Blueberry season is almost upon us, and if you love blueberries as much as we do, here’s an idea: Toast the season with a glass of wild blueberry sparkling wine.

That’s wild blueberry champagne, for those of us who don’t want to go around using the legally correct (but quite a mouthful) term Méthode Champenoise all the time.

Maine native-turned-California winemaker Michael Terrien, profiled in the Portland Press Herald three years ago and known for his chardonnay, has long wanted to make a blueberry wine, but found most versions too sweet. He tried making an amaro, an herbal liqueur commonly consumed as a digestif, but said that the botanicals he experimented with ruined the fresh blueberry flavor.

Bluet, Terrien’s new blueberry sparkling wine, is bone dry and just 7.5 percent alcohol, which allows the blueberry flavor to come through.

“I wanted the purity of the blueberry,” Terrien said. “I don’t really care for the wines made with blueberries partly because you have to add to much sugar to get the alcohol up to wine levels.”

He made his first bottles of blueberry wine in 2012, using wild blueberries he bought from growers in Union and Hope. That wine, fermented in his father’s garage in Rockland, convinced him – reluctantly – that bubbly was really the way to go. Making sparkling wine is “horribly complex,” Terrien said.

“The last thing I really wanted to do was make a champagne,” he said. “It (had) occurred to me, when I thought of all the different alcoholic beverages I could make out of blueberries, it was the obvious thing, but I immediately dismissed it. It costs so much money, and there are so many things that can go wrong.”

But Terrien managed to avoid those pitfalls. Bluet – that’s what Thoreau called wild blueberries – is now being made in the fieldstone cellar of an 1800s barn at Damariscotta Lake Farm. The barn belongs to Terrien’s uncle. Terrien and his business partner, Eric Martin, produced 60 cases last summer, which they expect to sell out of by September. The next batch will be 250 cases.

Bluet sells for $20 at LeRoux Kitchen in Portland, and can also be found in the city at Aurora Provisions, Central Provisions and Lois’ Natural Foods. For a complete, statewide list of locations that sell it, visit the Bluet website.

Terrien recommends serving Bluet as an aperitif or mixing it in a cocktail. Add a splash of orange liqueur and a sprig of mint if you’d like a touch more sweetness.

A word of warning: Chill the bottle properly before opening it, or you will be wearing your Bluet instead of drinking it.

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