Holiday Big Bubbly Blowout!! Third Annual – Yay!

Join Grapenuts and our guests the “Clever Wine Group” December 5, 6pm at Braddock’s in the Grand Lobby of the Renaissance Hotel downtown Pittsburgh for our THIRD ANNUAL Grapenuts Holiday Big Bubbly Blowout!!

Here are our simple – but effective – party ingredients:

Bubbly in glasses (carefully selected, you won’t find this list that these prices anywhere in the USA!!!)

Bubbles in the air (who doesn’t love a bubble machine!?!?)

Tasty small plates from Braddock’s Chefs Brian and Dean (by the way, Sparkling Wines compliment nearly all food varieties!)

A huge crowd of NICE PEOPLE!

And as if to ring a bell for Pavlov’s Dog, here are the tasty sparklers with which we plan to party:

Spain – Anna de Codorniu Chardonnay Brut Cava NV – Jack’s blog declared this a Screaming Good Deal! From ultra-historic-and-famous Codorniu Cava house in Spain, 30% traditional Cava grapes compliment a heavy dose of 70% Chardonnay. The wine is produced using the French “Methode Traditionale”. Great stuff!

Argentina – Pascual Toso Sparkling Brut – Great blend of Chardonnay and Chenin grapes (both traditional French varietals). This bubbly is bright and fresh, truly an unapologetic Argentine, and we like it!

France – Caves de Mancey Cremant de Bourgogne NV – When you think of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, you will likely think of Burgundy… so do WE! So here is a great blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from Burgundy, made in the same process as their northern neighbors (in Champagne) – super tasty!

USA – Gruet Blanc de Noirs Sparkling Wine New Mexico NV – This bubbly is brought to us by a French Champagne Family (Gruet) that settled in New Mexico and brought all their history and expertise with them, we like this 100% Pinot Noir bubbly from right here in the USA!

South Africa – Graham Beck Brut Rose NV – Are you feeling romantic? Or maybe you just like feeling the rich flavors of Rose Bubbly? We feel both of course! Thanks to several hundred years of South African winemaking traditions, we get fantastic wines. The red-grape richness from 70% Pinot Noir balanced with 30% Chardonnay make for a wonderfully satisfying sip!

France Taittinger Brut “La Francaise” Champagne NV – This is top stuff! Taittinger ages their Champagnes in salt caves dug during the ROMAN EMPIRE 2,000 years ago! That is some crazy history, and I think a little of that history finds its way into the complex-earthy-berry-yeasty flavors and brilliant texture of this Champagne. The real deal!

Screaming Good Deal !! Anna de Codorniu Chardonnay Brut Cava VAP NV

A good deal is always welcome – and a good deal on a quality offering is especially welcome! This is an instance in which the PLCB (Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, purchaser/retailer of all wine in Pennsylvania) and the occasionally maligned Chairman’s Selection program hit ‘pay dirt’ for bubbly lovers across the fine Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Imported from Spain, the Anna de Codorniu Brut Cava NV is listed at a mere $8.99 (reportedly discounted from $15.00). Codorniu is one of Spain’s most storied Cava Houses, documenting their history back to 1551. The name Anna has great significance for the Cava House as it is the name of the first heiress to the Codorniu estate, who married Miguel Reventos in 1659. Since then, the Estate has been owned by the Reventos family, who have made wines for centuries, and Cavas since the late 1800s.

With all this history and tradition, it is not surprising that this Anna de Codorniu Cava is made with the “Methode Traditionelle” process (the same fermenting process used in Champagne, France). The result is a bubbly that definitely punches above its weight. Reasons for this likely include the modern blend, which is incorporates 70% Chardonnay, a significant component of most Champagnes, combined with the traditional Spanish Cava Grapes: Parellada 15% and Xarello/Macabeu 15%.

The palate is effervescent (though not as dry-as-a-bone-evaporates-on-your-palate like many traditional Cavas) and nicely balanced throughout, with apple and citrus flavors dominating the floral/herbal hints from the traditional Cava grapes. Small bubbles and creamy texture (again a hallmark of “Methode Traditionelle”) follow through to a clean finish that lingers, inviting the next sip… Super-complex Champagne this is not, but for a single bottle of high quality Champagne, one could purchase five of Anna de Codorniu Cavas!

In my estimation, this Cava is a Screaming Good Deal. In fact, I have not tasted an $8.99 bubbly that I would say I liked better. The PLCB stores are well-stocked with this Cava – so it should be as easy to find as it is to purchase!  Make sure it is ice cold and Enjoy! (11.5%, Anna de Codorniu Chardonnay Brut Cava VAP NV, $8.99 PLCB Code: 33033)