Let’s say you get invited to a party, but it’s no big occasion – a friend’s housewarming party, or maybe someone you don’t know well got signed to a record label. Maybe your favorite Japanese game show wasn’t canceled after all. You need a bottle of bubbly, but Champagne would be a clear case of waste at best – at worst, a clear waste of a case. What do you do?
Grab one of the many more affordable equivalents, of course! And this is a solid one. The NV (Non-Vintage) Delacroix Brut is a fine Blanc de Blancs (white wine from white grapes) for your everyday celebration. Well, it isn’t precisely a Blanc de Blancs in the Champagne sense: the grape varieties include Ugni Blanc, Chardonnay, and Chenin Blanc. It’s also Brut, meaning it is considered a dry wine, though in Champagne there may be up to 15 g/l of sugar added with the dosage before final bottling. I do not know how much sugar is left in this wine, nor do I really care. This is for parties, after all. The wine is made in the Méthode Traditionnelle; that is, it adheres to many of the same principals of production as Champagne, including completion of a second fermentation in the bottle, with the wine aged for an extended period on lees (yeasts) to acquire its carbonation and fuller texture.
The end result? This NV Brut by Delacroix has a decent mousse, with toasty bread and citrus aromas, showing a bright straw color in the glass. Good mineral profile and full texture from the Chenin Blanc, with some snappy acidity contributed by the Ugni Blanc (known as Trebbiano in Italy) – a little less Chardonnay fruit than I’d like, but nice balance and a quenching finish. $8. Pair with lobster rolls, fried fish or fried chicken, or serve as an apéritif. A case would never go to waste at any party. Cheers.