It’s the middle of the week. Time to get over the hump and raise a glass in the process. This week, I’m on a media trip to Napa and Sonoma, getting inspiration, learning and enjoying some great wines. So raise a glass with me today, wherever you are, as we head towards the weekend. Cheers to a sparkling Wine Wednesday from Sonoma County and J Vineyards & Winery in Healdsburg. It’s where I had an outstanding sparkling wine tasting yesterday.

J was originally founded by Judy Jordan who was a pioneer of sparkling wines in the region. She has since sold the winery and established a new brand based in Oregon (but sill makes some win in CA) called Geodesy. It’s a brand with a purpose. The mission is to provide scholarships and support for young women in the field of agriculture. However, her legacy lives on at J.

The tasting room at J Vineyards has been reimagined with a so-called Bubble Room. It’s a space designed for full dining experiences with sparkling wine pairings that are said to push the envelope. In addition, they have a culinary series  called Shifting the Lens. J brings in guests chefs to spotlight diverse perspectives on food and cuisine. They are cuisines that have traditionally been underrepresented in wine country. Events in the bubble room typically start at $135.

A sparkling Wine Wednesday from Sonoma County

I opted for the Legacy Tasting. It features a flight of five wines and local cheeses paired with each. The wines can be all sparkling, all still, or a mix. I chose the sparkling flight. Surprise. It was phenomenal. First, we enjoyed Cuvée XB which is really dry and zesty with some apple an almond. I loved the tiny bubbles. It was paired with a Goatija cheese from Bohemian Creamery, topped with corn gel and sumac tajin for a little spice.

Second, the Brut Rose which is a favorite of mine. It has ripe strawberry cream and Bing cherry. This one tastes like summer. It was paired with Midnight Moon from Cypress Grove, topped with Tomato Jam and Micro Basil. Beautiful pairing.

Next, 2016 Vintage Brut that had juicy stone fruit, hints of quince and hazelnut. A zesty and lovely wine. The cheese was Boont Corners from Penny Royal Farms. It was topped with pickled cherries and hibiscus honey. This was my favorite pairing.

We enjoyed the 2017 RRV Blanc de Noir next. It was so smooth with raspberry and cranberry. This a wine to linger with.  The cheese was a Chèvre from Laura Chenel with lactose-fermented blueberry and candied almonds

Finally, we enjoyed 2012 Late Disgorged Brut. It was creamy and toasty but still had nice acid. It’s a cool wine. This one was with Petite Truffle Brie from Marin French and topped with pickled peach and crispy prosciutto. In addition, the ladies opened a fantastic 2015 Blanc to Blanc for me to try along with a 2017 Annapolis Pinot Noir. I recommend both.

Cheers to a sparkling Wine Wednesday from Sonoma County. Enjoy these photos and buy a bottle of J for your next summer soiree.

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