Have a sparkling New Year

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Season’s Greetings to one and all and I know we say it EVERY year but I sincerely hope that 2015 brings some sanity back into our world.
I’m not suggesting for one moment that our tiny planet floating insignificantly amongst the zillions of stars and planets and rocks in space has ever been a totally sane environment for the human species. But in the scheme of things, back in the good old days we had world wars and famine and plagues and all nature of disasters that fused countries together to fight off these evils. Today we fight evil people whose identities are rarely known and many of whom grew up in our own neighborhoods. I often wonder whether the world my father fought to defend, which ultimately led to his many years as a POW in Burma building a railway for his Japanese torturers, was a successful campaign. Churchill famously said of Britain: “We won the war but we lost the peace.” Something the world might now ponder.
And so with my glum, personal comments on the state of this planet I think we all need to bid a less than fond adieu to 2014 and welcome with outstretched arms and huge kisses, the newly minted 2015 with its opportunities and possibilities for a bright and amazingly peaceful year ahead. And, since this is a wine column, I’m going to suggest the perfect sparkling nectar to pour into your glasses at 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 31 and hoist skyward to embrace 2015 — and the love of your life, or your pooch or kitty or guinea pig — at the bewitching hour. All prices are approximate.
Ruffino Prosecco $15 is fruity and fragrant with clean notes of citrus, pears and apples along with slight hints of hawthorn, wisteria and elder. Although Prosecco isn’t truly a sparkling wine, it has become a very hot drink and a perfect alternative for those people who don’t care for sparkling wines. Prosecco has fine bubbles that tickle the palate, while intense flavors of apples and peaches give the wine a pleasing finish.
As long time readers of this column know, I’ve had a love affair with Gloria Ferrer wines from Sonoma for many years and I continue to maintain that they exceed the quality, and most certainly the value, of French Champagne, which is made from the same grapes and in the same method. Just in another region of the world.
Gloria Ferrer Blanc De Blancs $22 This wine, made from Chardonnay, has a fresh creamy flavor, and, my radio chum Jill Weber would chuckle when I tell you that my old friend Granny Smith is deliciously prominent in this sparkler.
Gloria Ferrer VA DE V $20 is a blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay with a drizzling of Muscat. It’s a notch more citrus flavored than the previous wine but I find it has a bolder structure with a little more body.
Gloria Ferrer Sonoma Brut $20 has always been the hands-down winner for me in the GF portfolio and it’s the Silverstone House fizz when a full-on sparkling wine is needed. Made from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay it’s the smoothest, most quaffable sparkling wine I know with a creamy flavor and hints of citrus and the familiar toasted bread we all love in bubbly.
Gloria Ferrer Blanc De Noirs $20 is my second favorite wine from the GF lineup. As good as anything from the over-hyped and over-priced Champagne region in France. It is truly a Sonoma champagne, but we can’t call it that or the French will chuck their paté at us. Made from the red Pinot Noir grape with a soupçon of Chardonnay this wine has unmistakable red wine qualities with rich ripened berry fruit flavors, creamy and with a long delicious finish.
Let’s move closer to home. Pinnacle Ridge Brut Rosé (Kutztown, Pa.) $18 www.pinridge.com is made in the traditional style from 100 percent Pinot Noir grapes. You immediately smell the doughy aromas, and I tasted this recently on my show with Jill, and was blown away by its totally gorgeous, fresh taste.
Season’s Greetings and a Happy New Year to all of my dear readers and my wonderful chums at this publication.
Phillip Silverstone’s column appears each week in this publication. “Time Out With Phillip Silverstone” is a weekly two-hour podcast heard exclusively on TuneIn radio anytime and anywhere worldwide either on the free TuneIn app for all smart phones and tablets (Search: Phillip Silverstone) or online on Tunein at: http://bit.ly/1gY2Ht4. This week’s show is a 3-hour Special with features on Holiday fashions, cocktails, theatre, movies and music.

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