Whether you like to “bring in the New Year” or “ring in the New Year,” you should always have a good bottle of sparkling wine to enjoy during the revelry. Here are some helpful tips to assist you in navigating the world of fizz.
Not all sparkling wines are alike; they are made in a dizzying array of styles from countries all around the world. Sparkling wine can be made from a vast array of grape varieties, from the more traditional Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier to non-traditional varieties like Syrah. In the Old World, tradition reigns. For instance, in the Champagne region of France only Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier are allowed to be used. Below are a few favorites from our wine store that range from classic to unconventional.
2011 Veuve Doussot Ernestine Brut ChampagneThis Champagne from Veuve Doussot, which is made with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, is a wonderful example of the grower Champagne movement that has been on a crazy trajectory for the last few years. Rather than being made of grapes from many different vineyard sites across the region to make a “house style,” a grower Champagne is made solely from the domaine’s vineyards, expressing a sense of place.
Val de Mer Brut Nature Rosé, Burgundy (NV)Other great alternatives to Champagne abound in France, from which we have the Val de Mer Brut Nature Rosé from Patrick Piuze. Made entirely of Pinot Noir and in a non-dosage style (meaning that no sugar syrup has been added just before bottling), it’s a very dry, non-vintage cuvée that is lovely as an apéritif. It’s a perfect wine to wake up your palate and prepare it for the delicacies that lie ahead.
|Dominio de la Vega Cava Brut Reserva Especial, Utiel-Requena (NV)
Spain’s Cava, unlike Champagne, is traditionally made with a blend of the following grape varieties: Macabeo, Parallada and Xarel-lo. However, just like Champagne, Cava must be produced using the méthode Champenoise, or traditional method. This reserva Cava from Dominio de la Vega is a bit more complex than most Cava as it’s from a single vintage rather than multiple vintages, and a portion of the wine is barrel-aged in new French Oak. This last technique is rarely used to make Cava as most never see any oak.
|Nani Rizzi Prosecco Valdobbiadene Superiore Extra Dry (NV)
One of the hottest-selling sparkling wines in the world right now is Prosecco. Produced in the hills north of Treviso for over a millennium, Prosecco has been transformed over the last 40 years. No longer made in a simple and sweet style, the Prosecco of today is drier and much more complex. Nani Rizzi in Valdobbiadene, the most esteemed of the Prosecco zones, produces a wonderful example of an extra dry cuvée with lovely floral aromatics and clean, fresh fruit flavors.
|2011 Schramsberg Blanc de Noirs, North Coast
Last, but certainly not least, are the sparkling wines from the New World. A world-renowned example of one of these producers is Napa Valley’s Schramsberg. New World sparkling wines can be made in a number of styles using any method of production. This particular example is made from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay and is produced using the traditional method.
Enjoy these sparkling wines as you welcome the new year, but remember: Every day is worthy of bubbles, so don’t forget that there are countless sparkling wines that are perfect for any occasion.
Interested in trying out a variety of bubbles? Our Sparkling Trio includes three sparkling wines from three different regions.