Cheers! Wine Consultants

Oliver pops into the bubbly market with Soft pair

By Dan & Krista Stockman


We know that lots and lots of people are big fans of Oliver Winery's Soft Red, Soft White and Soft Rosé.

While we don't drink these wines because they're too sweet for us, we know that millions do – Oliver wines are distributed in 18 states, and it's one of the largest wineries east of the Mississippi. And we love that, because this trio of wines has introduced thousands of people to the joys that wine can bring.

Soft Red is a sweet red wine made from Concord grapes, so it tastes like Welch's red grape juice. Soft White is made from Niagara grapes, so it tastes like Welch's white grape

juice. They're not exactly first-growth Bordeaux, but that's OK. Because the only judge of a wine that matters is you. And if you love Soft Red – or any other wine for that matter – than it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks.

We love these wines because we know that after drinking these simple, sweet wines for a while, many people will move on to drier and more complex wines, and discover a whole new world in the process, which is what wine is all about.

In the meantime, Oliver has expanded its offering of Soft wines with its new Bubblecraft line: Oliver Bubblecraft Effervescent Soft Red and Oliver Bubblecraft Effervescent Soft White.

Naturally, we had to try them.

Like the non-bubbly Soft wines, the Bubblecraft Red and White seem to be available most everywhere – we bought ours at Kroger. And also like the non-bubbly versions, they go well at big family gatherings where there are certain to be non-wine lovers.

We took ours to a big family dinner, and sure enough, they were a hit with the sweet-wine crowd.

For those who prefer drier wines, the sweetness of Soft Red and Soft White can be off-putting. But just making slight adjustments to the composition of a wine can make a world of difference, and we found that in the Bubblecraft. The sweetness was lessened by the addition of bubbles – the effervescence in the Bubblecraft wines lightens the mouth feel considerably, and making the sweetness far less ponderous.

And the bubbles, of course, make it fun to drink, which makes it even better for big gatherings – nothing gets an event off to the right start like a glass of bubbly, especially a bubbly that even non-wine drinkers will love.

There's another reason we're so happy to see the Bubblecraft wines: They fill a gaping hole in the sparkling wine market. Previously, the very sweet sparking wines were all in the $5 a bottle range, and taste overpriced even then. Bubblecraft is $11 a bottle, and they taste good. Finally, people who want a sweet sparkling wine have a quality option.

So if you're headed for or hosting a gathering where you know there will be people who aren't into dry wines, grab a bottle of Bubblecraft and let the fun begin. As we head into warmer weather, a little bubbly will be a blast.