Tag Archives: cassis

Three French Hens..

13 Dec

I’m pretty sure the ‘French’ drink many people would recommend this festive season would be Champagne. However, it’s pretty much always out of my price range and let’s be honest, if your buzzed brother’s old university friend’s new girlfriend is chugging it back from the bottle while swaying in your living room to Judy Garland – you’ll wish you didn’t spring for the pricey stuff.

A much more affordable option for our third drink of Christmas is Hungaria Grand Cuvee Brut ($12.00, LCBO#619288).

Many may not even know that Hungary has got a wine-making history that dates back to Roman times. They’re probably most famous for their dessert wine Tokaji (which is also quite yummy, thanks for asking) but this sparkling is a pretty little steal too.

For under 12 bucks, there’s not much other competition. You could buy some French Cross (please don’t) or Canada’s historic sparkling, Brights Champagne (which gets to use the capital-C reserved for wines from the actual region in France, through a strategic loophole) or any other handful of not-so-finely crafted, sugary sweet bubbles. The only other real serious contender at that price point is Freixenet Carta Nevada Brut from Spain ($11.95, LCBO#74757).

That’d do just fine here, but it doesn’t have the surprise element of popping this bottle from a country probably most known for its ottomans.

The Hungaria Cuvee Brut is mighty good on its own, off-dry and crisp with citrus and apple flavours and enough weight to hold up to your choosing of snackies off the buffet table. It’s got a great personality and sparkles just like the tinsel caught in aforementioned drunk-girlfriend’s hair after a mistaken tumble into the tree.

Cut her off and grab some of this bubbly – and hey, if you want to make it French, add a bit of LeJay Creme de Cassis de Dijon ($10.95, LCBO#496406) to your flute.

This yummy liquer is one of my favs (especially as an addition to vodka sodas) with a beautiful deep purple/blueberry colour and blackcurrant flavours. This drizzle will take your already stunning sparkling to a fancy pants Kir Pétillant. Just don’t let the drunk girlfriend have any.