Friday, February 13, 2009

Szigeti Sparkling Gruner

Over the Christmas holidays, I was in Chicago and popped in to Bin 36 for dinner. If you've been to this popular wine bar, you know how easy it is to get lost in the wine and cheese flights. My first choice was sparklers and soft, salty cheeses. (Pierre Robert, I love you!)

The highlight of the sparkling wine flight was the Szigeti (pronounced Zig-it-ee, says the importers website), a crisp, clean sparkling Gruner-Veltliner (from Austria, natch), the first I'd ever seen. For the money, it was a real knockout -- an excellent value. And, for those of us who look for proseccos and cavas for everyday drinking, this was a treat, that rare sparkler that drinks like a more expensive wine. The clean, acidic style was miles above that rushed, yeasty, oddly sweet-musty nose and cloying finish you find too often in the $20-30 Champagnes and sparkling wines. The bottle I brought home was as good as I remembered.

My new favorite wasn't available in Indianapolis, but with a little sleuthing and a leap of faith by the reps at In Vie and folks at Cork and Cracker, the Szigeti sparkling Gruner has arrived. Many of you have listened to me rave about it as my best find over the holidays. (I mean, seriously, I just couldn't stop thinking about this wine.) Now it's your turn to try it out. The only cases in town are sitting at both locations of Cork and Cracker -- Broad Ripple and North Michigan Road. (Ashley was a sport listening to me go on about this wine at New Year's Eve without actually having a bottle to try!) Retail price: $22.99.

What will this be similar to? If you've been enamoured with the popular New Mexico-produced Gruet, try this Gruner. You'll be impressed by the increase in quality and cleaner style in the same price range and I suspect, you'll have just found a replacement.

Here's the deal. Indy isn't a big town for sparkling wines. People just don't buy and drink them in the same proportions as other places, but I think this one is worth it. And who doesn't love something different in a sparkling wine? So, on my recommendation, go try this wine! Give it a shot, and report back if you liked it (or didn't) and why. I look forward to hearing what you think.

Many thanks in advance to the fabulous Marie Silberstein and Ashley Lockwood for making this happen just in time for Valentine's Day! Cheers!


Erin said...

I LOVE sparkling wine. I usually prefer it over anything else. I live next door to Mass Ave Wine, so I get most of my supplies there, but I would travel north to try this wine!

Though we've never met, faithful blogger, I would be happy to pick up any *special* orders you may have from Wine Discount Outlet or Sam's in Chicago. I go there every week for work and usually make a stop at one of these places at some point.

braingirl said...

Please do travel north -- and if you like it, make sure Jill hits her rep up for it.

Love. Love. Love Wine Discount Center.

Becky P said...

Just picked up a bottle today.....will give a report after I drink it.....soon I am sure...

Happy Valentine's Day - off to cook a french dinner with a serbian man... :)

braingirl said...

Excellent! I, too, am enjoying a glass right now! (Alas, not making French dinner for a Serbian man, but there's always next year.)

Jo said...
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