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Friday, December 18, 2009

Bubbles for The Holidays from our Chief Wino Andrew Stover

Bubbles for the Holidays

Bubbly can turn an ordinary gathering into something extraordinary. It pairs well with a variety of foods and just adds a little extra OOMP to the occasion.

If Champagne is too pricey, and likely it is at roughly $35-40 a pop, don’t despair as there are plenty of other bubblies available that won’t break the bank.

Here are some general categories to seek out at your favorite wine purveyor:

Cremant de Borgogne: These are sparklers from the Burgundy region of France and often have all the finesse of a fine Champagne at roughly half the cost.

Cremant d’Alsace: These bubblies hail from the Alsace region of eastern France and are also quite comparable to Champagne.

Cava: This is Spanish bubbly made in the same manner as Champagne. Generally, Cava is not as complex and often more floral and fruity.

Prosecco: From Northern Italy, Prosecco is a fresh and light bubbly that is also a good base for Champagne cocktails.

Domestic Bubblies: A wide range are available on the market and while some of the less expensive versions are often not high quality, its best to inquire with your wine purveyor on their better selections in your price range. A few domestic producers of note:

Gruet—New Mexico
J Vineyards—California
Pacific Echo—California
Roderer Estate—California
L. Mawby—Michigan
Sakonnet—Rhode Island
Westport Rivers—Massachusetts
Wolffer Estate—New York