Couple of milestones here... I got to try a new grape (Nerello Mascalese), taking my life list to 175 unique grapes from 31 countries and 17 states in the US. This is the 1200th post on Benito's Wine Reviews, and my eighth anniversary is right around the corner. What a fascinating trip it's been...
The holidays were pretty jolly with the many bottles of bubbles around the house. It meant that pretty much any occasion with friends or family could be accompanied by a popping cork. As much fun as that was, I always prefer enjoying sparkling wines with meals, as they were intended to be consumed. Take these Valdo wines, for example.
NV Valdo Rosé Brut
Veneto & Sicily
Glera & Nerello Mascalese
$11, 12% abv.
This is a pretty hearty rosé, and the Nerello Mascalese has a powerful, fruity, Concord grape flavor. While still dry, it reminded me a lot more of a pre-mixed kir cocktail than a traditional brut rosé. Also interesting: the Prosecco (Glera) came from the Veneto while the red grapes came from Sicily. While it's definitely a bit unusual for a sparkling wine, I did find it to be fun with deep dish pizza on a cold winter Saturday.
NV Valdo Cuvée del Fondatore Prosecco Brut
90% Glera, 10% Chardonnay
$20, 12% abv.
The Supertuscans have established the potential for blending traditionally French grapes with native Italian ones, and it's interesting to see this pop up around the rest of country. While I enjoy Prosecco as a casual sparkling wine, I do think that it benefits immensely from the structure of Chardonnay, which spent a little time in French oak. That provides a hint of vanilla underneath the honey and floral and ripe pear aromas. Overall, a very fine Prosecco and well worth checking out.
Note: These wines were received as samples.