This is part two of a post I did on choosing your own house wine back in May of last year. It is still one of my all time most viewed posts (even though back then my photographs and formatting were a little struggles!). People really responded to the idea of keeping on hand some classic, go with anything wines that were affordable. It makes life really easy and entertaining a breeze if you know you have a half case of a favorite red and white in your basement that you can pull out at any time. Well since that post I have finally settled on a house rose and a house sparkling so I wanted to share those with you as well. Perfect summer sippers, they are a great addition to your “house” collection.
If I had unlimited funds, for sure my house sparkling wine would be Veuve Clicquot. It is my favorite champagne, so much so that we visited their caves while on our honeymoon. However, until I win powerball, the Vueuve is going to have to wait for special occasions. Luckily I stumbled across a terrific cava that is light and crisp with just the right amount of bubbles. Dibon Cava Brut Reserve can be drank on its own or mixed in a cocktail or mimosa. I have found some of the cheaper sparkling wines really must be mixed with something but this one stands on its own. The price point cannot be beat – I have found it for as low as $9 a bottle, usually its around $11-12. I have seen it at Wegmans, Total Wine and even Harris Teeter. For folks that are on Capitol Hill you can also find it at P&C Market on Lincoln Park. Even better, it has a very similar color label to that of Veuve so if you just sort of squint your eyes you can pretend its the real thing! No really, having a couple of bottles on hand is great for the impromptu brunch or when something unexpected comes along that you want to celebrate. Add this to your house collection and you won’t have to wait for New Years to be popping corks.
It took a while to finally nail down my house rose. To me a good rose is dry, slightly fruity and light in color. It should be drinkable on its own but also have enough acid to be paired with food. Finding all that with an affordable price was not easy until I found Famille Perrin Reserve Cotes du Rhone Rose. It has nice subtle berry flavor but is also really crisp. Many of you are familiar with Cotes du Rhone reds from France and this family run vineyard produces those as well. However, with their rose they use stainless steel tanks to give it a lighter body. I often find this at World Market – if you wait until their White and Rose sale that they have several times a year you can pick one of these up for as low as $7 a bottle. With the chic French label and its drinkability people will never know you could buy a whole case for less than $100. I really like this rose paired with French cheeses of course but it also really pairs well with light summer foods like my summer Chicken and Rice Salad dish or my corn risotto. Also since France has finally gotten on the screwtop train this becomes the perfect picnic wine. If you already have a sparkling wine and rose that you really love no worries – these are just my favorites. Either way make sure to stock up and your summer will be spent sipping stress free.