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Nova Scotia's Benjamin Bridge is making some of the world's best sparkling wine.
For Thanksgiving we had some Dutch friends over and if there’s one thing Dutch people like other than Old Masters, soccer and tulips, it’s Champagne—they seem to drink it all the time. I also like Champagne, but drinking it all the time in Canada is a bit of a rich proposition so I often look elsewhere for bubbles. And it being Thanksgiving, I limited my geographic search to our home and native land.I had heard plenty about Benjamin Bridge, the Nova Scotia winery that’s been gaining a lot of buzz for the past few years for it’s sparkling wine. Like so many buzz-worthy wines, you hear about them long before they ever reach these parts, but BB has recently become available here so I decided it would be a wine for the Dutch. One of the great thing about this sparkler is that it’s not trying to recreate Champagne over here. A look at the label shows that in addition to the expected appearance of Chardonnay (25%) the wine is also made up of Seyval (18%) and L’Acadie (57%), two grapes—and I’m being brutally honest here—I’ve never even heard off. But what a trio they make together—the wine has a foamy lightness that belies its Canuck roots and it delivers as complex jolt that alternates between citrus-y and honeyed. It would have made a great pairing with the turkey but the sole bottle I bought never made it that far. I’ll admit to being a touch skeptical about this wine—at $50 it’s close in price to actual Champagne—before I popped the cork, but to quote the Monkees singing Neil Diamond, “I’m a Believer”. Easily among the finest sparkling wines I’ve had in recent memory and the equal of many a Champagne at 2-3 time the price.And the Dutch? They loved it.
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