Mimosas. Yay or Nay?

I’ll just come right out with it, I’m not a huge Mimosa fan. I prefer my bubbles neat. No need to add sugar, calories, or alcohol dilution for me thank you very much. Even if it is breakfast.

Pineapple Mimosas

I have a daughter who really doesn’t like wine, but loves Mimosas. She’s not alone, it seems no respectable brunch happens without bottomless Mimosas to accompany it. Just the other day, I saw a cooking show that had one member using a food dropper to put a couple of drops of OJ in her bubbles. This resulted in another member asking why bother? And also pointing out that the few pieces of pulp looked like sea monkeys dancing her in glass. Sea monkeys might be reason enough to add a few drops of OJ?

It got me thinking, why do we bother with this Mimosa thing, with adding fruit juice to bubbles? The history is not super clear, but it does allude to the fact that the goal was to create a cocktail that made it acceptable for men to drink before Noon.

It seems I’m in the minority when it comes to not getting excited about Mimosas. It’s not like I despise a Mimosa, I’m happy to partake if someone puts one directly in my hand. Or, if I wake up on New Year’s Day with leftover bubbles and leftover fancy pineapple juice, I might even intentionally make one myself.

I’ve never had left over bubbles before, but due to an abundance of bubble riches over the New Year’s weekend – Cava, Prosecco, Cremant, and California sparkling wine – I found myself with some on New Year’s Day. I used a sparkling wine stopper for the first time and it worked beautifully, resulting a very satisfying second “pop” when I removed it.

Nifty little gadget that worked really well.

There was also left over pineapple juice in my fridge. The grocery store was out of the cheap, canned pineapple juice I was looking for, so I ended up buying this organic, supposedly fresh squeezed version that set me back $8. I don’t know how you fresh squeeze anything and then bottle it for mass distribution, but this juice did have visible pulp. AKA, an opportunity to start the year with Sea monkeys!

I’m a very frugal person – I won’t even admit to some of the things I do to waste not, want not. Finding an excuse to use $8 pineapple juice was a no brainer. I made pineapple Mimosas with a 1:4 juice to bubbles ratio. I thought I was going very light on the juice, but they were far too juicy. The sea monkeys disappeared into a monochromatic sea of of Mimosa. I felt the same disappointment that I had after ordering Sea Monkeys from the back of my comic book when I was a kid. Sea Monkeys 2, Cathie 0. The Mimosas were just okay. I was a little sad to have experimented with what was beautiful wine all by itself.

Helfrich|Cremant d’Alsace|Pinot Blanc|12.1% ABV|$12 – $20

I purchased this Cremant d’Alsace at Costco for $11.99. It is right at the $20 mark at other retailers – what a steal! I highly recommend picking up a bottle if you have the chance.

Cremant is sparkling wine made in the Methode Traditional – like Champagne – from any region in France outside of Champagne. It will be called Cremant d’________ – fill in the blank of whichever region it hails from.

Methode Traditional means that it undergoes a second fermentation in the bottle – resulting in the bubbles. There are other methods of getting bubbles into wine, but Methode Traditional is considered the highest quality way of vintifying a still wine into a sparkling wine.

Helfrich has been family owned since 1937, with family roots in the Alsace region reaching farther back than that – six generations. Today, it is the 3rd generation of winemakers that have found the magic balance of relying on that history and tradition, while utilizing the most modern growing and production methods. The result is pretty exceptional – especially at this price point.

A gorgeous Cremant at an outrageous Costco price of $11.99.

The grapes grow in a mosaic of soils, at the base of the Vosges Mountains in the northern part of the Alsace region, where it is also produced – at the Arthur Metz winery located in Marlenheim. Alsace is located at the northwest corner of France, bordering Germany.

The Alsace region of France. Courtesy Helfrich-wines.com.

The grapes are 100% Pinot Blanc from the best vineyards the region has to offer. Hand harvested, the grapes undergo a temperature controlled first fermentation where they rest on the lees for three months. Once bottled, they undergo the second fermentation and mature for 24 months on the lees prior to disgorgment and dosage.

Aromas of pear, citrus, minerality, something floral, and whiff of toasted nut, all of these carry over onto the palate. The mouthfeel is light and elegant with beautiful bubbles and perfect acidity.

The Helfrichs are considered the modern face of Alsace and they say this wine is the essence of conviviality and friendship, perfect for any celebratory occasion.

I’m going to include breakfast as a celebratory occasion, no sea monkeys needed.

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