Saturday, December 5, 2009


There is a major shortcoming concerning wine in my life that I share with many others. I don't drink nearly enough sparkling wine. That has nothing to do with not liking sparklers, it's just that I rarely think of them. It's also due to the fact that except for the month of December most merchants put their sparklers in the corner, rather than displaying them in a more prominent location. It's the old "which came first - the chicken or the egg" conundrum. Are they in the corner because they don't sell other than at holidays or do they not sell except at holidays because they are in the corner.

Enough! They were displaying sparkling wines today and I brought one home and put a slight chill on it. The wine is Toso, a 100% Chardonnay sparkling wine from Argentina. It wasn't a wine I was a familiar with but an internet search said that it is Charmat process wine, not surprising since it cost only $10. Still, a $10 sparkler could be a good thing.

So how's it taste? I do like a slight chill on my sparkling wine and that kills a lot of the nose so unlike still wines I tend to drink first and sniff later. This wine tasted like a sharp lemon curd with just a hint of pineapple near the end. The after taste was pretty much confined to Granny Smith apples. The bubble action was acceptable and there was more than enough acidity. A few seconds after the finish there was a suggestion of residual sugar that I didn't care for and that taste lingered for some time. What was missing was the yeasty smell that I love in Champagne or other m├ęthode champenoise sparklers, wines that have their secondary fermentation in the bottle instead of in bulk.

I left a little in the glass to come to room temperature and the warmer wine revealed a one dimensional nose of apples. For $10, this is a good wine and a decent buy, and it would be great for Champagne cocktails. It's also a wine I won't be drinking a lot of out of a flute.

No comments: