Besides Segura Viudas Cava, this little $10 number is a favorite in the “cheap” bubbly category. Widely available too. Cristalino comes from Bodegas Jaume Serra in the Penedes region of Spain, where most sparkling Cavas originate. They grow their own Parellada, Macabeo, Xarel-lo grapes, along with sourcing from 15 growers. Like all Cavas, it’s made in the Methode Tradicional, the term which indicates the wine underwent secondary (the one which puts the bubbles in the bottle) fermentation in the bottle. (Read more about this)
Cristalino Brut Cava tastes crisp and dry, with toasted almonds, a wet dirt earthiness so prevalent with Cavas, tart green apple and citrus on the finish. It’s certainly not a shy wine and the bread-flavored yeastiness can be formidable. But it’s a pretty remarkable bottle of bubbly at this price.
Sweetness: 1 out of 10
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
Occasion: Tasted at a wine bar.
Availability: Pretty easy to find at high-end grocery stores and big box liquor shops.
Food pairing: Marcona almonds, hard cheeses like Parmesan, roast chicken