- March 1st, 2012
- 2 Comments
Every once and a while there comes along that thing that makes you want to tell the whole world. Something that makes you proud to be apart of what they are doing – to experience someone’s skill and artistry, then to have the ability to tell the world. For us, it started with a spotting in Tasting Table and we knew had to go calling. We were looking to get a few nice wines together for our upcoming secret supper, a budding art event we coined ‘Drink Up Art‘, and to fill out our shelves some with great sparkling – and in walked bottles of what we could only describe as thought provoking.
Just as anyone else who has tried midwestern wines, we were politely skeptical. “Oh,” we thought, “a sparking wine from Illinois – hard to believe”, but we wanted to give it a fair shake. The golden-amber goodness flowed forth from the dark green bottles into our tasting glasses; bubbles smacked the surface of the liquid and the hiss brought a hush to us all. We took a whiff and it smelled… spot on – like that of great bubbly from the far reaches of the world in which we come to love. To our lips it was love at first kiss. The Brut is tame and dry and ‘style-perfect’, it’s lovely in a way that you’d want to open one with a new father or engaged couple, but it’s clean and tasty in a way that sets it for a pour with a nice dinner or a way to say “I love you.”
Their deal: its grown, bottled, matured, crafted, perfected all in Illinois. Illinois Sparking Co is as invigorating of a company as their bubbly. Their Midwest sensibility goes against everything that chamgaine is thought to play into; they are down to earth, hip, benevolent – not snoody, hardy, brainy, and that special something we hold dear to be ‘midwestern’. They latched onto wine making for sometime before becoming engrossed with sparkling. Some digging provided the knowledge that their dirt in the Peru, Illinois area held ideal soil conditions for making not just great local, but spectacular ‘worldly’, bubbly on par or exceeding ‘the Greats.’ Between the pro-acidity soil, cool climate of Illinois, and the selected grape varietals this wine is cultivated to be the best.
Their passion for perfection doesn’t stop there. For Illinois Sparkling Co also utilizes the ‘Traditional Method.’ They know that they could just carbonate the still wine and be on their way. But this method, a time destroying way of turing the still to sparkling, goes a long way to making it the perfect bottle of bubbly to take home. To over-simplify, it’s bottle conditioned and carbed naturally by letting the yeast stuff the bottle with their own CO2. It may be a long arduous process from vine to cellar, but it’s worth it. Artistry, time, and patience always seem to pay off when it comes to making great food – especially bubbly. Illinois Sparkling does not stop there, they do their part to keep things ‘green’ – going as far as creating their own packaging to rid themselves of styrofoam and over-cardboarding.
It is here then that we find ourselves with a handful of bottles of this fantastic sparkling wine on our shelves. We are both humbled and honored to be able to feature something made in our great state, as well as the fact that it’s so gosh darn good. Pick up a bottle from our grocery and taste what hard work, passion, and midwest-nobility tastes like.