Continuing in my never ending quest for good wine at a good price I want to pass on a decent value that I had the other day. Its a Spanish Non-Vintage Cava called Cristallino Cava Brut. Cava is Spanish sparkling wine and has a reputation for having some great values. Under Spanish law, it can only be produced in six wine regions (mainly in the Pendes region to the West of Barcelona) and is made according to the same methods as Champagne is (i.e. with second fermentation in the bottle). It can be made from a blend of any of six grapes: Macabeo, Parellada, Xarel-lo, Chardonnay, Pinot noir, and Subirat.
I picked it up for $9.99 at the Spirit Shop on 7th street. It had lots of fine bubbles with nose of pineapple and orange. Very crisp with lots of great acidity and flavors of lemon and orange. Hint of bread on the finish. Had worse Champagnes at eight times the price. Looking online I saw that some people elsewhere in the country had seen this on sale for $6-7. It would be a terrific value at that price. Great with a variety of food and decent just to drink alone. We had it with a Kabocha squash- pasta recipe and it turned out to be one of those phenomenal wine-food pairings that makes me all geeky as the tart acidity and citrus really played off the sweetness of the squash. Rating: a solid 88.
As a follow up to my October 31st post: on election night I had a bottle of N.V. Mumm Napa Blanc de Noirs ($18, Spirit Shop) a rose California sparkler, which I gave an 86+ to. Was decent, if it had any flaws it was just that it was on the plain side. You can do as well if not better for less money.