The Wine Formerly Known as Cristalino – Jaume Serra Cristalino Brut

Posted on by Kris

Jaume Serra Cristalino -NOT Cristal!


Parellada, Chardonnay, Macabeo and Xarel-lo (traditional Cava grapes).



If you’ve ever seen the Cristalino before, you might notice that they’ve had a change of label.
Why you ask? Well, they pissed off Cristal, that’s why!
Let me take you back to 2006, Louis Roederer, producer of Cristal Champagne decided that Cristalino beared too much of a resemblance to their over-priced fizz. Long story short, Roederer won and Cristalino were forced to relabel their wine as “Jaume Serra Cristalino”.

If you want this short story to be turned into a long story, click here for the full court brief.

Admittedly I was always getting confused  between the two wines! The only thing that reminds me of the difference between the two is that Cristalino is a Cava from Spain and Cristal is a Champagne from France. The other minor point is that Cristalino costs under $10, and Cristal costs upwards of $250!!! Other than those minor points, I can barely tell the difference…

Cava is a Latin word that means cave in English. Caves were originally used for the preservation or aging of wine Spanish sparkling wines.


The obscure grapes of Macabeo, Parellada and Xarel·lo are the main three grapes used for Cava wine production throughout history. Indigenous to Spain, these grapes are still the primary grapes of Cava today.


Spain Wine MapPlace

Cava is a type of sparkling wine produced in the Penedes (Catalonia) region of Spain, just west of Barcelona. There is no Cava grape, there is no Cava region.

At the present, there are some 250 producers of Cava in Spain, which fall in six defined regions in order for them to be legally called Cava. Freixenet [fresh-eh-net], accounts for more than 60% of Cava sales in the United States.

Cava’s are required by law to be aged for a minimum of nine months after fermentation.

The area possesses nearly ideal conditions for vine cultivation. The soils are primarily limestone and clay, with some variations depending on the altitude and proximity to the sea. The climate is Mediterranean and mild with an average year round temperature of about 60°F.

The majority of Penedés vintners are small and family-owned. Some are literally one-man operations, making wine exclusively from their own harvests and performing each step of the process. Many vineyards have been in the possession of a single family for generations.



Very crisp and dry, light in body and showing green apple, lemon and lime, rich minerality. Finishes dry and slightly nutty. A very well put together wine for the money! At this price you’d except a sparkling wine only to be fit for mimosas, but this is totally drinkable by itself!



There are very few foods that don’t pair well with cava! Cava often has a slightly lower acidity level than many champagnes, giving it a softer, smoother palate that works with the sugar levels to offset the fattiness of sautéed and fried foods. Cava is relatively low in alcohol, which allows it to pair well with spicier foods since the heat of the spice is not amplified by the heat of the alcohol. It’s also a great match for fatty foods, as the carbon dioxide bubbles help to refresh the palate.



Usually found for under $10.

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  • Raykent_451

    I am so glad to get this news been looking for your product and did not know of the label change! I perfer the Extra Dry and it is harder to find than the Brut! Drinking some right now!

    • Kris Chislett

      Agreed, the Brut is certainly easier to find! You need to find out where the guy in the comment above yours gets his from! $5.99 is a bargain!

  • Tarbertsvineyard

    I purchased a bottle a couple of weeks ago and had to go back
    for a case of this Jaume Serra Cristalino. At 5.99, it is a steal! and
    at a case price less 10%, it’s unheard of. My taste is for sparkling
    wine and this is everyday drinking at it’s finest. The Brut is my favorite.
    I know it won’t stay at this price but as long as I can stock up every month
    at this price, I’ll buy until it’s 14 bucks and then stop as I did with Schramberg
    of Napa. Fellas (and ladies) please don’t buy too many. I want to stock up
    before gas prices get to be 5 bucks!

    • Kris Chislett

      If you got it for $5.99 you got yourself a bargain! It’s almost too good to use for mimosas. Thanks for the comment!

    • Redheadedme

      where can you buy this?

      • Kris Chislett

        It’s fairly readily available from a lot of bigger grocery stores. I normally see it at World Market.

  • Tmcneight

    Found this secret about 8 years ago.  So good, so cheap, I drink it like beer.  Have served many folks Mimosas with this sparkling wine, always to very favorable comments. 

    • Kris Chislett

      It’s almost too good for Mimosa’s! :) I reach for the Andre Spumante when mixing with OJ or peach.

  • Manny Jaume

    Love this Brut ,will use for future events.

  • Lilu0911

    You can find some cavas in Whole Foods,too. I just bought Jaume Sierra Cristalino the other day.

    • Kris Chislett

      Glad you enjoyed! 

  • Pivo

    Found two entries in my tasting notes: one from 2005, WSJ (John and Dorothy) recommended it as a Best Buy, but never tried it (marked as “try it”).
    Then, in 2010, I tried the first bottle and quite liked it.
    Now, in 2012 we rediscovered it at Fresh Market (as well at Total Wine).
    If I wasn’t completely sloshed in 2010 or drastically changed my palate, they finetuned the wine a bit more, and I think it is now truly lovely. My wife blanched a bit at first, you know, pink sparkler and such, but she’s a convert now too.
    Thanks for the great writeup!

    • Kris Chislett

      Cheers! Glad you enjoyed!

  • Joan Haddon

    I would very much like to know how many calories, sugar, and carbohydrates in this champagne. We love it and drink it by the case.