Summer Bubbles

Have you noticed more people are buying more wine and liquor during these strange days we are living through right now? Wine is always a popular alcohol drink. We talk about it a lot. We hope it has convinced you to give this marvelous substance a try and to learn more about it.

Among our tips was the idea of finding a good wine shop. We know it may not be very convenient to seek out a special shop just for wine when the corner liquor store or the area supermarket has plenty of wine options and choices. What those places don’t have is a helpful staff that can help you choose good wines that meet your tastes and budget.

Now I am not belittling the liquor managers at the supermarket or the guy who rings up your purchase at the corner store. They might know quite a lot about the items they sell. But learning about wine for yourself means you might not need an expert. But veterans wine lovers will tell you that a good wine merchant is worth the time and effort.

Speaking of budgets, there are plenty of great wine choices that are very affordable. Prices can vary from state to state depending on taxes and regulations. This is another good reason to find a good wine shop and get to know the people who work there.

Summer is a great time to try some new things you might not think of. White wines are often very popular in the warmer weather. They can be served a little cooler than reds and usually have a lighter, fruitier, more refreshing taste and aroma that’s very appealing in the warmer weather.

But what about bubblies? Sparkling wines can be just as much fun in summer as they are on New Year’s Eve or other special occasions. And you don’t need a special occasion to have a bit of the bubblie. Remember, even though we talk a lot about champagne as applying to any sparkling wine, real champagne only comes from that region of France.

So, here are a few ideas you might want to try. Liquor laws and distributions vary widely from state to state, so some of these may not be available in your wine shop, or even in your area. Your wine merchant will be happy to help you choose something similar or may be able to order some.

Prosecco Brut. We haven’t talked about Prosecco as a popular white wine because it’s used almost exclusively for champagne-type wines. Prosecco is a dry wine suitable for all occasions. In Italy, it’s even sold in cans like beer. Straw-lemon in color, Prosecco offers fresh, fragrant aromas of peach, citrus and tropical fruits. Delicately soft and harmonious on the palate, Prosecco is extremely versatile: it can be enjoyed anytime, from important celebrations to last-minutes parties. Zesty and stylish, Prosecco is the quintessential sparkling aperitif and can be served alongside a wide array of foods. The cost will be around $13.

Rose. French rose champagnes are among our favorites. They are dry and crisp with a soft flavor that goes down well with or without food. Delicately fresh and lively with fine bubbles, this fruity, strawberry and black currant-infused sparkling wine offers delightful acidity and a creamy texture. Made from a blend of chardonnay and pinot noir grapes, it is an appealing, dry, sparkling rose. The cost is about $14.

Brut. This is a dry sparkling wine. It is crisp and elegant with complex pear, spice and other flavors. It’s also fresh and lightly fruity, with great finesse and depth of flavor. Cost ranges from around $8 to about $20.

Blanc de Blancs. If you really want to splurge, this might be a good choice. Chardonnay, the dominant grape variety used in all cuvees, is the foundation of this style.  Blanc de Blancs champagne is rich and ripe with candied citrus, ginger and herb notes. Balanced and bright, it offers a mouthwatering finish. The cost for this one ranges from around $30 to $60 a bottle.

So, there’s a sparkling wine for any occasion or none at all. Explore and see what you like. Do you have any suggestions of your own? Click on the comments link below and share it.

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