The other day we were out shopping in the city of Birmingham. Which has a charming downtown area, and one could walk around, shop, dine and drink. My perfect environment for a leisurely day out. We even did some shopping for me, who according to my Bride, is a big pain to shop for, something about high maintenance and expensive tastes (who knew?). I got a chance to reminisce with another old war horse about the glory days of men’s wear, much to my Bride’s chagrin. It was a hot day, and we were wondering around and saw a new hotel. I had read that there was a new hotel opening in the downtown, and it was very sleek and ultramodern. At first, I didn’t think that they were open yet, and as we walked around the corner, I saw a bar and better yet, activity at the bar. We decided to go in and get out of the sun.
When we walked in, I had to ask for the name of the hotel, and they made us feel very comfortable. My Bride went up to the bar, and I kind of bellied up to the bar, as we used to say, when none of my contemporaries had bellies. We looked at a wine carte and selected a couple of glasses of wine, to cool off, before we went back out in the sun and some more shopping. We also looked over at the dining room, which was just off, from the bar area. Another time for dining. Of course, little did we know, that we were attending their soft opening, and when we called for our tab, there wasn’t one, so our bartender really enjoyed his tip (that I am sure of). We will have to go back there and actually pay for the experience.
My Bride has had a thing recently for bubbles and she had a glass of Bortolotti Brut Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG NV from Cantine Umberto Bortolotti. Umberto Bortolotti graduated from Scuola Enologica di Conegliano in 1947 and founded his own winery in the aftermath of the war. In 1954, he moved to his present location and has been constantly updating and restoring his property and estate. He now has his son and a nephew who are now managing the company. They also have contract growers in Conegliano and Valdobbiadene, some going back for seventy years. The winery has also been getting certified for all of the modern wine making standards of the new era. Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco DOCG is given to the prestigious zone for Prosecco wines in the Veneto, made from the Glera grape. The appellation was created in 1969 and forty years later it became DOCG. The Superiore designation just means that the wine has a higher proof rating than the normal wines made and only for the sparkling wines. The grapes are hand harvested from vineyards in clay and sandstone grounds. The wine is made using the Charmat Method and they used autoclaves to ensure the hygiene and is aged for around four months in the bottle. It has a pretty straw color with greenish tints, and a nice flowery nose, well balanced and very easy to drink, especially on such a hot day. I went with a glass of Bernard Fouquet Domaine des Aubuisieres Cuvee de Silex Vouvray 2019 from the Loire Valley of France. Vouvray is probably the most respected and most known region of the Loire Valley and all types of wines are made in the district. Bernard Fouquet has thirty hectares of vineyards in the Vouvray region of Touraine. The wines he produces are all made with Chenin Blanc and the wines are aged on fine lees in a mix of new and once or twice used barrels. This was a beautiful dry wine with a very soft golden-straw color with a nose of orange blossoms, the taste was more of ripe pears, but not sweet and a nice finish of terroir. This is a very easy drinking wine, what some of us call quaffable. A wonderful way for the both of us to cool off for a while and then go back out shopping and getting our daily allotment of walking.