Great Argentine Sparkler for Memorial Weekend BBQ
That’s right! That’s what I said, a sparkling wine with barbecue. From May 18 through 25th, Central Market hosted “Passport to Argentina,” to celebrate Argentina’s Revolution of May. To get us into the spirit, CM sent a heavy bottle of sparkling wine along with their marketing materials. I say heavy, because the day I decided to take a long walk through the neighborhood, I stopped by our shipping facility to pick it up where they’d sent it “Special Delivery.” And we’re lucky it made home, because that day the temperature was in the 80s; I was a couple miles from our house, and I failed to bring any water with me.
Sunday night we opened the bottle to pair with some tangy barbecue!
Reginato Celestina “cjR” Sparkling Rosé Of Malbec
The first thing you notice about the wine is that it’s pink. Really, really pink! with so much carbonation that the cork popped off as soon as I twisted the cork cage wires to four and a half! An aroma of strawberry wafted up as I poured the wine into the glass.
I was expecting sweet, because I hadn’t yet looked at the back of the bottle. But what we got was a crisp, drier wine with a refreshing finish, much closer to a true champagne. “cjR” are the initials of Celestina and Jose Reginato, and this Sparkling Rosé is a tribute to Celestina, the wife of the winemaker Jose Joaquin who has been making fine Argentine wines for over 50 years. Celestina, we’re told, is a Spanish word for “matchmaker,” and this wine was a perfect match for our barbecue.
The Reginatos personally manage the grape-to-bottle operation from managing the vineyards, selecting the grapes, harvesting; making the wine, and the secondary fermentation at their own winery. Together with his son Pepe, Jose is said to craft some of Mendoza’s most sought after, limited-production sparkling wines.
The 2008 vintage is 100% Malbec produced in the Metodo Tradicional, with sur lies bottle aging for 14 months. Alcohol by volume is 12.9% which feels a little higher for me, no doubt due to the bubbles. Oprah included it in her January 2010 “The O List” in The Oprah Magazine. 1500 cases produced. It sells for around $20. If you don’t live near a Central Market, you can find a bottle by searching Vinquire. Better get a couple bottles though, it’s perfect for summer!