Chilean Sparkling Wines
Our final sparkling wine entry for February will showcase sparkling wines from Chile. During our time in Costa Rica and Panama, we have tasted many Chilean brands. When I discuss whats in my glass (#WIMG) on social media, it surprised people that Chilean wineries produced sparkling wines, since they aren’t readily available in the US.
I’d say that South American wines seem like New World wines to me but did you know that the Undurraga brand, has been around since the late 1800s? I was pretty surprised when I learned that last year. Many of you are familiar with the brand Concha y Toro, another Chilean brand started back in the 1800’s.
We’ve had the Concha y Toro sparkling wine a number of times. Its always something we describe as fresh, light, clean, and dry. All great descriptors of what we’re looking for in a sparkling wine.
As we popped the cork of the Undurraga, I could tell it was a fruity, sparkling wine. As I sniffed the aromas, I picked up bananas, pear and apples. Neil was more specific with his description and called it roasted apples. He said he could really notice the flavors and aromas of cooked fruit. I found lots of bubbles, which I remembered from last time. They actually hold up pretty well the next day too without a special sparkling wine closure. The flavor was clean, with light apples and possibly a hint of smoke.
When we picked out this bottle of Undurraga, we made sure it was Brut because we didn’t want something too sweet.** Have you ever learned about the sweetness levels of sparkling wine? Here’s a great link showing the breakdown. Going back to our bubbly, Neil described as “brut” which he explained was the level of dryness he expected in a sparkling wine and it was tangy.
Both the Concha y Toro and Undurraga work very well in mimosas, another treat we like to enjoy in Central America. Do you like Sangria, ever tried it with a splash of bubbly? We have and it added a nice bit of bubbles to make it even more refreshing!
This month, we’ve been telling you about quite a few sparkling wines that are made from Pinot noir and Chardonnay, the two go-to grapes for this type of wine. The Undurraga bubbly is also made from this blend and had another flavor profile. How surprising that they can all be so different!
In addition to putting these Chilean bubbles in OJ and Sangria, and sipping it on it’s own, we paired the Undurraga Brut with an aged goat cheese by Quesos Monte Azul. It created a pretty interesting reaction where the aromas were more crisp and clean but the flavor was fruitier. It was as if the flavors and aromas had reversed. Neil thought the wine and cheese cleansed each other but then each flavor came out too. What a fun pairing!
Thanks for joining us all month to learn about Sparkling wines. We hope you know a little more about the grapes used to make them, the dryness scale and that there are options from all over the world. What will we discuss next on Wine and Cheese Friday? You’ll just have to check back to find out ?
**That being said, we did try their demi-sec last year and although it tasted sweet initially it got drier as it opened up.