Drink Now: Kramer Vineyards Brut 2010
As many of you know, I flew from Portland to New York City on March 21 for a weekend filled with incredible wine events coordinated by Snooth. This day is significant for me, not only because of the awesome weekend that lay ahead, but because I am absolutely terrified of flying. It had been nine years since I last boarded a plane, and I swore I’d never do it again. But, when an opportunity like the one Snooth offered me comes my way, getting on a plane was inevitable – there was no way I was going to miss Snooth’s First Annual People’s Voice Wine Awards Grand Tasting.
As I sat, white knuckled, on the plane and drank way too much of a wine that was grossly unidentifiable, I thought (quite often) of my wine writing colleagues who I knew were most certainly enjoying every sip of their Kramer Vineyards 2010 Brut. You see, I had previously been invited by winemaker Kim Kramer to join in on a March 21 virtual tasting of her Méthode Traditionnelle sparkling wine. And, although Kim knew I would not be able to join in on the tasting (since I would be on my way to New York City) she graciously sent me a couple of bottles anyway. There I was, on the plane, thinking how much more fun it would be to have a glass of bubbly in hand while sharing notes with my wine writing friends.
I had planned on tasting the sparkling wine and tweeting about it before leaving for New York City; therefore, my comments could be retweeted by Kim during the live virtual tasting. Unfortunately, things got incredibly hectic before leaving for my trip, and I never had a chance to produce any pre-tweets for the event. I did, however, pop the cork on one of the bottles, and I’m so excited I’m finally getting a chance to write about this delicious sparkling wine!
Kramer Vineyards 2010 Brut: Racy acidity along with apple, biscuit and a tiny hint of anise create a well rounded, palate pleasing sparkling wine. With Chardonnay and Pinot Noir fruit coming from their estate vineyard located in one of my favorite AVAs in the Willamette Valley, Yamhill-Carlton, this very focused Brut is clean, crisp and refreshing – exactly what I look for in a good Brut!
As I was reading the tech sheet on the Brut, where all the geeky wine information is provided, I noticed a link to a pdf file named, “Truffle Butter Popcorn” (recipe below). If anything has the word popcorn attached to it, I’m in. After attending one of Truffle Fests that take place here in Eugene, Oregon, I took home a bottle of Joel Palmer House Oregon White Truffle Oil. Since there’s never a moment that we’re out of popcorn in my household, I immediately followed the directions from the recipe and made the most heavenly popcorn – an incredibly outstanding pairing with the Brut – wow!
Once I returned home from New York City, I checked the hashtag #tastekramerwine that was used for the virtual tasting of the Kramer Brut, and I saw this video showing Kim Kramer using a saber to slice off the top of the Brut – total awesomeness. (Kim also talks about the 2010 Brut.)
Truffle Butter Popcorn
1 cup popcorn kernels
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
3-4 Tbsp. butter, melted
1 tsp. truffle oil
Salt, or truffle salt
Truffle shavings (optional)
In a large pot, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the popcorn kernels, and cover. When the popping begins, shake the pot back and forth over the heating element to prevent scorching; remove the pot from heat when the popping stops, and pour into a large bowl. Stir truffle oil into melted butter and toss with the popcorn, sprinkle with salt to taste. For an added touch of truffle flavor, use truffle salt instead. If you can find truffles or truffle shavings, toss a few into the butter when melting.