Wine, beer and cocktails drinkers are always looking for new drinks to try.
We asked Ericka Story, a certified sommelier and wine educator, to give us a recommendation. A Utah native, Story worked in the California and Oregon wine industries before returning to her home state, where she works at Young's Market, a wine brokerage.
Recommendation • Scharffenberger NV Brut, a sparkling wine from Mendocino County, Calif.
Why do you like it? • "I love Champagne, but I can't always afford French sparkling wine. Scharffenberger's is crisp and bone dry and has notes of freshly baked bread and pastry, similar to champagne. It's also versatile and goes with so many different foods and occasions. The bubbles make the palate ready for food so it's great as an appetizer but it also helps digestion so it's lovely with dessert."
What else make it interesting? • "Grapes for sparkling wines are harvested earlier than other grapes, so the alcohol is lower, which is refreshing in today's world of high-alcohol wines. This particular sparkling wine is made with 2/3 chardonnay grapes and 1/3 pinot noir and is aged an average of two years on the yeast. It goes through a secondary fermentation, called malolactic fermentation, which gives it a creamy mouthfeel."
Cost • $18.99 at Utah state wine stores
Food pairings • I like to say sparkling wines go with everything except chocolate. Try it with cheese and salami, shell fish, sushi, fruit desserts and shortbread cookies. It's also really yummy with salty foods. My favorite pairing is with potato chips or buttered popcorn.