Browsing Tag

Trader Joe’s

Bubbly Girl Cocktail Recipes, Drinks

Raspberry Royale Cocktail Recipe

January 31, 2011

Raspberry Royale

The luscious flavor of raspberry dessert wine marries with bubbly and a twist of lemon, creating a sophisticated and seductive drink.

Makes 1 cocktail

  • 1 ounce Trader Joe’s Raspberry Dessert Wine, chilled
  • 5 ounces brut sparkling wine, chilled
  • lemon twist
  • 1 fresh or frozen raspberry

Add the chilled raspberry wine to a champagne flute. Top with the champagne or sparkling wine. Garnish with the lemon twist and the raspberry.

© 2011 By Maria C. Hunt, author of The Bubbly Bar: Champagne and Sparkling Wine Cocktails for Every Occasion published August 2009 by Clarkson Potter, a division of Random House

Champagne, Drinks, Sparkling Wine

How Green is My Bubbly: 5 Eco Champagnes & Sparkling Wines for Earth Day

April 15, 2009

With Earth Day approaching it seems like a perfect time to plan an organic picnic at your favorite beach or park. You’ll go to the store for organic salad greens, strawberries, naturally raised meat and even eco-ice cream, but what to drink?

A couple years ago as I was researching my book The Bubbly Bar, I wanted to include a chapter on organic champagnes and sparkling wines. I had to settle for a section in the appendix because they weren’t widely available.

But it’s a whole new world as we approach Earth Day 2009. I found loads of green bubbly made from sustainable or certified organically grown grapes on wine web sites and at stores like Trader Joe’s and Fresh & Easy. Conscientious winemakers, who care about preserving the land and the health of their workers and customers, are making chemical-free wines in the US, France, Spain, South Africa and Italy. And though many items created with organic ingredients do cost more, I found wines for under $15, including one that’s just $4.99!

With the growing interest in organic foods and beverages, which was estimated to be a $23 bilion industry in 2008 according to the Organic Trade Association, it’s no surprise to see more wines made from organic grapes available. Because of U.S. regulations, wines can’t be labeled as “organic” if sulfites, a naturally occurring substance that’s used to stabilize and preserve wines, are added. USDA regulations limit wines from organically grown grapes to 100 ppm of sulfites; a typical sparkling wine will have just 70 ppm.  Biodynamic grapes are grown according to the highest  level of organic agriculture. Producers follow the tenets of Austrian philosopher Rudolf Steiner which involve planting according to the cycles of the moon leads to healthier plants.

The latest major winery to move to all-organic production is Domaine Carneros by Taittinger in the Napa Valley. “All 300 acres of our vineyards are certified organic,” says Eileen Crane, winemaker and CEO of Domaine Carneros. “We’re the only sparkling wine house in all of the US that can say that.”

Crane said they started following organic growing practice in 2005 in order to qualify for the official designation in 2007. When weeds come up, they till the soil. To deal with pesky bugs that eat the grape leaves, they brought in a flock of organic chickens. And most importantly, Crane says her wines, which have an incredible balance of freshness and French toastiness, taste even better.
“It’s off the charts,” Crane says. “The vines look happy they’re vibrant and green and it feels good to walk in the vineyard.”

Here are five great sparkling wines and champagnes made from organic and sustainably raised grapes to pop the cork on this Earth Day 2009; just be sure to recycle that bottle! To learn about five more great eco-friendly wines, sign up for my free entertaining newsletter The Bubbly Girl Chronicles.

Albero Sparkling Wine from Spain

Albero Sparkling Wine
Spain
This delightful bargain wine is crafted from macabeo and airén grapes at Bodegas Iranzo in Valencia, which has been organic since 1994.  It’s not super complex, but this wine has hints of citrus and green pear and is pleasant and refreshing like a Sunday afternoon party.
About $4.99 at Trader Joe’s

Makulu Moscato is made from sustainably raised grapes in South Africa.

Makulu Moscato

Makulu Moscato
South Africa
Makulu, the second oldest cellar in South Africa, means “big”  in the Zulu language.  Big is also a good description for this blend of moscato, chenin blanc and colombard grapes that’s bursting with flavors of peaches, apricots and pears. This wine, which is made from sustainably grown grapes, is very low in alcohol and  comes from the Paarl Ward region of Western Cape of South Africa.
About $6 at Fresh & Easy stores and Ingersoll Wine & Spirits

Albet i Noya Cava Brut Reserva

Albet i Noya Cava Brut Reserva

Albet i Noya Cava Brut Reserva
Spain
Albet i Noya is Spain’s leading organic wine producer; this cava is made from chardonnay, xarel-lo, macabeo and parellada grapes that were grown in the Penedes region. It has a bright, crisp flavor of lemon zest and orange balanced by a nutty brioche finish.
About $18 at  at Appellation Wine & Spirits

Domaine Carneros Brut

Domaine Carneros Brut

Domaine Carneros Brut
California
The wines from Domaine Carneros, which is owned by Taittinger, have always had a French structure and toastiness to them balanced by juciy California fruit. Since going organic back in 2005, the wines seem even more crisp and clear.
About $22 at Beverages & More

Fleury Brut Rosé Champagne

Fleury Brut Rosé Champagne

Fleury Brut Rosé Champagne
France
Fleury was the first champagne producer to go biodynamic back in 1989, meaning they not only abstain from chemicals and pesticides, but they feed the land and plant by moon cycles so plants are more vigorous. This rose is made from 100% pinot noir  and is elegant but reveals a toasty depth too.
About $49 at K & L Wines.

Maria Hunt, the SDNN Food & Drink Editor, is the author of The Bubbly Bar: Champagne & Sparkling Wine Cocktails for Every Occasion being released in August by Clarkson Potter. She writes the champagne, cocktails and entertaining web site The Bubbly Girl.

Bubbly Girl Cocktail Recipes

Recipes for Simple & Sexy Valentine’s Champagne Cocktails

February 13, 2009
Raspberry wine mingles with champagne in this sexy cocktail.

Raspberry wine mingles with champagne in this sexy cocktail.

When Valentine’s Day approaches, the sexiest thing you can serve is a cocktail that stars sparkling wine or champagne. The combination of hearing the cork popping and the tickly bubbles seem to inspire romance.

Whether raspberry makes your heart flutter or you prefer the sophisticated and subtle flavor of roses, you’ll find that both my Raspberry Royale and Vintage Rose cocktails delightful. These are exactly the kind of fun and creative drink recipes you’ll find in my new book The Bubbly Bar: Champagne & Sparkling Wine Cocktails for Every Occasion being released this summer by Clarkson Potter.

Raspberry Royale
Makes 1 cocktail
1 ounce Trader Joe’s Raspberry Wine
4 to 5 ounces chilled champagne or sparkling wine
1 lemon twist
1 fresh or frozen raspberry

Add raspberry wine to a champagne flute. Top with chilled champagne or sparkling wine. Twist the lemon peel over the glass to release the oils and then drop it in. Add the raspberry and serve.

Cafe Chloe infuses simple syrup with organic rose petals to make this syrup.

Cafe Chloe infuses simple syrup with organic rose petals to make this syrup.

The Vintage Rose cocktail features a lovely rose-infused simple syrup created in the kitchen of Cafe Chloe in San Diego’s East Village. If you can’t get there to buy your own bottle, then take simple syrup and add rose water from a Middle Eastern grocery until you have a flavor you like. By the way, rose has long been regarded an aphrodisiac; its essence actually helps calm the body.

Vintage Rose Cocktail

Makes 1 cocktail
3/4 ounce rose syrup
4 to 5 ounces chilled sparkling wine or champagne
lemon twist (Meyer if possble)
organic rose petal (optional)

Add the rose syrup to a champagne flute. Top with the sparkling wine. Twist the lemon peel over the glass to release the oils and then drop it int the flute. Add an organic rose petal if you’ve got one handy.

Serve them in your favorite flutes, I’m currently in love with the vintage-y Horta champagne flutes that are a steal in my opinion for $12 apiece from Anthropologie.com.

A twist of Meyer lemon mimics the lemony fragrance of my favorite lavender roses.

A twist of Meyer lemon mimics the lemony fragrance of my favorite lavender roses.