Continuing with the bubbly theme, but this time on the bargain side...
I selected this wine for a recent Commercial Appeal online tasting. I'm repeating some of my background notes here, because this is an interesting little wine that deserves some attention. And since you can find it for under $10, it's the kind of thing you can keep in the fridge and open whenever you're in the mood. It's also extremely food-friendly, so have fun trying it with practically anything.
The NV Segura Viudas Brut Rosé. $9, 12% abv. This wine comes from Penedès, part of Catalonia in the northeast corner of Spain, near the French border. 80% Trepat, 10% Monastrell, and 10% Garnacha. Monastrell and Garnacha are just different names for Mourvèdre and Grenache. Trepat is a grape that's only grown in this region and is mostly used for rosés.
About 2800 years ago the Phoenicians were buying wine in Catalonia and selling it to the Egyptians. Cava (meaning "cave") is a more recent invention, from the 1870s. Cavas are really popular in Spain, and have gained a lot of ground here in the US as well. Segura Viudas also makes a Reserva Heredad that's bottled with a metal badge and base. You've probably seen it in the store--it looks like a prop from "Lord of the Rings".
Segura Viudas has been making wine commercially since the 1950s, but the estate goes back to the 11th century. We get excited when a building is 100 years old; some of the buildings on that property are a thousand years old.
So how does it taste? Yeasty nose, with a hint of strawberry leaves and seeds. Dry but fruity. Very crisp, firm acidity, tart berry flavors of unripe raspberries or cranberries. Big bubbles, big flavors, just what you'd expect from a casual everyday sparkler. Serve it with appetizers, salty and fatty things like olives and ham.
I took a picture of this wine using a 1/8th second exposure--just long enough to get some fun trails of the rising bubbles. I lucked out and got a fun "flame" effect there at the top of the glass. Since bubbles only form at the site of microscopic imperfections inside the glass, better Champagne flute manufacturers will laser-etch the interior to provide symmetrical "scratches" that will cause a constant and aesthetically pleasing bubble experience.
You don't really get that from a can of soda, which is one of the many reasons why we love sparkling wines.