WASHINGTON — Well, it finally happened. The Washington Capitals are Stanley Cup champions and they are bringing Lord Stanley’s famed trophy back to the nation’s capital after a hard-fought contest in the desert of Nevada.
Washington fans are savoring the long overdue drought and are thirsty to drink from the cup of victory. Now the question is: What should we drink from that cup?
Of course, I have a few ideas about which wines I will be to pouring into my version of the Stanley Cup this weekend.
First and foremost, this is a special occasion that deserves a wine meant for celebrations. I’m popping the cork on the Multi-vintage Champagne Bruno Paillard Extra Brut Première Cuvée from Reims, France. The “flagship” of the house, this Champagne Cuvée is only made using the very best quality juice from the first pressing and is then aged for three years or more in the bottle before disgorgement. The fragrant scents of green apple, red raspberry and buttered toast on the nose lead to flavors of baked apple, lemon zest, roasted hazelnuts and candied ginger on the palate. The structure is full-bodied and the finish, featuring notes of toasted almonds and chalky minerality, is focused and exceptionally clean. $50
If you’re looking for bubbles that won’t break the bank, try the Juve y Camps Reserva de la Famila Cava from the Penedés Valley of Spain. Now in its fourth generation of winemakers, Juve y Camps is also one of the few major Cava producers that grow fruit and produce wines from its own estate. This sparkling wine is the flagship wine of the estate and it expresses the family’s philosophy of extended aging on the lees. The lengthy aging allows the wine to develop aromas of ripe white peaches, toasted baguette with hints of lemon citrus and apricots. The palate is rich and broad with flavors of green apple, jasmine green tea and toasted almonds. $16
Of course, you can’t “rock the red” without a red wine. As an homage to team captain and Conn Smythe Trophy (MVP) winner, Alexander Ovechkin, open up a bottle of 2015 Cellar No 8 Cabernet Sauvignon from California. This is a wonderful example of a delicious value-oriented cabernet wine. This wine is full of dark, brooding fruit. It exudes aromas of black plum, cherry, cassis and Asian spices on the fragrant nose. Well-structured and bold, it delivers loads of plush flavors of blackberries, plums and violets with hints of vanilla and toasty oak on the soft finish. And fittingly, it is $8
And finally, as a special nod to Nathan Walker, the first Australian professional ice hockey player to lift the Stanley Cup, open a bottle of 2015 Two Hands Gnarly Dudes Shiraz from the Barosa Valley in Australia. This richly-textured shiraz is named for the gnarly old vines that year in and year out produce amazing fruit. It could also refer to the grit and tenacity that the Washington Capitals showed through the entire playoffs. The wine sports perfumed aromas of blackberry, dark chocolate and spicy pepper. The palate is clubbed with a blast of ripe black fruit, dark plums and dark licorice up front and seduced with subtle notes of pepper and dark chocolate on the powerful finish. $23