What I’ve Been Drinking of Late, Part 23
Joyous Non-Alcoholic Sparkling Wine
It looks like sparkling wine or Champagne. It’s packaged in an elegant bottle complete with a cork, cage and foil. And it’s beautifully effervescent in a glass.
But Joyous Non-Alcoholic Sparkling Wine is indeed non-alcoholic. It’s made like wine, but with the alcohol removed to become “dealcoholized.”
Launched during the pandemic, it’s the creation of Seattle’s Jessica Selander who proudly has 17 years of sobriety.
This is no cloying Martinelli’s trying to stand in for wine, as I happily found when trying a sample. Instead, this wine is a balanced blend of varietals, mostly Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, French Colombard, Chenin Blanc and other whites, Selander noted in an interview with Sip Magazine.
It even won bronze at the 2021 San Francisco International Wine Competition.
The golden straw colored sparkler is plenty bubbly with the body of a Spanish cider. It’s vivaciously crisp and dry with just a touch of fruity sweetness, along with plenty of green apple, pear and quince on the palate.
Quenching and nicely balanced, it makes for a remarkable stand-in for the real-deal.
Cheers: Joyous Non-Alcoholic Sparkling Wine has less than 0.5 percent ABV. You will not get tipsy on this. However, if you are like me, you may feel the most minute of effects. But I’m someone who can feel that even when sipping kombucha.
Fort Point Nouveau
Is it a beer? Is it a wine?
The new Fort Point Nouveau is a little of both.
Winemaker-Owner Chris Brockway sourced Zinfandel grapes from Ricetti Vineyards in Mendocino to create an ale (6 percent ABV) that was fermented with Fort Point’s “house” yeast.
It has a beautiful deep, rosy salmon hue with a frothy head. You can taste the bitterness of the hops melded with the juiciness of dark cherries. It is indeed like the best of both worlds. Just imagine it with turkey with cranberry sauce or salumi with cherry mostarda.
Cheers: Part of Fort Point’s limited-edition beer series, the Nouveau (a four-pack of 16-ounce cans for $17) sold out its first run in a flash, but was just restocked yesterday on its online site. It is also served on draft at its two San Francisco taprooms, Fort Point Valencia and Fort Point Ferry Building. Fort Point and Broc hope to make this as an annual tradition. Here’s hoping!
2019 Anaba Chardonnay
Looking for a food-friendly, Sonoma Coast Chardonnay to uncork this holiday season?
Look no further than the 2019 Anaba Sonoma Coast Chardonnay ($40), of which I tried a sample. It’s made by the family-owned winery that became the first Northern California one in 2009 to use wind power to provide clean energy. Coupled with solar power, it now operates on 100 percent renewable electricity.
Indeed, the winery is named for the cooling anabatic winds that come off the Pacific Ocean and San Pablo Bay and over the vineyards to help slow the ripening process.
As such, you won’t find this Chardonnay over-ripe or weighed down with excessive oakiness. That’s because a portion of it was fermented and aged in stainless steel that imparts an edge of crispness to its overall roundness. This wine is lively with pear, quince, white flowers, and lovely minerality.
Find the Chardonnay on the Anaba site, and Wine.com.
Cheers: Don’t forget to book a tasting at Anaba Wines when you’re headed to Sonoma. Go on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday, and you can enjoy a flight along with wood-fired pizzas and bocce ($125 per person). Or right after Thanksgiving on Nov. 25, 26 and 27, indulge in a very unique tasting with three wines paired with a selection of Johnny’s Doughnuts ($45 per person). How fun is that?