Sonja once scolded me because serving sparkling wine before everything dinner party seemed pretentious. She has a point, but to me, that’s what $10-$20 bottles of bubbly, so rarely Champagne, are for. After all, who doesn’t enjoy an aperitif when one is offered?
Freixenet has long been one of my favorite producers, both for their value as well as quality. Cava, similarly, is a favorite of mine, as it tends like Sekt and Prosecco to be far less costly than Champagne, Vouvray, or even many California offerings. The Cordon Negro N.V. was an interesting one, indeed. Notes of tart green apple played with hints of brie on a yellowed body that had desirable amounts of fizzy carbonation and a dry finish.
I prefer my sparkling wines to favor the dry side, with notes of toast, nuts, aged cheeses, and more, rather than the tart side, so the combination of the two, while not entirely unexpected, wasn’t perhaps my favorite. Nevertheless, this served its purpose as an aperitif, and nobody complained (including me, at a mere $10/bottle). 84 points on my scale.