Bargain Bubbly Babies!

You know you’re in for a fun evening when the checkout guy at Whole Foods smirks when he sees what you are purchasing.   In my case… two baby bottles of bubbly and a wedge of  Il Boschetto al Tartufo.   The bottles are literally pocket size – perfect to keep in your pocket on the train, at the movie theater…  but I just planned to bring them home.   You see, if I open an entire bottle of sparkling wine, I have to drink the whole thing in one evening.   Which results in a nice headache the next morning.   I’ll take the little single serving bottles, please!

The two choices were:   Segura Viudas Brut Reserva Cava – Spain at $3.99 for a 187 ml bottle and Anna Spinato Mini Prosecco – Italy at $5.99 for 187 ml.    Cava is made in the same method as Champagne (the short version – bubbles come from carbon dioxide in the bottle – which came from fermentation), and Prosecco undergoes fermentation in tanks and is bottled under pressure.   If you look at a glass of Champagne, you will see millions of tiny bubbles and Cava is the same.   Prosecco is more similar to a carbonated beverage…   not as many bubbles and they don’t last as long either.  

Maybe comparing Cava to Champagne and Prosecco to soda is bad, because I am already making it sound like I am biased towards the Cava.   But that is not the case  :-)   Cava is made in a more dry style, and this one is no exception… with a citrusy lemony/pear mouthfeel and sour apple and on the finish.   Prosecco is usually less dry and some are made in a slightly sweet style.   The Anna Spinato is made in that sweet style, but it is soft and fruit forward (peachy!) on the midpalate and finishes tart like a blood orange.  

I expected these sparkling wines to be pretty mediocre for the price but was pleasantly surprised by both.   If you prefer a more dry style of bubbly and want a Cava you can fit in your pocket, try the Segura Viudas…  especially if you like lots and lots of citrus.   Alternatively, if you like more fruit in your sparkling wine and can’t resist putting a strawberry in the glass… try the prosecco.   It would be great with a strawberry, and I didn’t have any!   

Segura Viudas Brut Reserva Cava – Spain- $3.99 (187 ml bottle) – Double

Anna Spinato Mini Prosecco – Italy at $5.99 (187 ml bottle) – Double

2009 Cline Oakley fiveREDS – California

When I was driving in Sonoma on a warm September Friday, I saw this sign on the side of the highway…

Of course, I had to stop.   The rose was nice, but I decided to pick up the Oakley fiveREDS blend.   This is a tasty blend of Merlot (47%), Syrah (13%), Barbera (12%), Alicante Bouchet (10%), Petite Sirah (10%).   It smells like crushed berries and something spicy.   On the mouthfeel, I definitely get the fruity qualities of the Merlot, and the finish is a bit black peppery.   Most of the fruit in this wine is cool climate and you definitely taste the acidity.   My friends and I popped this bottle open with some cranberry chili meatballs and it was a nice combo!