Put Some Sparkle in Your Spring

It took a while, but Spring finally seems to have come to our little section of Philadelphia. The cherry blossoms have bloomed, the windows are flung open at night, and I have been able to get out on my bike more often.

I have also dug out my 43 pair of shorts, failed to find my flip-flops, and have already fired up the barbecue more times than I can count. Yes, Spring is here in Philadelphia, perhaps the finest season to be in the Cradle of Liberty. Days are getting longer and occasionally warmer, more and more people are out walking in the neighborhood, and Philly’s National Holiday, the Fourth of July, is just around the corner.

My street a couple of weeks ago.

My street a couple of weeks ago.

When I saw the trees bloom on our street a couple of weeks ago, I realized that this would be my last Spring in my adopted home town as we are moving to Houston just after the Fourth. At first, I was apprehensive as I heard all these stories about how the weather is just horrible there in the summer; it regularly reaches well past 100º and the humidity is usually even higher.

My street after it rained....

My street after it rained….

For the past six months I have been trying to convince myself that it won’t be all that bad–I have concluded that there are three months you really don’t want to be outside in either locale. In Philly, it’s December, January, and February. In Houston it’s June, July, and August.

Regardless, I know one element that will remain constant: I am going to continue to drink a ton of sparkling wine. As I have mentioned repeatedly, sparkling wine is the most versatile of wine styles as it can be paired with practically any dish. It also should be consumed year-round, not just in the final few weeks of the year.

With that in mind, here are a few bottles of sparkling wine that I recently sampled that would be a great addition to your Spring (or Summer) repertoire:

Anna CordoniuNV Codorníu Cava Brut Blanc de Blancs Anna de Codorníu Rerserva: Retail $15. 70% Chardonnay, 30% Parellada. Nice aromas of peach, pear, and lemon in the glass with a tiny sparkle percolating through the pale yellow liquid to the surface. Past the lips this is fruity and tasty, a really nice sparkler, particularly for the tariff. Not, the most introspective of wines, but I honestly would buy this by the case and break it out often. Very Good. 87-89 Points.

Anna roseNV Codorníu Anna de Cordon Brut Rosé: Retail $15. 70% Pinot Noir, 30% Chardonnay. Strawberry, cherry, and rhubarb a go-go. On the palate, juicy and inviting with rich fruit and surprising depth. This is a sparkler that is for drinking in the short term, but it is on the verge of gangbusters. Outstanding. 89-91 Points.

Cote masCoté Mas Crémant de Limoux: Retail $16. 60% Chardonnay, 20% Chenin Blanc, 10% Pinot Noir, 10% Mauzac. Muted citrus fruit and a bit of bread. On the palate, really bright and fun. This is a bargain at $16 and a steal at anything less than that. I have said before that Paul Mas is making some impressive wines and this is further evidence. Very Good. 87-89 Points.

GilgalGolan Heights Winery Gilgal Brut Galilee: Retail $15. 50% Chardonnay, 50% Pinot Noir. I am pretty sure this is the first sparkling wine I have tried from the Golan Heights and I hope it is not the last: A tart Granny Smith apple nose that persists on the palate though a fine sparkle, it is a bit low on the biscuity aspects that are the hallmark of most traditional method sparkling wines, but again, a fine effort. Very Good. 86-88 Points.

MiaRosa MoscatoMia Rosa Moscato IGT: Retail $13. If you have never had a Moscato, why are you waiting? If it is good enough for Lil’ Kim, Drake, and Nicki Minaj, it is good enough for common folk like me (and presumably you). Great peach, apple, and pear, a slight sparkle and some sweetness define the wine–great for spicy food to barbecue, and all the way to dessert, this is a versatile wine. Light in alcohol and price, if you don’t mind a bit of sweetness, this is a wine you should always have in your cellar. Very Good. 87-89 Points.

Riverbench2014 Riverbench Cork Jumper Rosé Brut: Retail $42. 100% (?) Pinot Noir. The fine bubbles elevate through a faint salmon hue and help buoy the strawberry and rhubarb aromas out of the glass. Quite tart on the palate, with considerable depth and hints of baked bread on the finish. I drink a ton of sparkling wine and at this price point, there are few domestic sparklers that out perform. The only drawback? They call it “Méthode Champenoise” which the people from Champagne really frown upon. And since I consider myself practically champenois, well…. Outstanding. 91-93 Points.

About the drunken cyclist

I have been an occasional cycling tour guide in Europe for the past 20 years, visiting most of the wine regions of France. Through this "job" I developed a love for wine and the stories that often accompany the pulling of a cork. I live in Houston with my lovely wife and two wonderful sons.
This entry was posted in Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Mauzac, Moscato, Parellada, Pinot Noir, Sparkling Wine, Wine and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Put Some Sparkle in Your Spring

  1. Good you can take your sparkling wine with you to Houston, and your memories of cherry blossoms… petals everywhere after a rain – a rare sight!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. There’s a reason EVERYONE in Houston has air conditioning, Jeff. 😉 The heat and humidity will also give you all the more reason to quaff some of that sparkling wine. I do not like the feel of A/C on my skin, and if you don’t either I would suggest you install a “mister” in your backyard so you can enjoy the outdoors in comfort.

    If you ever feel like listening to Indie rock in the Montrose area, my brother is the sound dude for all the bands on Friday and Saturday nights at Rudyards. But somehow I don’t think you are into Indie rock, but maybe you will surprise me. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. dwdirwin says:

    I’ve had the Anna Brut Rosé. I really enjoyed it- especially at that price point 🙂


  4. Love love love the Anna Brut Rosé! My go to party in a bottle. Dude, you will be loving the winter in TX and summer is all about AC and the pool. Bye bye Philly snow boots, hello HeeHaw pedi manis. Looking forward to your future posts drenched in culture shock. Sunday’s especially!


  5. Lynn Millar says:

    Got a hand-me-down rose – Veuve Cliquot. (gift to non-drinker to me). Supposedly costly. Is it any good?


  6. Am an Anna fan, myself!


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