With New Year celebrations coming, a few simple tips on serving sparkling wine should be all you need to get the party started. To serve a sparkling wine, you will need to chill it properly by refrigerating the bottle for three hours before opening. But if you just bought it and it is at room temperature, you can cool it down quickly by filling a sink with enough ice and water to cover the bottle. Don't use ice alone. The presence of water is necessary for quick cooling. Lay the bottle in the iced water and twirl it for two to four minutes or let it stand for about 10 minutes. Put it in the refrigerator if you will be serving it later.
Sparkling wines are drunk as much for their appearance as their taste. The goal is a clear, totally dry glass. White wine glasses will do, but a fluted glass is worth the investment, as it encourages the bubbles to collect and rise to the top. Wipe the glasses with a dry cloth before serving and make sure they are totally dry. Water ruins the visual effect of sparkling wines. And don't chill the glasses - they will fog up and cloud the view.
When removing a cork from a bottle of sparkling wine, be aware that the cork might shoot out like a bullet, so watch where you point the bottle. The key to elegant cork removal is to wrap the cork with a towel and twist the bottle, not the cork. One can usually feel the cork coming free. Try to ease the cork out at the last second so the "pop" impact can be controlled - to the delight of all the onlookers. Frizzentes’ such as Italian Prosecco or Accolade can be opened with a corkscrew.
The Fly High label is a tribute to the late David King, who if it were not for his love of aviation and his spotting of the perfect wine-growing property, Fly High Vineyards would not exist. This multi-generational venture is a family wine-making affair that will serve to sustain future generations. Everyone helps out in one way or another, including Sandra’s son, J.D. Cameron, who is Fly High’s Event Coordinator and also happens to also be a licensed pyrotechnic, meaning that the Annual Wine Club Appreciation event held on New Year’s Eve comes complete with a brilliant display of professional fireworks for the kids. In addition to their annual New Year’s Eve party, Fly High holds fall wine club release parties, and is a welcome inclusion in the Applegate Valley’s Fall UnCorked Barrel Tour. The UnCorked Barrel Tour occurs this year on Sunday, November 18th, 2012 along the Applegate Valley Wine Trail and features food pairing and barrel tasting from 16 separate Applegate wineries!
For more information on Fly High Vineyards and their partners, LongSword Vineyards, check out: www.fhlv.net and be sure to visit their wine club page to sign up for future tasting events and to receive future bottles of their Windsock White Viognier, particularly the eagerly anticipated 2011 vintage. If you’d rather stop in for a personal visit to their beautiful farm at 8555 Highway 238 along the Applegate Valley Wine Trail, check out the website for the Annual Starthistle Fly-In at: http://rvhpa.org/