‘Tis is the season for parties and two-for-one deals, so in that spirit, I’m giving you two sparkling wines for your holiday soirees.
Large family gatherings and group events require good wines at reasonable prices. A sparkling wine sets a festive tone, and one that is well-made and an extremely good value is the Segura Viudas Brut Reserva non-vintage.
Segura Viudas is one of my favorite Spanish sparkling wines. The winery is owned by the Ferrer family, which also owns the Spanish sparkling wine company Freixenet and Sonoma County’s Gloria Ferrer winery.
Segura Viudas is located in Spain’s Penedes region, the heartland for cava, as Spanish sparkling wines are called. Nearly 95 percent of all Cavas are produced in the Penedes from its three white wine grapes: Macabeo, Parellada, and Xarel-lo.
Segura Viudas’ blend gave its Brut Reserva non-vintage pronounced floral and almond aromas, distinctive lemon-lime flavor and a pleasantly dry finish. This delightful composition will surely please the range of taste preferences in any group.
The Segura Viudas Brut Reserva is made in the Champagne method and aged in the bottle for at least 3 years, more than some champagne producers age their non-vintage wines. And with 9 grams of sugar per liter, it is in the mid-range of the Brut category, which allows up to 15 grams. While these similarities are important, this cava differs from champagne in one significant way: the low price.
The Segura Viudas Brut Reserva retails for approximately $8.00
At the other end of the sparkling wine spectrum are prestige cuvee Champagnes such as the 1998 Pol Roger Cuvee Winston Churchill.
Prestige cuvee is the term for the finest champagnes made. Each Champagne house creates its own name for its top champagne and makes it only in the best years. Prestige cuvees are made from the finest grapes selected from grand cru-rated vineyards and are aged from five to eight years in the winemaker’s cellar, longer than any other champagne. But such attention comes with a price.
In 1984, Pol Roger created its Cuvee Winston Churchill to honor one of the 20th-century’s great statesman and devoted drinker of Pol Roger champagne. Churchill’s infatuation with Pol Roger began at a luncheon given by the British Ambassador to France a few months after the liberation of Paris. At the table was the beautiful Odette Pol Roger and the wonderful 1928 Pol Roger champagne. Churchill was smitten by the former, and claimed to drink Pol Roger on a daily basis thereafter.
Cuvee Winston Churchill is always a full-bodied champagne. The blend of pinot noir and chardonnay changes with the vintage, but what is consistent are the rich, complex aromas and flavors, and the finish that seems eternal. The 1998 Pol Roger Cuvee Winston Churchill’s delicate bubbles release aromas of toasted hazelnuts, gingerbread and citrus. Fruit flavors from guava to lime cross the palate with a body as big as the man the champagne is named for.
The Holiday season is a time for special dinners when wine collectors poured their aged red and white wines, or a moment for a special gift. The 1998 Pol Roger Cuvee Winston Churchill will please any collector and honor any special occasion.
The 1998 Pol Roger Cuvee Winston Churchill retails for approximately $200.