Ah the holiday season! It must mean it’s time to buy some sparkling wine! Here at Club Trader Joe’s HQ we always seem to have a bottle of two of sparkling wine in the fridge ready to drink. My wife loves, loves the stuff. Especially if it’s pink! So, I was meandering around the wine department looking for a good sparkling wine for every night drinking and I spied this in the sparkling wine section. I’ve not seen it before but a quick search on the web shows it’s been in and out of Trader Joe’s for some time. I saw the price of $4.99 (price varies by state) and couldn’t resist.
A quick refresher on sparkling wine. Wine made in Champagne is called Champagne (except some bizzaro exceptions on California). Wine made like Champagne outside of Champagne is usually called Sparkling Wine. There are other sparkling wines from Spain, Germany, France and Italy that have their own names, but much of it has to be labeled “sparkling wine”
Blanc de Blancs means it is made with white wine grapes, if it was Champagne it would be Chardonnay. Brut means it’s fairly dry, with a max of around 3% residual sugar.
First off, it’s hard to tell what region this wine comes from because the label only says “Product of France”. But where could a wine like this really come from. I’m guessing it’s either from the Loire valley or Alsace where they grow a lot of bulk white grapes and seeing that it’s only 11% alcohol means cool climate grapes. I doubt it was made Methode Champenoise which is the time honored way of making sparkling wine in Champagne but a bulk method to introduce CO2 into the wine.
So what does it look and taste like? The wine is very pale straw yellow. The bottle is pretty heavy, which means it’s probably got a lot of carbonation. There was also a real Champagne style cork with a wire hood. Usually wines this cheap have crown caps or plastic corks. It smelled like granny smith apples, pears with a hint of sourdough bread. On the palate the bubbles danced across my tongue and flavors of crisp lemons and green apples passed through my mouth and the taste lingered way longer than I expected. Not the most complex sparkling wine I’ve every tasted, but at $4.99 it sure is worth the price! Definitely serve this at your holiday celebrations and/or weddings if you want to have a lot of sparkling wine on hand!
In wine parlance, I would rate this an 86 points and I’ll give it 8 bells!