Budget Friendly Cava

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample for review.

Just in time for the holidays I’ve started to open up some bubbly. If you come around these parts with any regularity you know how much I love bubbles. Which is why the holiday season is particularly wonderful since people open more bubble, even though I firmly believe bubbles should be enjoyed frequently just because it’s Tuesday, for example.  Tonight we tried the Segura Viudas Brut Cava which retails for around $9.

Four takeaways from this wine:

1.) Hosting a big holiday party this year? This budget Cava is wallet friendly and crowd-pleasing.

2.) If you want to step it up a bit, try the Segura Viudas Riserva, which has the added benefit of coming in an incredibly cool looking bottle. (I made one of mine into a lamp!)

3.) Cava in general, and the Segura Viudas Brut in particular, offers a lot of bang for your buck.

4.) I’d serve the Segura Viudas with my cheese plate this Thanksgiving.

On the nose I got a waxy note, pepper, flowers, and lemon. In the mouth I found peach, orange peel and melon. The wine had long-lasting bubbles and good acidity.



Cool Bottle

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from the PR folks for the winery.

While I tend to drink bubbles all year, many folks seem to associate sparkling wines with the holiday season. Around this time I go hunting for new sparklers to entice and delight. Tonight I went fishing (mixing my outdoorsy metaphors here) in the basement and came back out with the Segura Viudas Cava Brut Reserva Heredad. The wine has a traditional Champagne closure, clocks in at 12% alcohol by volume, and retails for around $26. I’m saving the bottle to do something yet to be determined with because it’s a really cool bottle.

1.) The wine had a really refined and small bubbles, something I don’t normally associate with a Cava.

2.) If you are looking to make a splash with a really different looking bottle, this one is sure to impress.

3.) I thought the Heredad was really well done, but the price is a little steep.

4.) I was really taken with the long finish and toast on the wine.

On the nose I got toast, apple, and lemon rind. In the mouth I found lemon, bitters, toast, apple, and pear. The finish on the wine lingered and the fine bubbles and acidity kept the wine refreshing and light.



Cava Time

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from Pasternak Imports

Bubbles! We all know how much I love bubbles. In 2010 (or was it 2009? My years are starting to blend together…) I made it a goal to drink more bubbles. I did pretty well with that goal and as a result we’ve incorporated sparkling wine into our everyday wine rotations. Nothing makes a Tuesday or Thursday night special like a glass of bubbly! Tonight we tried the NV Paul Cheneau Cava Blanc de Blancs. It had a traditional Champagne closure, clocked in at 12% alcohol by volume, and retails for about $9.

On the nose I got lemon, yeast, pear, and nutty and toast aromas. In the mouth I found lots of fruit, lemon, pear, and peach mostly. Overall the wine had great acidity and I found it to be crisp and fruity. In my notes I wrote “I just found a new house sparkler.” For $9, it’s easily a perfect weekday sparkler.

Bubbles and New Grapes!

Buying this bottle of wine might help you get 3 grapes for your Century Club application! It added two more to my list on my (slow) quest to reach 200. So I’m at about 208 now. At this rate I’ll make it in 10 years! I picked up this bottle of Cava Barcino from Domaine LA. Jill is always good for bubbly and new grapes! I paid about $15, it had a traditional Champagne-type closure, and clocked in at 11.5% alcohol by volume. This Cava is a blend of Xarello (not new to me), Macabeu (new!), and Parellada (new!).

On the nose I got toast, lemon, and lemon custard. While it had a simple nose, it smelled clean and fresh, and well, I like lemon custard. In the mouth I found lemon, lime, and other citrus. I thought I got a hint of the toast from the nose, but really it was mostly citrus. Overall I found the wine to be crisp, but it had a nice creamy smoothness on the finish. I’d definitely get this one again at the price point.

Tuesday Wine Down Review

As previously mentioned, we joined Leah of DC Gastronome (too cute with her food journal open the whole time!) at David Greggory for the Happy hour meeting of the DC/NOVA Meetup Wine Club. All in all, a good time was had. A good number of people showed up (I would say around 20 over the course of the evening!) and it was great to meet new people, which I find is hard to do when you move to a new place and 95% of the people at your new job are at significantly different life stages than you are.

Overall, the restaurant was crowded! It was hard to get enough seats for everyone at the bar, and the bar is a good size. The servers were also a little frantic, they seemed to only have one bartender for their biggest happy hour of the week…..

The wine specials for the evening, at $4.75 a glass were a Spanish Grenache, a Cava and a Chardonnay. I don’t think anyone had the Chardonnay. I had the Grenache and the Cava. Nice selections, I was particulary impressed with the Cava, it had great bubbles, a scent of yeast, and was crisp and light with apple and pear flavors. The Grenache was a little less exciting, though definitely drinkable. It had little on the nose, but the mouth was nice and fruity and it went down easily.

Several options existed for appetizer specials and the group seemed to try all of them over the course of the evening. I didn’t have any (not my best call ever), since Matt wanted the deviled eggs (NMS), but he said they were delicious. He got 3 deviled eggs filled with different centers for $5.00. Not so bad. I also saw they had some mini-pizzas and wings. Everything looked good, and came out of the kitchen quickly.

We stayed for dinner and a bottle of wine after the happy hour slowed down a bit. I’ll review that later!

Melted Cheese and Chocolate

Plus great company, what more could you ask for? Some tasty bubbly perhaps?

We went out last night to the Melting Pot for dinner with our friends Danielle and Tom. Always excellent to see them, especially over a fun meal. Restaurant week is now over until August, but we took advantage of it again last night.

For dinner we had a melted cheese fondue of swiss cheeses served with various bread, veggies and green apples for dinner. The second course was meat fondue in a vegetable broth, served with terrikayi steak, chicken, shrimp, gorganzola and shrimp ravioli and assorted vegetables. Finally, we had a dark chocolate fondue with marshmellow cream and Oreo crumbles. Yum. Excellent food!!

The meal was pretty much fixed, we could change the cheese and chocolate, but that was about it. So I figured with the mix of food and flavors I would pick a sparkling wine. I haven’t had a Cava in a while, so that’s what I went with. A Segura Viudas Aria Estate Brut. The restaurant price was $28, 11.5% alcohol by volume and a traditional champagne closure. I see that it’s available around $10 online, so not a terrible markup for a restaurant.

In the mouth, there were apples, pears and spices, with a hint of either a nectarine or a peach. There were nice little bubbles in the mouth and a good finish. I liked it, and would get it again if I could find it again for $10!