Spanish Fizz to stem the Prosecco tide!


As regular readers may remember, I used to be rather heavily involved in the world of football, from both amateur and professional perspectives. Like Spurs’ Manager, Pochettino (according to a recent BBC interview), I used to eat, sleep and breathe footy. (Seems like a good bloke – shame they’re going to be hammered tomorrow by the Mighty Reds – I’m writing this article on Sat. 3rd Feb!).


Nowadays, I don’t have the time – but it’s also because I’ve become rather less enamoured with Pele’s ‘Beautiful Game’ when I see the antics of players and clubs in today’s football. My thoughts on this, and indeed the reason why I’m writing about football in this, the wine column, can be seen archived here:, click Articles.


Of course, it has to be remembered that good news, doesn’t sell newspapers, so the good, often charitable works etc that lots of players and clubs are doing are not often reported. So, this week’s wine column (linked with the archives) attempts to redress the balance.


Professional footballer, Andrés Iniesta, of Spain and currently perhaps the world’s greatest club side, Barcelona CF, as a gesture of thanks to his father, for all the trips to training, matches, coaching etc when he was just a boy, went out and bought the land on which his father had toiled. And, pruning a long story short, built a wine bodega for his Dad, and indeed for the village. The details of this heart-warming story are in the archived article, mentioned above.

Andrés Iniesta, second from the left, one of the greatest professional footballers of his era – wine maker too!

Just before Christmas I heard that they had branched out into making sparkling wines as well as the still wines I’d tried, and were announcing the arrive al of their latest addition to the fizz portfolio. So, I called my pal, Andrés, well, not exactly – I contacted the bodega to ask if they would be able to send me a sample!


I’m always up for some sparkling wine, but I was particularly keen to try these as they are made by the same method as Prosecco – heard of Prosecco, have you?! It isn’t doing too badly, is it? Well, not surprisingly a number of wineries in different parts of the world are currently making sparklers by the Charmat Method, in an attempt to have a piece of the action.


Unlike the Traditional Method, where the second fermentation occurs in bottle, the Charmat Method has this happening in tank. The argument being that it makes a lighter, more delicate style of fizz, than Cava – oh and that other one from France, etc! It’s also less expensive – which, of course is part of the appeal.


Bodegas Iniesta has decided to make their sparkling wine, mostly, in a lightly drier style, and crucially, they are not using the Glera grape variety, and of course their vines are growing in different soils with a different climate. It’s the Charmat Method, but it aint Prosecco.


I was impressed. Their Corazon Spumante White is a blend of Macabeo and Verdejo and this alliance, made to the Extra Dry style (in fact, at 12 – 14 grms/litre, the driest end of that style, really works. Firstly, as the cork is gently pulled, the escaping ‘sigh’ at first exudes a pleasant floral fragrance, in tandem with fruit notes  – some baked apple (we can thank the Macabeo for this), with ripe pear and kiwi. For me it’s this inherent fruitiness that puts it a distance above Prosecco! Try this with SE Asian food!


Whilst all three of the fizz portfolio are well packaged in nicely shaped bottles with pretty labels, the ladies will certainly admire the Corazón Rosé. We really like this wine – it’s made to the Provençal style in terms of its very pale pink, so looks compelling in the glass, and, were I asked, I’d say it has 12 grms sugar/litre, though the notes tell us it is again 12 – 14.


There are cherries on the nose and the palate, again that fruit element is to the fore, with some fresh pomegranate juiciness. This will be brilliant with mushroom risotto, and indeed other rice dishes, though not too spicy. It’s also interesting to know that it is made with the Bobal red wine grape variety, giving it a little extra body for some lighter meat dishes.


Finally, the new release Corazón Spumante Moscato! For me this is a dessert wine, and a great way to finish off the evening, for those with a sweeter tooth. Lovers of the UK supermarket Proseccos will delight in this one particularly. It’s fun, with Jasmine flowers and white rose petals on the nose and a grapey, raison flavour. Plus, considerably in its favour, considering the copious volumes drunk by admirers of its Italian rival, it’s just 5·5%!!  You can buy them all online at


colin@colinharknessonewine ; Twitter @colinonwine ; Facebook Colin Harkness ; Youtube Colin Harkness On Wine