating sizable head, a dense cluster of fast-moving CO2 bubbles right in the center of the Champagne flute.

Nose: Bright acidic apple/white grape with minerality ripeness. (7/10)-aromatic strength.

Attack: extreme grape tartness, high fruitiness

Mid-palate: acidic crispness, (MAIN) pear, sour citrus

Finish: dry & tart, tingly-light tangy, light phlegm but clean fruity finish.

Summary: Superbly drinkable with just the right amount of fruitiness and crispness.

Pink Moscato NV – Emeri de Bortoli (Australia)


  • My Rating: C+

Pink Moscato NV – Emeri de Bortoli, 8.0% ABV – 750ml, (Australia)

  • Style: (Sweet) Sparkling Wine
  • Taste Profile: sweet fizziness -> strawberry/peach/iced  tea -> cloying sweet finish.
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $17, Summer 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to sparkling wine aficionados: only if you’re curious

Tasting notes: Foil-sealed and corked. Pours a brilliant pink blush hue with lots of activity, large bubbles, quick dissipating head, lots of activity. Sugary sweet strawberries on the nose.

Attack: sticky 6/10-sweetness

Mid-palate: fizzy mouthfeel, strawberries, peach, hints of iced tea

Finish: dense cloying mouthfeel, finishes cloying sweet with thick saliva.

Decents flavours and above average drinkability on this one, though not something I would want to try again.

Carpenè Malvolti Prosecco Doc Treviso Brut (NV) (Italy)


  • My Rating: C+

Some facts about Prosecco:

  • typically made with Glera grapes
  • made with the Charmat method-  secondary fermentation in stainless steel tanks (vs Champagne which happens in the bottle
  • “Brut” = up to 12 grams per litre of residual sugar

Carpenè Malvolti Prosecco Doc Treviso Brut (NV) , 11% ABV – 750ml, (Italy)

  • Style: Prosecco (Brut)
  • Taste Profile: Dense apple/fizzy -> sharp dry/citrus/apricot/floral -> alcohol/sour/off-dry finish.
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor stores (??, no longer avail)
  • How much: ~$20, Summer 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to sparkling wine aficionados: not really

Tasting notes: My first review of a Prosecco, so I might overlook certain veteran-tasting things. Pours clear light yellow with hyperactive clustered CO2 activity, ringed retention. Acidic citrus nose. Drinks with a heavy “sugary”-like denseness up front (say, 5/10-sweetness, but can’t be, this is a BRUT…), tingly/mild fizzy mouthfeel, red apple, cuts dry in the midpalate and top of the mouth, apricot, floral notes, finishing alcoholic, sour and mild citrus/off-dry. Low-medium complexity, med-depth, decent drinkability. So it isn’t a wow but above average I’d say. I definitely need to try more Proseccos in order to rate them properly.

Sparkling Riesling NV – Skillogalee (Australia)

Sparkling Riesling NV – Skillogalee, 13.0% ABV – 750ml, (Clare Valley,South Australia)

On the back label:

“Skillogalee’s sparkling wine is made from 100% Clare Valley Riesling fruit, which gives a light, refreshing wine with plenty of flavour. We use the traditional method with bottle fermentation followed by about 18 months on lees before disgorging. The nose is yeasty with plenty of fruit, and the palate is full, soft and flavoursome with a crisp, dry finish.”

  • Style: (semi-sweet) Sparkling Riesling
  • My Rating: C
  • Taste Profile: Dense heavy sugars -> alcohol/tart green apple -> sour puckery finish.
  • Where I got it: Firefly
  • How much: $34 (after 10%), May 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to friends: no

Tasting notes: pours light golden yellow with nice clustered effervescent CO2, quickly dissipating head. The typical inviting orchard-fruity Riesling grape on the nose. Drinks with incredible denseness up front, heavy sugars, partially numbing alcohol in the background, transitioning into heavy-tart green apples, puckeriness, hints of lime, ending off-dry and aggressively sour. Low-medium complexity, low-medium depth, okay transitions, average carry. Not that interesting nor refreshing/quenching.

Flipflop Bubbly Moscat (NV) (California)

Bubbly Moscato (NV) – flipflop, 10% ABV – 750ml, (Ceres, California, USA)

on the back label:

“Light-bodied, sweet bubbly Moscato bursting with juicy peaches and ripe pears with a soft, lingering finish. Bright, sweet notes pair well with Gruyere cheese fondue, spicy tuna rolls, or simply as an aperitif.”

  • proceeds benefit Soles4Soles shoe charity
  • Style: (sweet) Sparkling Wine
  • My Rating: B-
  • Taste Profile: Med-high sweetness -> peach/lychee/green apple -> cloying sticky finish
  • Where I got it: Legacy Liquor Store
  • How much: $10 (after 10%), Sept/2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to friends: Yes!

Tasting notes: pours clear light golden yellow with lots of CO2 action, small CO2, not much head retention. Fruity pear/lychee on the nose. Bold 7/10-sweetness up front mixed with light-med sourness, light tang, alcohol, peach, pear, lychee, white grape, green apple, med-high cloying lingering sugar sticky finish. Medium complexity, medium depth, good transitions, good carry, good drinkability. A very affordable and drinkable bubbly.