This month’s theme for Wine Blogging Wednesday is value sparkling wines (i.e., wines with bubbles that cost less than $25). I’m a fan of sparkling wines, so I knew I wanted to participate in this one. As a VA wine lover and local wine advocate, you might expect that I’d talk about a local bottle of bubbly. The going price point for most sparkling wines in Virginia seems to be $30, so that takes them out of this value category. One exception is the Virginia Fizz from Thibaut-Jannison Winery. I’ve blogged about this wine in the past, it came in tops in our VA blogger sparkling wine tasting last year, and it typically retails for between $22 and $28, so it does qualify. While I really like this wine – and all of Claude Thibaut’s offerings – I don’t really consider $25 a budget wine.
When I’m looking for a solid, budget-friendly sparkler, I turn to New Mexico (yes, you read that correctly) and Gruet Winery. My favorite Gruet offering is their non-vintage blanc de noirs, but they also offer a brut made from just chardonnay that’s really popular. Both of these wines retail in my area for between $12 and $18 depending on the store and the season (e.g., sales around New Year’s Eve), so these are what I consider my budget bubbles. In fact, given my particular preferences for dry, yeasty sparkling wines, I’d go so far as to say these are the best value for money I’ve found.
Given this, we decided to remove the cage and pop the cork on a bottle of the Gruet Brut and share our impressions with you. After all, like me, you may not associate New Mexico with wine, but given this wine, maybe you should. We also figured it was a good way to celebrate Valentine’s Day on a very busy for both of us Tuesday.
Dinner was a red curry braised tofu and veggie dish that, while yummy, wasn’t really intended to pair with any wine. The bubbles were fine with it, but I appreciated this wine much more on its own. The nose offered tons of green apple and yeast notes. On teh palate, I got a lot more citrus, mostly lemon, along with some apple and toasted bread.
This isn’t the most complex bottle of sparkling wine I’ve ever had, and I still do prefer the blanc de noirs, but this wine is consistent and enjoyable. At this price, there’s nothing to complain about. If you’ve yet to check out a Gruet offering, do so soon – I doubt you’ll regret it.
The Trenchcoat-Clad Figure Exhorts Passers-By “Bubbles Ain’t Free, Pal, But I Can Cut You One Heck of a Deal” by Swirl, Sip, Snark, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.