Sparkling Finish to Giants Season

Births, weddings and the World Series get similar treatment when it comes to wine. Make it sparkling, and bring plenty to share in celebration of the momentous event.

After a long uphill campaign, San Francisco Giants were well-prepared to celebrate with a bang. But, what were Tim Lincecum, Edgar Renteria, Buster Posey, Brian Wilson and company spraying, pouring over each other and chugging after they beat the Texas Rangers Monday night to win the World Series?

It was Mumm Napa Brut Prestige, a $20 California sparkling wine with a French pedigree.

The Napa Valley wine is a blend of mostly pinot noir and chardonnay. There’s a great citrus nose and a smooth, nearly creamy finish on the tongue. In between, I tasted Golden Delicious apple, lemon zest and a pleasant dash of yeastiness.

Although it’s not vintage-dated, most of the grapes came from the 2007 harvest. More than 50 different vineyards contributed fruit for this effort, which garnered a 90 score in Wine Enthusiast.

How did all those bottles of Mumm Napa — which, appropriately enough, carry a black label to go with San Francisco’s orange-and-black color scheme — wind up on ice in the Giants locker room?

This was actually the third clubhouse celebration in 2010 fueled by Mumm Napa, which had sent supplies on the road with the Giants for the division and league championship games in Atlanta and Philadelphia before repeating the order for the World Series clincher in Texas.

Rob McNeill, vice president of winemaking and operations at Mumm Napa in Rutherford, had a friend who had organized some wine tastings for the team. When it looked like the Giants were headed for post-season play, McNeil got a call for help.

“We’ve got a lot of Giants fans here at Mumm Napa,” said McNeil, a native San Franciscan who wears his allegiance on his sleeve. “I’ve been a Giants fan all my life. I remember watching Willie Mays in 1965 and Willie McCovey, Juan Marichal and both Bonds.”

The man who actually made the wine, Mumm Napa head winemaker Ludovic Dervin, is French and a newly christened fan who got to see his first post-season baseball during the playoffs in Atlanta.

How do the folks at the winery feel when they see those bubbles — 12 cases of regular 750-ml bottles plus two dozen magnums — being used primarily for drenching, not drinking?

“If the Giants are having fun, that’s awesome,” McNeill said.

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