Sunday, October 11, 2009

Bubbly that's better the next day

Wine is a mystery sometimes.

Last week I opened a bottle of Freixenet Elyssia Cava Pinot Noir Brut (the one on the right, $17). It was really ordinary, even boring -- maybe a hint of strawberry, but essentially it just tasted like bubbles, not even really pink bubbles.

It's also slightly dishonest, as it includes 15% Trepat. That's legal for a wine labelled Pinot Noir, but it's not what you expect, and moreover you have to get the press notes to even know that's the case, as the bottle says "Pinot Noir" once on the front and thrice on the back with no mention of any other grapes.

But it's pink bubbly, which just happens to be perhaps my favorite wine type, so I had a glass with a shrimp/crab risotto and some grilled tuna, closed the bottle and stuck it in the refrigerator.

The next night I had a sudden event worth celebrating and there was this bottle, right there. So I poured a glass, figuring it was all about the bubbles anyway.

Suddenly this boring wine had evolved into a really worthy pink bubbly, with delightful strawberry and cherry character, a noticeable brioche/yeasty note, an interesting earthy undertone, and a surprisingly long finish. Wow! It wasn't just my happy event, either -- I tried some a few hours later, and it was just as impressive, suddenly worthy of being included even with fine pink Champagnes.

I can't explain it. I sealed it well, but didn't bother using Private Preserve or any other preservation device. It gave off enough CO2 to protect it from oxidation anyway -- it was still quite bubbly the second day.

The upshot is, the first day, the wine wasn't worth its $17 asking price. The second day, it was worth more than double it. I can't advise people to buy Elyssia, open it, pour out a couple glasses, reseal it and drink it the next day, because your results may vary. But if you do have a bottle, don't give up on it right away.

1 comment:

Jack Everitt said...'re so close to letting out the secret that sparkling wine needs aging/decanting/time. It's as if it was actual wine, not beer.