Last #WineWednesday, I talked about the (delicious and downright sultry) Salton Tannat. But here we have something new: a delightful budget bubbler.
By now, if you’ve been researching your budget sparklers, you’ve had Cava and Prosecco and probably even a few mixes touting themselves as “California Champagne.” But if you look southward, say, toward Brazil, you can discover a new bubbly: Salton Intenso Brut.
Traditional Champagne is usually a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and/or Pinot Meunier. It’s vinted, distilled, and bottled in a very specific method to give it its traditional small bubbles. And, as we know, it can be very, very expensive.
Most of the Champagne sold in the United States is Brut champagne– that’s a sweetness level that is designated by the sugar levels in the final wine. Brut Champagne is actually fairly dry, meaning it doesn’t have that much sugar in it. Sometimes, extra Brut or Brut is so dry, I find it unpleasant. Kinda painful, actually. (Generally speaking, if I can, I search out a Sec Champagne, which is harder to find and a bit more expensive, alas.)
The Salton sparkling wine is a blend of Chardonnay and Riesling, and makes for a palatably sweet sparkling wine with nice bubbles and a delightful color. It retails for about $15 (the same as any Prosecco from Italy), and has an excellent presentation– just look at that bottle! It’s perfect for a wedding, IMHO.
Though Riesling doesn’t necessarily have to be sweet or syrupy (the labeling method for German Riesling sweetness is the most confusing thing in the world, which is a whole ‘nother post), the addition of Riesling to Chardonnay gives a nice body to this wine. I could see this going into a number of sparkling wine cocktails– would be a great mixer with OJ for a morning mimosa.
Or maybe… making some Champagne Jello cubes?