At just $13, this Spanish bubbly will deliver a smile with every sip



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Sometimes, you just need some fizz to brighten your mood. Well, have I got some inexpensive bubbles for you — a delicious cava from Spain that tastes like a bowl of berries in your glass. For dinner, two more whites: a muscadet from the Loire Valley that cries out for seafood and an outstanding expression of mountain terroir from Argentina with a surprising grape. Don’t let sticker shock deter you from this worthy splurge.

Mirame Brut Selección Cava

(2.5 stars)

Exuberant raspberry, blackberry and red currant flavors announce themselves at the very first sip of this endearing sparkler. The blend is macabeo, xarel-lo and parellada, three grape varieties you may not have heard of if you’re not in the habit of reading labels on your Spanish bubbly. It’s not steely or minerally, just fruity. And there’s a smile in every sip. Alcohol by volume: 11.5 percent. Bottle weight: 885 grams (Sparkling).

Imported by Aviva Vino, New York. Distributed locally by Lanterna, Windsor Mill, Md.

Domaine de la Foliette Clos de la Fontaine Muscadet Sévre et Maine Sur Lie 2020

(3 stars)

Loire Valley, France, $21

Aromas of crushed sea shells and salt air, flavors of ripe peach and nectarine. This wine is on the riper side of muscadet, mouth-filling and medium-bodied, with a slight tannic grip on the finish. Ideal for all types of seafood dishes. Certified sustainable. ABV: 12 percent. BW: 400 grams (Light).

Imported by Elite Wines, Lorton, Va. Distributed locally by Elite.

Familia Zuccardi Poligonos del Valle de Uco San Pablo Verdejo 2020

(4 stars)

Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina, $35

The Zuccardi family makes a wide array of wines with their Santa Julia winery near the city of Mendoza and their newer space-age Familia Zuccardi winery farther south in the high-altitude Andean foothills of the Uco Valley. The quality and value is consistently high across the range. Poligonos is a series aimed at expressing various terroirs of the Uco Valley. These districts — Gualtallary, Tupungato, San Pablo and Paraje Altamira, where the winery is located, represent the alluvial fans created as the Andes were formed eons ago. The Zuccardis and others have been exploring these districts to demonstrate Mendoza’s potential for world-class, high-altitude wines. A map of the Uco Valley with these subregions demarcated resembles a polygon, thus the name. Most of the Poligonos wines are malbec, unsurprising as it is Mendoza’s main red grape, and you could spend a glorious (if expensive) evening tasting and comparing the various Poligonos malbecs and trying to decipher the Uco Valley. There are also some fantastic cabernet francs and a few whites, including this amazing verdejo. Best known for the white wines of Rueda, in Spain, verdejo typically offers a pleasant if not profound alternative to chardonnay and sauvignon blanc. Here in the San Pablo district of the Uco Valley, third-generation winemaker Sebastián Zuccardi has crafted a masterpiece with firm acidity that seems to come from the stones left by retreating glaciers, an orchard of fruit flavors kissed by the intense high-altitude sunlight, and an energy directly from the mountains. ABV: 13 percent. BW: 570 grams (Average).

Imported by Winesellers, Chicago. Distributed locally by Winebow.

Prices are approximate. For availability, check Wine.com, Wine-searcher.com and the websites of the wineries, importers or distributors.



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