10 April 2021

Weekend Cooking: Sparkling Wine Anytime by Katherine Cole

Review of Sparkling Wine Anytime by Katherine ColeI have a super-fun and informative book to share today. Katherine Cole's newest wine book is called Sparkling Wine Anytime: The Best Bottles to Pop for Every Occasion. It was published by Abrams last month, and I received a review copy because I'm a member of the Abrams Dinner Party.

What's a wedding, New Year's Eve, or a red-carpet event without a few bottles of the bubbly? When we hear the word bubbly, most of us immediately think of Champagne, but did you know sparkling wine is made all over the world and has been drunk for almost 9000 years? I didn't know that, but now that I've begun to explore this book, I've been learning how effervescence is achieved, how bubbling wine is made and stored, and how Champagne has benefited from centuries of good marketing.

The bulk of Sparkling Wine Anytime takes us around the world by vineyard and type of sparkling wine. Once we leave the Champagne region of France, the wine has to take on a different name; thus we have Prosecco, Cava, and Sekt, for example. Cole describes each growing region and the types of sparkling wine produced there and recommends and describes specific wines.

Warning: this is no dry (pun intended) treatise for wine experts. Cole's sense of humor and fun personality are evident on every page. I found myself laughing often and wishing she were my new BFF. Here she is writing about a Vouvray Brute:

An easy-peasy bang-for-the-buck crowd-pleaser. . . . This is a wine not to think too hard about; just buy half a case to throw in an ice bucket the next time you have a party.
I also love the design of the book, with its purple and tan color scheme, fun minimalist graphics, and maps.

Although Sparkling Wine Anytime is primarily a guide to buying and learning about bubbly wines, Cole includes a few cocktail recipes. You won't be surprised to learn that I had to give some of them a try. While I've ordered my fair share of French 75s and Kir Royales in my time (hey, it was the 80s!), I had never heard of a B2C2. It may be my new favorite Champagne cocktail . . . and, yeah, you can make fun of me, but I'm hooked.

Review of Sparkling Wine Anytime by Katherine ColePut Katherine Cole's Sparkling Wine Anytime on your wish list for yourself or for the sparkling wine lover in your life. This book is a joy to read and I learned a lot about the quintessential celebratory wine. Disclaimer: I'm not in fact a Champagne fan, but I do like other sparkling wines, particularly Prosecco.

I cheated a bit with the following recipe. I used Prosecco and 1 ounce of B&B, which I almost always have on hand. It was yummy.

1 cocktail
  • ½ ounce brandy
  • ½ ounce Benedictine
  • ½ ounce Cointreau (or Triple Sec)
  • 2½ ounces Cremant (French sparkling wine)
Combine the brandy, Benedictine, and Cointreau in a chilled cocktail glass. Top off with Cremant.

Recipe shared in the context of a review. All rights remain with the original copyright holder.

Shared with Weekend Cooking, hosted by Marg at The Intrepid Reader (and Baker)


Mae Travels 4/10/21, 7:45 AM  

We keep thinking we should buy some bottles like B&B and Cointreau, but haven't had them in the house for years -- seem to stick to wine all the time. You make me think we should get some liqueur!

best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

Amanda 4/10/21, 8:43 AM  

I just said this on your photo on Insta, but I just had my first prosecco cocktail the other night. We had a Girl's Night Out (on a patio!) to celebrate a friend turning in her PhD dissertation. It was during happy hour, and I decided to go out of my comfort zone. I *never* get cocktails because I'm not too sure about how a lot of them will taste. My experience with alcohol generally is in wines, and that's about it, heh. But they had a peach bellini that looked like it might be good. I enjoy prosecco and sparkling wines in general (my fave is chandon brut). So when I ordered, I told them light on the rum, heavy on the prosecco, because I didn't want it to be too sweet. And it was delish!

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz 4/10/21, 9:44 AM  

Sparkling is pretty much my favorite, so this looks like a book I must read. Thank you for highlighting it.

Tina 4/10/21, 9:47 AM  

Love the sparkling wines. This is a book I think I would like to get.

Jackie McGuinness 4/10/21, 10:07 AM  

That comment about buying an inexpensive sparkling wine for a gettogether is excellent. We have many local Niagara brands that we could do this. I wonder why we limit ourselves to only one for toasts?
I am adding this cocktail to our Saturday lineup!!!

Melynda@Scratch Made Food! 4/10/21, 10:52 AM  

I must save that recipe! I don't drink often, but when I do it needs to be a special one, thanks.

Les in Oregon 4/10/21, 11:45 AM  

My three Mah Jong friends and I are celebrating our 2nd COVID vaccinations in a couple of weeks. We plan to have a Tres Leche cake (from Porto's) and plenty of Proseco. I'm going to suggest we try this B2C2 recipe. It sounds delicious!

Claudia 4/10/21, 12:47 PM  

I regularly make wine from our various fruits, but this year bubbly is on the agenda. Special bottles and corks are ready, as is the wine. So, you've got a book I'd really enjoy!

(Diane) bookchickdi 4/10/21, 4:54 PM  

We love a good sparkling wine, and our daughter-in-law from Spain turned us on to cava, which we enjoy. The first time I had a Kir Royale was when we stayed at the Jamaica Inn, I felt so grown-up and classy.

Marg 4/15/21, 7:14 AM  

I do enjoy a good sparkling wine! I have only had real champagne once but I didn't love it. Maybe a need to taste test some more.

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