I’m Back to share with you all a “Celebratory edition” of the weekend wine 🍷🍾 review.
So, what’s the difference in all of these wines that have bubbles?
This weekend’s review is to help navigate the fancier things in life, celebrating with champagne but on a beer budget. All of the examples and their styles are available for a very reasonable price, otherwise why do them at all? We aren’t the “Rockefellers” at least I’m surely not. So here we go……
By definition it is a white sparkling wine associated with celebration and regarded as a symbol of luxury, specifically that made in the Champagne region of France. And that’s the #1 reason, all about its specific region, it’s the “blue blood” of sparkling wines, that all the others want to achieve. But can the average Joe or Jane hang out in this rareafied air? As I like to say “does the Pope wear a funny hat?” Yes you can & he sure does. The examples below are available and they are true Champagne from the region and have the hint of almond taste in the sparkling as well as a toast like scent coupled with orange zest that is so clean, you may never go back.
From left to right ….. Tendil et Lombardi, Montaudon, Philipe Prie all have traditional Champagne characteristics on a blue collar budget. You need to search but you can get them all for under $25-30.
Cava is Spain’s contribution to the sparkling world and boy did they come with their “A” game. For our sports enthusiasts who are reading this, Spain and Cava is like the Division 2 LB who out worked every stud at the combine and has a great NFL career. The one that Todd McShay or the pompus Mel Kiper didnt have a grade on. Cava by definition means “From the cave” specifically from the area around Catalonia, Spain. Cava is made the same way all Champagnes and sparklings are but in their own Mediterranean way. Its not as complex as Champagne but has a more crisp fruit taste then sparklings. Think bubbles with a hint of apple or apricot and its nose to a soft pistachio. I have one “Go to”! Cava and it never disappoints, this gem is also in a fancy bottle so it will impress at your table. This is Freixenet, (Fresh-in-et) the X is silent and is pronounced as SH. The do it all that is a staple in my house for any event or just to make pizza more fun, this is the bottle. And at under $15 you can’t beat it
By definition Sparkling is any champagne style of wine produced outside of Champagne. Its mostly used in terms for the United States regions. The world of sparkling in the US has like we alway do, come to party. There are some super top notch Sparklings and I have a few that won’t blow your budget. If you are the person who is loyal to the theme of “Made in the USA” this is for you.
The U.S. Sparkling game is very fruit foward with only soft hints of nutshell etc.. Not as sweet and fruity as prosecco (they’re up soon) but a legit party in a bottle that can wear blue jeans or a tuxedo. Most of your U.S. sparkling comes from California (Napa/Sonoma) but the southwest region has a few contenders rising the ranks. While “Mumm” sounds very English, it hails from Napa and “Gruet” sounds French, it comes in from New Mexico. Both of these products are produced the same way but have slightly different hints and tastes based on the region. Sparkling is so popular that even the finger lakes (NY) “Dr Konstantin” as well as the Oregon regions “Underwood” have gotten on board.
Proseco is last because it actually is the least. Proseco is Italy’s contribution to the Sparkling world. This is the sweetest of the bunch and in some ways its a good thing and some a bad. If you want to have a fantastic Mimosa on a Saturday with the girls or guys? Proseco is the good filler before you splash OJ or in my house some cranberry juice (called a poinsettia) The Italians are known for robust Tuscan red wines and this isnt their best product by far, but has its place. Due to its sweet factor, If you like it fun and sweet? Go with Proseco for your brunch plans. LaMarca is the name that you’ll see the most and does the job, but if Cinzano is on the shelf I recommend it over the usual suspect of Lamarca.
I hope this helps you navigate the aisles of the wine & spirits or the internet when you are searching for the right glass of wine that has bubbles to tickle your fancy and nose. So for now “Au revoir” “Adios” , “Arrivederci” and Goodbye.