It's getting warmer here--86°F/30°C yesterday. Everything's starting to green up, and I'm going to have to mow the lawn next week. When the weather changes, so do my wine drinking habits. I back off the reds a bit and move towards rosés, whites, and sparklers. In a quest for one of the last category, I saw a $7 bottle of the NV Barefoot Bubbly California Brut Cuvée Chardonnay Champagne.
The Barefoot wines are inexpensive and fly off the shelves around here, though I find them a little sweet for my tastes. But the sparkling wines came in two styles, Brut and Extra Dry. I picked the drier option, or the Brut. Not bad. It's got a crisp Chardonnay nose--no yeast or buttered toast aromas. The flavor is reminiscent of the cut up green apples Mom would put in my lunch when I was a kid. She'd sprinkle lemon juice over them to keep the slices from turning brown, and this combination of green apple and citric acid flavor in the wine is surprisingly similar. Once it warms up some, there's an interesting cherry pie aftertaste.
It's not the most complex sparkling wine I've ever had, but probably one of the best under $10 that you'll find. This would be an excellent choice for large parties or gatherings of non-wine geeks where a bottle of bubbly is required. Maybe do equal cases of this and the Extra Dry to provide an option for those with a sweet tooth.
For more information on the background of the wine and the use of the word Champagne, check out this extensive interview with the winemaker.