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Tiny Bubbles

Tiny Bubbles
Photo by Laurie Etchen and Todd Buchanan (4)


Pétillant, frizzanté, crémant, spumante—not all bubbles in wine are Champagne or Prosecco! Actually, the world of wine contains whole universes of fizz, some as lighthearted as carnival games, others elegant and serious. Spring and summer are the perfect time to explore these wines, not just because they are underpriced (because most Americans don’t know what to do with bubbly that’s neither fancy-occasion Champagne or budget-occasion Prosecco) but because they go so well with things that Minnesotans like to do in the summertime, like sit on the deck, watch the hummingbirds flit by, and think about how rich and delicious life really is.
 


2009 Frisk Prickly Victoria Riesling/Muscat

A fizzy merry-go-round of nectarine, peach, and orange blossom scents presented on a spine of well-balanced acidity, this is a giggle of a great gulper for Riesling lovers and perfect for parties. Available: Widely. Try the Liquor Barrel in Golden Valley. ($13)
 

2009 Foris Vineyards Rogue Valley Muscat Frissante

Muscat is a perfume-factory of a wine, and this light and sweet unique American sparkler offers layered perfume of honeysuckle, gardenias, and candied pineapple, and makes it somehow truly pure and elegant. A must for fruit-and-cheese plates, and anyone who adores flower gardens at their peak. Available: Widely. Try Pairings in Minnetonka, or France 44 in Minneapolis. ($15)
 

2008 Pine Ridge Clarksburg Chenin Blanc—Viognier

This pure, lyrical, and balanced mainly Chenin Blanc wine gets tropical fruit from a bit of Viognier. The barest hint of bubble makes the finish clean as a sunbeam. Perfect for sushi, fusion foods, and veggie-heavy summer meals. Available: Widely. Try Surdyk’s in Minneapolis or Thomas Liquors in St. Paul. ($13)
 

2009 Txakoli Gurrutxaga, Bizkaiko Txakolina

There’s even a low-alcohol sparkler for people who like their wine bone-dry and sort of salty. It’s the Spanish Basque wine Txakoli (tchack-o-lee), or this elegant version, Gurrutxaga (guru-tcha-ga). With notes of green melon, cucumber, oyster shells, brine, and thyme, it’s perfect with seafood and green olives. Available: Rarely. Try Solo Vino, in St. Paul. ($17)
 


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