Just in time for Feast and Field’s Sparkling Wine issue, we discovered a fabulous new reality contest on SOMMTV, a streaming service dedicated to the worlds of wine, food, travel and hospitality.
“Sparklers” pits five wine professionals against each other in the kitchen while showcasing the sparkling wine. (And, yes, we’re a bit of a junkie.) We chatted with the sommelier and founder of Dirty Radish, Chevonne Ball (one of Wine Enthusiast’s 40 Under 40s in 2020), the guest judge for the December 28 episode, which aptly features one of our new favorite finds, Faire Le Fete.
How did you get involved with “Sparklers? “
My dear friend and “Sparklers” candidate, Maryam Ahmed, put me in touch with the producers. It was an easy yes for me to participate!
Can you tell us a bit about the episode you are judging?
It was shot in the gorgeous AtTheJoy house in the even more breathtaking hills of Eola-Amity, which is one of my favorite Willamette Valley sub-AVAs. (I made Gamay Noir from there in 2020, still a few bottles available!) It is known for the constant winds of the Van Duzer Corridor, which make the wines of this region bold and beautiful. I was definitely surprised at the secret ingredient they had to use but now I’m a fan! (Sorry, no spoils!)
Something that will surprise viewers?
If you haven’t noticed already, they took this competition very seriously. I was very impressed with the dishes each of them offered. The details and ideas were really top notch.
As this episode airs just before NYE, what are your tips for serving sparkling drinks in NYE? Any tips and tricks that will appeal to the public?
- If you can splurge on the right things, do it! But don’t feel like you have to. There are some excellent sparkling wines for those on a budget.
- Best to keep it super cold, so take out that ice bucket or make your own, but keep those bubbles cold!
- If the flutes are festive, they do not allow the aromas to be released. Don’t be afraid to serve your sparkling wine in a white wine glass or even a Burgundy bowl. Truth be told, I love a good sparkling wine in a porcelain tea cup. Do not ask me why !
Finally, do you have a website that we can link to?
“Sparklers” airs on SOMMTV every Tuesday. Watch the trailer HERE.