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Ehi! Mateus Rosé!


Hey, Hey, Hey!

Just in case you were feeling insecure about your wine preferences in the face of overwhelming wine snobbery, and the now-ubiquitous $13 glass of restaurant Malbec, here’s a little evidence that even the Italians, who for all practical purposes invented wine, occasionally take a walk in the gutter.

I snapped this photo in a Rome grocery store back in March, and no, I didn’t buy any Mateus Rosé. I was in the market for a little Prosecco to accompany, well nothing really. Mr. Slattern and I were just in the mood for a glass or three of bubbly, but were too tired to go out to the local wine bar. We found exactly what we were looking for below the boxed wine and Mateus.

Interesting that this stuff is kept on the top shelf. Presumably it gives the reprobates who buy it a yoga-like stretch as they reach up. Now that’s a workout I can get behind!

What’s the takeaway? Drink what you like, folks. Screw top or box be damned. Va bene.

A little champagne, et pourquoi pas?

I drink champagne when I’m happy and when I’m sad. Sometimes I drink it when I’m alone. When I have company I consider it obligatory. I trifle with it if I’m not hungry and drink it when I am. Otherwise I never touch it – unless I’m thirsty.               

~ Madame Lilly Bollinger

Well that about sums it up for me. In fact, if I had to choose only one drink for the rest of my life it would most certainly be champagne. As such, I have devoted a not inconsiderable amount of time and energy to the search for a drinkable bubbly priced at $20 or less. I mean I have really put my back into this one, and I am pleased to report that my efforts have been crowned with success. Now don’t get me wrong, I love me some Bolly and I never turn down a glass or three of Veuve Cliquot when it comes my way, but in these times of economic hardship, sacrifices must be made, belts tightened and expensive wines relegated to special occasions – weddings, birthdays, conditional releases and suchlike.

This is my current favorite, Gruet Brut. It’s lovely and dry, but not a lip puckerer. Nice delicate bubbles and you can order it online for $13.75 a bottle. Plus, it comes in pink! Here’s what the good folks at the Gruet Winery in New Mexico have to say. (No really, New Mexico. Apparently the soil is similar to that of France’s celebrated Champagne region, or at least that’s what the nice guy at Fat Cat told me.)

Our flagship sparkling wine. Known for its classic, crisp style with rich complexity and a fine mousse.

Quite honestly when it comes to a wine’s mousse, fine or otherwise, they might as well be talking about Bullwinkle for all I know. I can say with certainty, however, that this is by far the best under $20 bottle of bubbly I have found in a very long time. They’ll ship a case directly from the website and apparently they make the really good stuff, too, if your budget allows. If not, you’re still sitting pretty.

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