July 19, 2012

Off the Beaten Path Bubbly

Sparkling wine. It's not Champagne, specifically, but sparkling wine. That's right, sparkling wine made in the Champagne region of France can be called Champagne. Everything else is sparkling wine. Got it? Anyway, I dig the stuff, especially in the summer. Recently, my friends at Le Caveau Fine Wines in Chamblee turned me on to some interesting and affordable sparkling wines from outside of Champagne, France. The Veuve Moisans is a Blanc des Blancs from the Loire Valley is a steal at $12. Really, not sure you can ask for more for a sparkling wine at this price range. Full of body and yeasty aromas, it's interesting stuff that won't break the bank.
Another interesting sparkler from the Loire Valley is the Moussamoussettes from Agnes & Rene Mosse. Like many wines in the Loire, this wine is handcrafted by non-interventionist winemakers. The wine is ‘petillant naturel,’ it is unfined and unfiltered. There is nothing added and nothing taken away from what the earth gave. What's in the bottle is a cloudy, burnt orange pink wine that tastes of sweet strawberry, earth, and sherry with lively bubbles. I found it to be a tad too sweet after it sat open for a while, and the sherry-oxidized note is interesting. I'm not crazy about it, but I like it for its originality compared to most modern wines.
I also picked up a bottle of Txakolina Rubentis from Ameztoi, a producer in the Gentari region in Spain's Basque country.  The name, Txakolina, is a bit of tongue-twister, yes, but the wine has been the go-to summer beverage in the Basque for years and is has been catching on in the states in the past few years. The New York Times did a great piece on Txakolina-mania back in 2010. The Rubentis bottling is a rose bubbly, and it is like summer freshness in a bottle. Lively bubbles and acidity make for a truly refreshing wine for a hot summer night. Try some, you'll be hooked.


  1. Had a glass of the Txakoli Ameztoi last night at ESS. What a fun, deliciously crisp wine with great acidity. I'll have to track down the rose.

  2. Good find at ESS, Ted.
    The Rose is (was) in stock at Le Caveau in Chamblee.