Garamvári’s Sweet Reasons for Sparkling Wine
Chardonnay & Pinot Blanc Sweet Classic
By Ágnes Németh
I would have never thought that I would ever campaign for sweet sparkling wines, yet I am doing it now. Wine consumption is decreasing globally, so any initiative that can grab new customers to the wine trade should be greeted. What is more, sweet sparkling wine still contains less sugar than other drinks: Garamvári Sweet Classic has 8 g sugar / serving (150 ml), while a glass of Coca Cola has 13.5 and a glass of Jack & Coke has 33 g of sugar! So, if you have sweet teeth, wouldn’t you opt for the natural choice, a drink made of grapes?
The wine drinkers’ evolution
Wine connoisseurs tend to despise those, who drink sweet wines (certainly I am not speaking about noble sweet wines like Tokaji Aszú here). It is true that the more experienced and educated someone’ palate is, the more likely he or she is to seek purity in wines, and sugar always masks the wine a little. I remember my first sparkling wine, a few sips at New Year’s Eve from my parents’ glass. It was “doux”, obviously, what is more, it was the only brand available then (in the 1980s) in Hungary from the former Soviet Union, it was called Sovietskoe Igristoe. Later the products of the largest Hungarian sparkling company called Törley were available in every supermarket, me and my siblings reached the legal drinking age (at least one of us) and we decided to give up our parents’ sweet choice, we chose a demi sec sparkling wine and we were very proud of ourselves. Then, as a young adult I started to choose ‘sec’ or ‘dry”, which can still contain up to 32 g sugar / litre. Then began my wine career as the editor of a wine magazine. I did not understand Champagne – what is all that buzz about that sour liquid? A few years later I considered myself the luckiest person to have the chance to drink Roederer for a whole day. Now I live in a town in Spain where everybody drinks brut nature sparkling wine, if by mistake I get brut, I find it too sweet.
At the same time, I became more tolerant with other preferences, especially because I often organize winery tours for “amateurs”, and yes, some of them ask for sweet sparkling wine. There is nothing wrong with them, they are just at the beginning of their wine path. Plus, sweet sparkling wine can work well with light, creamy, fluffy fruit desserts like strawberry meringue. A few years ago, I participated in a luxurious wine dinner by Freixenet, and the last course was a long aged sweet cava paired with the dessert – it was fabulous!
Garamvári Sweet Classic
After my long introduction it is time to say a few words about the protagonist of this article–Garamvári Sweet Classic. Garamvári is the oldest family-owned sparkling winery in Hungary (with a wide range of still wines as well). The founder, Vencel Garamvári is passionate about Champagne, no wonder that most of his sparkling wines are made of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir – though he was also pioneer in using Furmint as the base of a traditional method sparkling wine. As Miklós Gáspár co-owner and commercial manager explained, Sweet Classic belongs to the Classic range of the estate and it was released as a response to a growing demand from their clientele. So, what are the reasons for choosingGaramvári Sweet Classic?
– It is a bottle fermented sweet sparkling wine – not many producers make it.
– The dosage is the lowest of the “doux” category, only 50 g / l, which makes it a lower calory choice than most other sweet drinks, especially in the RTD category.
– It is made of Chardonnay and Pinot Blanc, fruity, refreshing, flavoursome – a perfect “converting” drink for those who say “I am not keen on sparkling wines”.
– It is aged on the lees for a minium of 24 months, thus it is abundant in toasty, biscuit-like notes from autolysis.
– It costs only 4650 HUF / 12 euros in retail (on the webshop of the winery).