The RSVP Brut Sparkling Wine in 2021 is a revisit of a Sparkling wine we reviewed in 2019 (also 2010). It is a $6.99 Trader Joe’s Traditional Method Sparkling wine. It is made for Trader Joe’s by Bronco Wine Company, the same folks behind Charles Shaw wines (2 Buck Chuck), and many other brands.
The last technical information available for this Bubbly is from 2010, and back then, it was 92% Chardonnay and 8% a secret. That blend could have changed over the years since 2010, and the 2019 reviews were very different. That is one of the reasons to check back on the RSVP. Was the 2019 Bubbly the real Sparkling wine or 2010?
I was looking for a summer Bubbly, something inexpensive but tasty and refreshing. A wine that you could put in an ice bucket and not worrying about masking the flavors. Red wine and a White wine that is too cold will lose much of the flavor and aroma; you just chilled away the reason for buying the wine. But a $6.99 Bubbly is probably better, nice and cold.
The RSVP Brut (Brut means dry, not sweet) is made with the Traditional Method, also known as the Champagne Method. It is rare to find a SParkling wine this cheap made in this way. As a refresher, there are two main processes for incorporating bubbles into wine: the Charmat Method (Prosecco) and the Traditional Method (Champagne and Cava).
I put a link under the word Bubbly a couple of paragraphs up on the various methods to make Sparkling wine understandable and detailed. The main thing you need to know is Champagne is made with 16th-century technology, though much has been modernized. Prosecco is made with 19th-century or Industrial Age technology.
Getting the Traditional Method process streamlined to the point that you can make $6.99 Bubbly year after year is an achievement. The wine is fermented the first time and then bottled. A measured amount of yeast and sugar is then added to each bottle. A temporary top is used, and then the wine is set aside for a while. In Champagne, France, the 2nd fermentation lasts a minimum of 18 months.
California does not have standards for producing Sparkling wine, so that the 2nd fermentation could be half that time; it is up to the winemaker. With cheap Bubbly, either the Champagne-style or the Prosecco-style will do; bubbles are bubbles. It is one the price tag rises that the Traditional Method takes over.
The 2010 RSVP Brut was more of a standard Chardonnay-based Sparkling wine, while the 2019 RSVP had some herbal and apple core flavors. For a summer Bubbly, I want the more standard wine, something that I can pour into the popsicle maker, something fun. So, let’s go to the tasting portion to see what this Bubbly brings in 2021. The alcohol content is 12%.
RSVP Brut Sparkling Wine in 2021 Tasting Notes
The RSVP Brut Sparkling Wine in 2021 is sleek Bubbly with well-balanced acidity. The color is a pale wheat beer yellow, with decent if not overly energetic bubbles. The nose is apple, pear, light lemon curd, soft spice, melon, and spring flowers.
It tastes like green apple, dried pear, ripe peach, and a little grapefruit. The mid-palate offers lime, salty-nutty “on lees” thing, candied lemon/lime (not sweet), and unsweetened pineapple. The acidity is well controlled; this is a solid Sparkling wine.
This is a $6.99 California Champagne-style Bubbly with a nice Sparkling wine bottle and a real cork, no plastic topper here. In a blind tasting with under $15 Bubbly, you would not pick the RSVP as the cheap one. The Sparkling wine I drank in 2021 seems more in line with the 2010 version than 2019. I would not be surprised if they changed the grape blend and sourcing from time to time to keep costs down. Then again, it could be my palate.
- The RSVP Brut an excellent summer Bubbly.
- Fun, tasty, easy-to-drink.
- How they can make it for $6.99 is a mystery.