The Wine Curmudgeon has been known to get into spirited discussions with retailers about Spanish sparkling wine, or cava. I like Cristalino very much – it’s cheap, consistent and well made. Many retailers, on the other hand, don’t get as excited about it. I tend to think that’s because Cristalino is not only ubiquitous, but doesn’t offer them much in the way of margins.
So when we have these discussions, the retailer usually offers me an alternative to Cristalino. Over the weekend, it was the Torre Oria rose (about $14) and I was impressed. Torre Oria is a well-regarded producer, and this is a better quality wine than the Cristalino, with more interest – the fruitiness isn’t quite as simple and there’s more of a finish. Whether it’s 75 percent better than Cristalino ($14-$8=$6, divided by $8) I’ll leave up to you.
Serve this chilled before dinner or with chicken or seafood. I had it with grilled Cornish hen – a fine pairing.