On a whim, I recently picked up a bottle of Blanc Pescador from the Spec's on Bay Area. It was only $8, I had never had it before, and it looked interesting. I'm glad I tried it, because it's a good, cheap weeknight pick.
Blanc Pescador is a dry, white, lightly sparkling wine. It's labeled "petillant" (the French term for lightly sparkling), so it's about half as bubbly as a regular sparkling wine. It comes from the region of Spain where Cava is produced, it uses the same grapes as Cava (Macabeo, Parellada, and Xarel-lo), and the cork actually says Cava on it. (Cava is Spain's answer to Champagne.) Like Cava, Blanc Pescador is dry, with aromas of citrus and minerals, but Blanc Pescador is lighter and simpler (and cheaper). If you're familiar with Portugal's Vinho Verde, Blanc Pescador might remind you of it, though Vinho Verdes are often sweeter.
Because of its high acidity Blanc Pescador could pair with many types of food. It could cut through the richness of a buttery or creamy sauce, and its simple flavors would complement a lighter chicken or fish dish or a salad. It would pair perfectly with picnic foods, and I've put it on my list of go-to wines to take to Miller Outdoor Theater. With only 11.5% alcohol it's also a good choice for drinking in hot weather (high alcohol and heat don't mix well). This is definitely a plus when the Houston summer is right around the corner!
Also check out:
The 2-Minute Guide to Bubbles