For December, we’re celebrating our Cuvée Cuddles as the Wine of the Month. While Cuvée Cuddles goes with everything, it’s definitely a great pairing for the holiday season! Before we get into the production and style of this much-loved sparkler, first the story behind its embracing name. Cuvée is a relatively common word found on a wine label. It means blend and refers to the different grapes or barrels or vintages that can go into the creation of a wine. Cuddles, on the other hand, is very unique.
Cuddles is the nickname of our owner Angela’s mother. Known by many as Lady Mary Downer, she was better known to her closest friends and loving family as ‘Cuddles.’ She was a generous and caring person, and though she stood only about five feet tall, her big personality was lively, effervescent, and good on any occasion! When the time came to name the lively and effervescent wine she was making, Angela decided her mother’s nickname was the perfect fit.
And how is this customer-favorite made?
It’s a traditional, Champagne-style blend of 61% Chardonnay, 34% Pinot Noir, and 5% Pinot Meunier. The three wines individually go through their primary fermentation in tank, before being blended and bottled. Then, the effervescence is created using the Méthode Champenoise, in which the secondary fermentation is completed in the bottle. This is achieved by adding additional yeast and sugar to each bottle and sealing it. One of the byproducts of fermentation, in addition to alcohol, is carbon dioxide – the bubbles in your bubbly wine!
Once the secondary fermentation has finished, the bottles are slowly turned upside down, in a process called riddling. The dead yeast cells then fall into the neck of the bottle. Once they have all settled there, the cells are frozen, the bottle is opened, and the cells are removed. To refill the bottle to its proper volume, one more dosage of wine is added before the bottle is corked and caged and sent your way!
It is actually this last dosage that determines how sweet a sparkling wine will be, as the added wine can range from very sweet to very dry. For our Cuvée Cuddles, the dosage added is not completely dry, but is close. For this reason, Cuvée Cuddles is considered a Brut Sparkling Wine.
The result is a sparkling wine with bright, crisp acidity, coupled with buttery notes courtesy of the yeast from the secondary fermentation. Hints of pear, dried apricot, orange-zest, and white cherry all work together to great a delicious, refreshing wine. That is good on any occasion!
Stop by to see us this month, and we’ll be happy to pour you a taste of our Cuvée Cuddles!