Thursday, December 31, 2009

A Sparkling New Year

I thought with it being New Year's Eve it would be appropriate to discuss sparkling wines. I am sure we all know it can only be called champagne if it's from that region in France, blah, blah, blah. I think I've had actual champagne only a handful of times. My staples in the past were Korbel and Martini and Rossi. And I only bought it for New Year's or if we were celebrating something. But in the past few months, I have decided I like to drink it just because and I started to branch out.

The first new variety I tried was Prosecco which is an Italian Sparkling wine. Our liquor store (Total Wine & More which is a can go to their web site to see of they have stores near you) carries a TON of different kinds of Prosecco. The first one we tried was Il Cortigiano. It costs around $10 and is very good. It's not too sweet which my husband likes. It's crisp and fruity and I imagine it would make a good mimosa but ours is never around that long!

The second kind of Prosecco we tried was Botter which makes several different varieties. My favorite so far is the Prosecco Raboso which is a rosé. It's made up of 55% Prosecco and 45% Raboso which is a red wine commonly from northeastern Italy around Veneto. Again, this was very crisp and not too sweet. It also sells for around $10. I am bringing a bottle of it to the party we are going to tonight.

Botter also makes a Verduzzo Prosecco which is 49% Prosecco and 51% Verduzzo which is a white wine from the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region of northeast Italy. Again this is a dry wine with a bit more sparkle than the other two. This also sells for around $10. Botter of course makes a plain Prosecco which is very good as well and sells for $10-$12 depending on if they have it on special.

The other variety we tried recently was Cava which is a Spanish sparking wine. So far the only producer we have tried is Rondel. We had had their Pura Raza Brut several times now and we have really enjoyed it. This wine definitely had hints of citrus and was crisp and dry. This was a very good deal at around $8 and made a great mimosa.

Lastly, I want to mention a California Sparkling wine which was recommended to me by my cousin who knows his wine. It is a Brut Cuvee by Barefoot Cellars. This is definitely a bargain wine at around $8 but my cousin was was very good. It was crisp and dry with the aroma of green apples and hints of kiwi.

We plan on continuing to expand our sparkling wine repertoire so I am sure I will be back with more bargain recommendations. Happy New Year, everyone!

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