I recently joined a group of women that meet up once a month to drink wine. It was not too hard a decision to join, mind you. The idea of a group focused solely on a mid-week excuse for a couple of drinks is A-plus in my book. The theme for my first event: bubbly. I was armed and ready to go.
Not that I drink it often, but I already had a sparkling wine in mind. Something that my local wine shop had recommended even prior to my invitation. Gruet Brut was actually showcased up at the register when I was buying one of my usual bottles of wine. When I had asked the owner about it at the time, he said, "It's actually quite good." His recommendations have always been reliable so I purchased it without even searching for an alternative.
The fact that it was made in Albuquerque, New Mexico was really intriguing to me. I was still, however, a little nervous about bringing a wine I've never tried to a wine party with lots of people I've never met. Risky business. I decided to ask my friend Sarah, whose family lives in Albuquerque and has excellent taste in alcoholic beverages, if she had tried it. She told me that she and her family always have it in their Christmas-morning mimosas. Phew, I was relieved.
So, off I went to the Brooklyn apartment of a group of creatives, none of whom I've met before. I had my new jeans on, was enjoying the unseasonably crisp weather as I walked from the subway, and in hand with my bottle of Gruet Brut. The whole evening was a really fun night. Along with a group of almost a dozen women, we blind taste tested all of our nine bottles of bubbly wine. Each of us wrote down our notes as we drank and then voted for our favorite.
In the end, the Gruet was one of the better of the bunch, in my opinion. Not my favorite, I'll admit, but still really enjoyable and something I would buy again. It had a dry, but slightly fruity flavor. Although I wasn't as descriptive and cheeky as some of my fellow tasters, I wrote, "Dry, four stars." (I'm not a professional wine critic, what can I say?) I can definitely see it being super tasty in a sparkling cocktail, just like Sarah's family tradition. Will make note for my next brunch party.
Next month for the group's tasting: sake. Good thing I have another few weeks to research some that's American-made. Is there even such a thing?