This Mother’s Day let’s raise a glass to Mom that is filled with Washington-made bubbles. The Washington wine world does nearly everything and it does it well, including several wineries producing amazing sparkling wine. To celebrate our Moms, I thought we should cheer with this traditional celebratory beverage.
One of Washington’s best kept sparkling wine secrets is produced by a guy from across the pond. Chris Sherry grew up in the United Kingdom and learned his craft in the UK and Bordeaux, so he knows what he’s doing. Along with his wife Miguele “Miggy” de Quadros-Sherry, he formed Elentone with the goal of recreating the complexity of Champagne in the Traditional Methode with Washington grapes.
This March I had the opportunity to visit with Chris and Miggy and taste the two current releases. Even with social distance and COVID precautions, I immediately felt like I had been invited over by old friends to enjoy a glass of bubbles, and these particular friends are sparkling wine experts. One of my first questions to the pair was: does anyone else in the local Woodinville wine industry only produce sparkling wines? The answer was, No. They have found their niche and they are sticking to it. They plan to limit production to 2000 cases because Chris feels that any more than that and he wouldn’t have the same hands-on product; current vintages range from 50 to 66 cases.
The two vintages currently released are the 2014 Brut which is a blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and is aged 42 months in bottle and the 2018 Juno which is a rosé of Pinot Noir and aged for 20 months in bottle. Both are excellent examples of the traditional Champagne Methode using Washington grapes from the Columbia Valley AVA. At $42 a bottle these are a great value for such hands-on quality. You can find these sparkling wines at some of Seattle’s restaurants and wine shops, you can also buy direct thru the website or contact Chris and Miggy and set up a meeting and tasting at the Woodinville winery.
Sparkling wine can be found in almost all wine regions of Washington. Over the Cascades near the Gorge Amphitheater is Cave B Estate Winery, and they produce a few effervescent options. I was lucky enough to snag a bottle of their 2018 Blanc de Blanc. This particular vintage is their 13th of this wine, and like Elentone it is produced in the traditional methode. Unlike Elentone, though this wine is aged and disgorged in batches anywhere from 12 to 24 months. A Blanc de Blanc is made with 100% Chardonnay grapes. In the glass you will get aromas of apples and pears along with that traditional yeasty aroma. At $35 a bottle this is another great option to celebrate Mom. Visit Cave B at their Woodinville tasting room to try their Pink & Bubbly, which is a blend of Syrah, Malbec and Tempranillo; unlike the other wine it is not aged in bottle but instead carbonated to get those bubbles.
If you are planning a picnic or even a brunch on the patio for Mom this Mother’s Day, you can’t go wrong with simple canned bubbles! Washington has you covered there too. If you read my column regularly you will recognize Cascadian Outfitters, their canned rosé was a feature last summer. I love these quality wines in can for when we are out on the lake, on a hike or even just a simple Mimosa at brunch. At around $5 a can you can’t beat them.
Whether you are celebrating Mom out at a fancy brunch or breakfast home in bed, adding some Washington sparkling wine will make any day a little more fancy. Not all of us will have the opportunity to spend the day with our Mothers so let’s raise a glass to all the Mothers out there past and present. Happy Mother’s Day!