I recently received two bottles of wine as samples: NV Sparkling Gewürztraminer ($24.99/12.7 ABV) and NV Sparkling Rosé ($22.99/13% ABV) from Sumac Ridge Estate Winery, located just north of Summerland in B.C.'s Okanagan Valley.
Each is an off-dry wine, with the Rosé, technically, having a higher residual sugar content and higher sweetness code. My palate, however, didn't agree.
I chilled the Sparkling Rosé—a blend of 51% Pinot Noir, 30% Gamay Noir, and 19% Ehrenfelser—right away and started sipping on it a couple of hours later.
I liked it! It was fresh and sassy, with lots of citrus and berry flavours and a frothy mousse that shouted fun! Each sip left my palate clean and ready for more smoked salmon, cheeses, and crunchy fresh veggies with dip. While there certainly was a lot of fruitiness, I didn't get a sense of sweet with this wine. I would buy it and drink it again.
A few days later, I chilled the Sparkling Gewürztraminer and took it to a birthday celebration where I knew we'd be having spicy Indian- and Asian-influenced bites to eat. Also at this party were people who happened to really like off-dry still wine and sparklers.
When first poured, the wine shared aromas of citrus and tropical fruits, along with floral and honey notes and an exotic spiciness. The palate, however, didn't produce what my nose told me to expect. At all.
I got some floral, spice, and citrus on the palate, but the elements didn't come together. I found its sweetness cloying, not in harmony with its acidity and fruit, with an aftertaste (not to be confused with finish) I didn't like. And my friend, the one who routinely likes off-dry and sweet wines only, didn't want a second glass because she didn't think it was sweet enough.
Would I drink the Sumac Ridge Sparkling Gewürztraminer again? I think so. If someone poured it for me. Who knows what was up with my palate and the Universe that day.
Would I buy it to drink? Probably not.
Copyright © 2010 Kathleen Rake. All rights reserved.