The Biscayne Times

Jul 03rd
Celebrate with Bubbly on a Budget PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jacqueline Coleman, BT Contributor   
December 2019

Red, white, and you: Agreeable wine for $15 or less

MPix_Vino_12-19ove over, Champagne! You aren’t the only sparkling wine in town. All it takes is a quick stroll down the bubbly aisle at your local wine shop to notice the variety in sparkling wines these days.

From Spanish Cava to Italian Prosecco, Franciacorta to American bubbles from California, New Mexico, and beyond, wine lovers no longer have to rely on the classic cuvée from northern France to mark celebrations. This is not to say that Champagne doesn’t have its place, just not on our list of Vino price-approved wines.

When it comes to more economical options, Cava is having quite the moment. If I had to pick a winner among the sparkling wines made outside of France, I’d say that Cava wins as the best bang for your buck. It’s quite possible to find a high-quality Cava at a reasonable price. In fact, here are three of them.

Look no further than the Cune Cava Brut as a guaranteed crowd pleaser. The blend is 50 percent Xarel-lo, 35 percent Macabeo, and 15 percent Parrellada, and 100 percent enjoyable classic Cava. Fruit and floral aromas tantalize on the nose and blend with freshness in the palate. It is very balanced, with fine bubbles and a smooth finish that clings to your cheeks. The acidity is just right, meaning you can use Cune as an accompaniment to seafood, white meat, and salty cheese, in addition to your celebratory moments.

The Anna de Codorníu Blanc de Blancs Brut Reserva is on the higher end of our price range, and the higher end of the overall enjoyment scale. For those who prefer Champagne grapes, this may be the Cava for you. With 70 percent Chardonnay in the blend, this sparkler has bright, juicy citrus and apple flavors with some nutty aromas sneaking into the nose and lingering at the back of the tongue. Anna is a little weightier than the Cune, making it an excellent option for any occasion that calls for bubbles at the dinner table.

Pronounced fresh-eh-net, the Freixenet Cordon Negro Brut Cava presents regally in a black-and-gold bottle and is an easy one to drink. Apple and pear flavors dominate, with some savory notes floating throughout. Whew, you’ll get some acidity, too, which holds it all together nicely. This is a lighter Cava, but with excellent flavor.

Let’s move along to Prosecco, which is an Italian specialty made from the Glera grape. There were two in this category, and one of them is produced in Italy by a U.S. label you may recognize. The Josh Cellars Prosecco is made in an extra dry style, meaning there is a tad bit more sweetness in the wine than found in your classic brut. It’s sharp on the nose, with apple, pear, and citrus aromas that all persist through into the palate. This bottle left me wanting in the bubbles category, but overall it’s a pleasant sparkling.

For a more interesting choice, reach for La Vostra Prosecco. Still a lighter wine, it comes with great bubbles, balanced acidity, and just the right amount of citrus fruit. La Vostra is a crisp and refreshing Prosecco. One of the great things about Proseccos is that they come across as uncomplicated, easily enjoyable sparkling wines, and that is exactly what you will get with La Vostra.

If you still can’t wrap your head around drinking a sparkling wine made outside France, let me introduce you to a couple of French options that may satisfy your craving for bubbles at a bargain. The  Cruse Blanc de Blancs Brut strikes me as a better option for one of those hot daytime celebrations than for something fancy at night. It’s light and citrusy, but the aromas of the wine are a bit stronger than the actual flavors in your mouth. It’s refreshing for a daytime boat cruise, which is fitting, if you think about it.

Lastly, consider the Depréville Brut, which is a perfect option for those who truly enjoy a Blanc de Blancs Champagne. It’s made in the traditional method and shows soft and elegant with a long, smooth finish. At less than $10 retail, Depréville does a wonderful job of giving Champagne drinkers the option to save a few bucks without losing out on the best bubbly qualities they enjoy.


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