Sunday, May 1, 2011

Ben's Bubbly: Cristalino Brut Rosé

Today, Ben is four weeks old! He is starting to outgrow some of the smaller newborn clothes as he adds a second chin and his arms and legs are slowly turning into sausages. Mom had her first night out, so Ben and dad watched the movie 21 via our new Roku. The pause and rewind functions were a godsend as it took nearly 4 hours to get through the almost two-hour movie. He definitely missed his mom and didn't especially like the bottles; though he did empty his three servings! I now have a better appreciation for what mom goes through with being pinned under Ben and one of the cats for hours at a time.

With the media frenzy surrounding the royal wedding I briefly thought of getting a bottle of Pol Roger for this week's edition, but instead opted for a bottle of the sparkling we served at our wedding three and one half years ago. Now, we did not have the financial resources of the House of Windsor so we served something a little lower key. While I wish that I could say that we had local wines at the wedding (we did serve ten different Colorado microbrews), we went with a red, white and rosé sparkler all from Spain. My wife is a Spanish teacher, spent a semester studying abroad in Spain and we were going to spend a month there for our honeymoon, so Spanish vino seemed appropriate.

While a sub ten-dollar cava wouldn't seem to be a news-worthy wine, since the wedding Cristalino made headlines. Not many people are going to confuse the bargain bubbly with the hip-hop hyped tête de cuvée Cristal, but the Champagne house Louis Roederer sued Cristalino maker Jaume Serra for copyright infringement. After a lengthy court battle, Jaume Serra had to change the label and add a disclaimer that states, "Jaume Serra Cristalino is not affiliated with, sponsored by, approved by, endorsed by, or any other way connected with Louis Roederer's Cristal champagne or Louis Roederer." While the label might have changed (and I still have a couple of bottles with the old label) the wine is still a good value, though it will never be mistaken for champagne.

NV Cristalino Brut Rosé, Spain

I've had this wine many times, but this bottle looks darker than I remember. It is very dark for a rosé and is a brilliant, yet light coral red in color. The nose is full of fruits, especially strawberries and cranberries, flowers and even a bit of honeyed aromas. It tastes of the same descriptors, but is deceptively dry while maintaining good fruit. Not especially crisp, but full bodied for a sparkling wine with ripe strawberries and red plums dominating. This is an excellent value in the world of sparkling wine, and any wines in the Cristalino lineup will be good for those individuals who don't like the yeastiness and tartness of traditional, and more expensive, chamgpagne. 11.5% abv Purchased $6. Good (tasted 4/29/11)


  1. Be careful, my friend. Watch out for the cease and desist order for showing the label on the old bottle.

  2. This is the bottle I bought, this is the bottle that I've written about. They should cease and desist retailers from selling the old labels still! :)