“All the Champagne I didn’t drink,” or “Happy Valentines Day 2017!” Review: Fre Brut Sparkling N.V.


I’d had the vintage Champagne tasting circled on my calendar for a month now. Yes, I knew it was Valentines Day, but I thought I could hit it on the way home and then make dinner for the family. First my meeting ran over. Then there was heavy traffic. And then Sonja sent a text message, just a picture of my fevered son, Titus, curled up on her chest, clearly almost as sick as she was. Like so many things, the Champagne tasting would have to wait.

Presented with a list of options that ranged from diver scallops with an asparagus and mushroom risotto (my specialty) to various other options, my seven-month-pregnant wife asked for waffles for her Valentines Day dinner, and I obliged. Topped with syrup, whipped cream, pecans, blackberries and more, and served with a side of bacon, they would have been incomplete without some bubbles. And what bubbles do I have for a pregnant woman? Well, one of her favorites, of course: Fre Brut Sparkling.

Fre wines are alcohol removed, which is different from grape juice, and sometimes gives them an edge. While I rate this “brut” a bit closer to the demi-sec category, the bottom line is that it’s a perfectly reasonable substitute for sparkling wine (if not vintage Veuve Cliquot), and Sonja and I continued enjoying the bottle long after the dishes were done and little Titus was in bed.

If marriage is about sacrifices, then Valentines Day is certainly about love, and if love is a part of marriage, then sacrifice must be as well. It was hard to turn down the opportunity to try some stuff I’d never had, but I’m glad I took the opportunity to prioritize my family. And hey, I still got sparkling wine, but this way I got to share it with my wife. I hope all of our readers had an equally satisfying night tonight. Happy Valentines Day 2017!






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