Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Wine Blogging Wednesday #37: Going Native with Indigenous Grapes

It's time once again for Wine Blogging Wednesday, the online virtual tasting event started more than three years ago by Lenn Thompson of Lenndevours. This month our host is Tyler Colman, better known in the blogosphere as Dr. Vino. He set the theme of indigenous grapes for WBW #37, and asked us all to find a wine that was made with grapes indigenous to its place of production. He also asked us to steer clear of the big grape varietals--sauvignon blanc, cabernet--if we could. That left me with choices from the Loire, the Languedoc-Roussillon region, and from Spain. Or England, which is where I'm writing to you from at the moment, but it turns out England doesn't have a native grape--or not one that I could find.

The wine I chose was from Spain, and is a classic bargain sparkler. The NV Cristalino Cava Brut is made from not one, not two, but three indigenous grapes: macabeo, xarel'lo, and parellada. (Whole Foods, $8.99; available practically everywhere else for between $3 and $8). All three varietals produce acidic, citrusy juice that is blended to produce Spanish sparkling wine.

As budget sparklers go, I was impressed with the very good QPR that this wine had. Interesting aromas of bread dough and lemon give way to a citrusy palate with an edge of buttered toast. While this was not as complex as a vintage French champagne or US sparkling wine, it had much more complexity than many of the proseccos that are available at this price point. As a result, it would be a great bubbly for making mimosas at brunch, but it was good on its own with food, as well. I would definitely buy it again. And again!

Thanks to Dr. Vino for hosting such a great event, one that had me hitting the reference books to find out where grapes came from and which wines they made. When the roundup is posted I will, as always let you know, as well as giving you a heads-up on the theme for October's WBW #38.

5 comments:

Sonadora said...

I wonder if you get bonus points for hitting 3 native grapes?? Overachiever! ;)

Joe said...

I did not think of sparkling! Of course, I was a bonus points keener and this wine would never have a new world counterpart...

Dr. Debs said...

Sonadora, I don't know--sure hope so. And Joe, that was my cunning plan. I figured, no one would remember cava which is everywhere and therefore even knows what's in it. I had forgotten it had parellada, so I count myself among those not in the know.

Jill said...

okay here's something I hate to do...but Cristalino is on sale right now at Pavilions for $5.99 a bottle. Only $5.40 if you buy 6 bottles. WOW. This is more than $3 less than what I usually see it for, and is pretty much wholesale cost. If you can stomach buying wine at Pavilions, I actually think this is worth it. That's the last time I will ever recommend that anybody buy their wine there.

Dr. Debs said...

Jill, thanks for the heads up. I've always said that if Pavilions has the wine you want on sale, it's usually hard to beat the price. Of course, they have to stock the wine you want--which is something of a hit or (mostly) miss proposition.