Aug 10 2010

Sparkling in the Shade

Published by at 1:03 PM under News and Trends,Sparkling Wine

Sparkling wine (and Champagne in particular) is known to many as the “special occasion” beverage—light, effervescent, crisp on the palate, with an option to pop the cork in a dramatic, frenzied spectacle. Just be careful where you point those 90+ pounds of pressure beneath the cork!

In a more practical sense though, sparkling wines are a year-round pleasure and among the wine world’s ultimate thirst quenchers. If you’re here in Chicago this week, you know temperatures in the 90s with heat indexes approaching 100 degrees will call for a proven antidote: ice-cold flutes of sparkling wine.

Champagne, France, may be the most famous producer of bubbly on the planet, but here at Just Grapes, Champagne is one part of our global stock of sparkling wines, coming from five different countries, and within the United States, from California, Oregon, and New Mexico. All have unique flavor profiles and source grapes that give each bottle its own personality.

So stay “hydrated” and simultaneously expand your sparkling wine palate this week by picking up a few of these favorites, and more:

Australia:

750ml MV Bitch Bubbly Sparkling Grenache/Shiraz Blend, South Australia [$10.39]
Wall Street Journal Pick

Pale red/strawberry color. Vibrant sweet strawberries, sweet raspberries and berries with some toffee notes on the nose. Sweet strawberries, sweet candy, fresh berries, some sweet citrus, with long luscious creamy finish.

New Mexico:

NV Gruet Blanc De Noir Sparkling Wine, Albuquerque, New Mexico [$13.19]

The rich and toasty character of Gruet’s Blanc de Noirs is balanced and superb. Aged for two-year minimum, the palate is developed and shows rich complex flavors.

Spain:

Familia Oliveda Joven, Cava, Spain [$13.19]

An attractive, bright pale straw color. It has a well formed mousse and fine bubbles that form multiple chains. This Cava shows a wonderful aromatic intensity, rich in floral aromas and fruit tones that display a lovely youthful character. The palate is very clean, fruity and crisp with a creamy roundness. It has an extremely well balanced structure that has an enticing, lingering persistence.

Italy:

NV Bele Casel Prosecco di Valdobbiadene, Veneto, Italy [$14.39]

Lemon and gold color with peach, vanilla and melon fruit aromas. Flavors of ripe peaches, citrus (mandarin orange), toasty with minerals on the finish.

France:

NV Besserat de Bellefon Brut, Champagne, France [$41.59]
Brilliant straw color with copper highlights. Fine, persistent froth forming a noticeable ring. The nose is dominated by woodland flowers, apples, pears and above all, candied fruit. Rich and varied aromas, full of delicacy and subtlety.

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