The Chiare’ Blanc de Blanc Sparkling Wine (Chiare’ is Italian for clear) is a $7.99 ALDI’s vintage dated Bubbly sourced from vineyards in Monterey, California. CWF reviewed the 2014 vintage (it was $6.99 then) and thought it was worth twice the price. ALDI must have showcased the 2014 in its advertisements, because we learned that vintage was produced from Pinot Blanc, Riesling and, Muscat and was made with the Charmat Method (same as Prosecco). Bubbly from Champagne is produced with the Traditional Method and Prosecco is produced in the Charmat Method and one non-scientific way to find out which method was used for your non-Champagne or Prosecco Sparkling wine is if the Bubbly was produced with the Traditional Method it is usually mention prominently on the label in 2 or 3 places and if the Charmat Method is used they don’t mention it. Not that Traditional is good and Charmat is bad, both make lovely Bubbly, it is just that Sparkling wine producers don’t miss a chance to associate their wines with Champagne. So, a vintage dated, single AVA Bubbly selling for $7.99 is a major bargain, whether it’s Traditional or Charmat. The alcohol content is 12.%.
The color is a pale platinum, with tiny energetic bubbles. The nose is light and delicate, peach and pear, apple, lemon, with a floral backdrop. This is a well-balanced Bubbly, solid acidity, lean with good length. It tastes of tart lemon/lime, grapefruit, green apple, pear, with slightly sweet peach and a salty, nutty finish. This is a Bubbly that will pair well with the meal, the flavors are neutral enough to fit different cuisines and the acidity is powerful enough to cleanse the palate for creamy or spicy food. The finish is crisp and lengthy.
The Chiare’ Blanc de Blanc Sparkling Wine 2017 is a seriously good Sparkling wine selling for under 8 bucks. I tend to think of Bubbly/Sparkling wine as special occasion wine and at Champagne prices it is easy to see why. But there are so many delicious, inexpensive Sparkling wines on the shelves today it is silly not to use Bubbly as an everyday wine. I think value-priced Bubbly/Sparkling offers the best bang-for-your-buck of any cheap wine segment and we are talking value Bubbles from every winemaking region in the world. This is a classy $7.99 Sparkling wine from a discount grocery store…good wine is everywhere, keep your eyes and your taste buds open for the bargains to be had.