NV Toro Bravo Sparkling Secco, Catalonia, Spain (Alcohol 11%, Residual Sugar 17 g/l) LCBO $11.95 (750ml bottle) 

Apart from a few Bah-Humbuggers, who doesn’t like lashings of sparkling wine around the holidays?, and what’s not to love when it’s coming in at a mere $11.95 a bottle? I’m sure that even old Ebenezer Scrooge could appreciate that.

I’m constantly amazed at the value-priced wines that Dionysus are bringing in these days, and I’m honestly not just saying that because they are one of our Good Food Fighters! In these most trying of times I think that most can appreciate well-priced wines like this that deliver so much for relatively little. Given that we often tend to think of sparkling wines as being for special occasions, it’s great to see a wine that is priced so as to make sparkling wine much more of an everyday pleasure.

This Charmat (read: closed tank) method-produced blend of 50% Macabeo, 30% Parellada, and 20% Xarel-lo, all grapes you’d tend to find in Cava, makes for a heady and perfumed bouquet of orchard fruits (apples, pears, and peaches) with a touch of super-ripe mango, citrus, and white flowers. It’s light to medium-bodied, with a seriously lively fizziness and frothiness under that specially-designed screw-cap. Apparently it will stay in pretty good shape for a week after opening, but when I opened it there was nooooo chance of the bottle lasting more than a night.

Now one may balk at the prospect of a wine with some 17 g/l residual sugar, but as I learned on many a trip to Germany over the years, when it comes to sweetness, it’s all about the balance with the acidity, and this particular bottling manages to strike that balance pretty damn well. It really doesn’t taste too sweet at all, especially if one is used to drinking Prosecco.

While it’s by no means a complex wine, I feel it’s just the thing to raise one’s spirits over the holiday period (and beyond), especially when so many of us have gone through such a challenging 2020.

This is just pure, fruity, frothy enjoyment, and at this price, buying a case isn’t totally out of the question, even if you are counting your pennies.

4 apples out of 5
(Four out of a possible five apples)

Toro Bravo are represented in Ontario by Dionysus Wines And Spirits.

Dionysus Wines And Spirits are a Good Food Fighter.

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Edinburgh-born/Toronto-based Sommelier, consultant, writer, judge, and educator Jamie Drummond is the Director of Programs/Editor of Good Food Revolution… And yes, that’s pretty damn good for under $12.