July 2019
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American Bubbles!

Screen Shot 2019-07-04 at 2.23.15 PM.pngIn the world of sparkling wine, there’s a lot more out there than Champagne on December 31st and bottom shelf Prosecco for every other Sunday morning during the year. But when it comes to finding affordable sparkles, it’s hard to discern the good stuff from the mass-produced, flavorless, and dare we say it - super sweet - sparkling wine. All this confusion in the world of bubbles is too bad, however, because we think wine in all it’s sparkling forms is great for any occasion, including all bankrolled holidays. So if your looking to side step rose season, or your host’s preference for the Champagne of beer, celebrate this Fourth of July with some killer domestic sparkling wine.

American’s have been making sparkling wine since the 1800s, but it wasn’t until the second half of the 20th century that it started to really catch on. From the get-go, many US winemakers turned to the Champagne model for making sparkling wines. Similar to the French AOC, cool-climate Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from state-side regions like California, Michigan and the Pacific North West, make for fresh, sparkling wines with balanced acidity and finesse. Over the past few decades, American sparkling wine production has increased in both diversity and production, and we can’t get enough of it.

So, if you didn’t plan your route to the fireworks depot at the Indiana state line before the holiday weekend traffic hit, check out some of our home-grown sparklers instead.

Finke’s 2017 Blanc de Blancs, California

Brooks 2015 Extended Tirage Sparkling Riesling, Willamette Valley

Davis Family 2016 Sparkling Rose de Noir, Dutton Ranch

Under the Wire 2014 Brosseau Vineyard Sparkling Chardonnay

Ransom 2017 Rosato Frizzante Pinot Noir, Eola-Amity Hills

Fourth of July - Belle Isle Bubbler!

Single Serving
- 2oz Valentine White Blossom Elderflower Vodka
- 1.5oz Grapefruit Juice
- .5oz Lime Juice
- 1oz Grapefruit Oleo (see Oleo directions)
Dash of Salt or Saline Solution

Build into solo cup, add ice, top with Sparkling Rose, throw a straw in it and party.

Punch size!
1 Bottle Valentine White Blossom Elderflower Vodka
18.75oz Grapefruit Juice
6.25oz Lime Juice
12.5oz Grapefruit Oleo
Throw some salt in it to taste

Combine all ingredients into a large pitcher and stir.
Serve individually over ice and top with Sparkling Rose.

Grapefruit Oleo Directions:
4 grapefruits, zested and peeled
1 cup sugar
1 cup lemon juice

Muddle the zest and peels with the sugar, then let sit for 30 minutes. Mix with the lemon juice, then strain off the peels. Strain and put in a bottle. Voilà! You have grapefruit syrup.

And don’t forget to RSVP for our first ever spirits portfolio tasting Boiling Point 173!
Monday, July 22nd
1pm - 4pm
1111 West Lake Street Chicago, IL 60607

Major País Love

Image from VinePair, published July 1, 2019

VinePair is showing some major love for País this summer, and we are all about it. Check out their article about some of the killer old vine wines from South America, including the folks at Cara Sur and Gonzalez Bastias: Low-Intervention Winemaking Is Giving this Ancient Grape a Modern Boost

Roll call! País at Cream:

Old World plantings may have put Chile and Argentina on the map for mainstream wine sales, but it is the centuries-old, dry farmed, often ungrafted Criolla vines and granitic soils in the Secano Interior’s Bío-Bío and Itata that have inspired the next generation of winemakers (and cidermakers!). Many South American winemakers are at the forefront of instituting progressive, climate-conscious practices. These wine producers, like Clos des Fous and González Bastías, are committed to promoting Chile’s rich history of a long neglected and local farming community, along with investing in the country’s future, though practicing sustainable winemaking techniques.

País, low-maintenance in the field but difficult in the cellar, proves to be a perfect grape for low-intervention practices, including carbonic maceration. Take Pipeño - light, fresh, and fruit driven, dismissed in the era of Bordeaux as the poor man’s wine, but now gaining traction in the global market as Chile’s Beaujolais Nouveau. At Vina Maitia in the Maule Valley, Old World trained Frenchman David Marcel put his Pipeño in beer bottles, emphasizing the wine’s easy drinking nature, with all the bright, fruity notes that the world loves in French glou glou.

We are excited to work with Brazos to showcase exemplary, sustainable wines coming from Chile and Argentina. We’re stocked up on a bunch of great País, with more on the way this summer!

Gonzalez Bastias Matorral 100% Pais from 200 yr old vines made completely traditionally and by hand. The vineyard is farmed without irrigation or the use of machines and according to biodynamic principles. Sweet notes of plum, almonds, anise, and brown sugar show on the nose with hints of pineapple sage, pine nettles, and and brown sugar lead to a smooth, nicely balanced palate. Plus, check out their Orange - new drop!

Vina Maitia Aupa Pipeno Pipeño is an old style of Chilean wine that was produced in a simple manner and meant to be enjoyed by farmers. While pipeño historically has a reputation as a quaff some folks drink like water, David Marcel and Loreto Garau, owners and operators of Viña Maitia, believe pipeño is a Chilean wine tradition worth preserving. This fruit driven, easy drinking wine has fresh acid and low tannin. It’s a perfect summertime red that can be enjoyed with a range of casual fare (including seafood) throughout the evening. Serve chilled. 2018 arriving in a few weeks!

Vina Maitia Itzal 100% old vine Pais. Plum, currant, red fruits, and toasted pine nuts dance around notes of dried herbs, a saline quality, and wet soil on the nose. The palate shows red fruit and crushed dried leaves held up by a good structure of tannin and acid.

Clos des Fous PMG Assemblage “Pour Ma Gueule” is a term commonly used by French vintners which translates to “For my gob” and usually refers to a stash of wine determined too good to sell to the public and reserved for the winemakers’ personal consumption. Notes of red berries, black cherry and pepper, with bright acidity and fine tanins.

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