The Christmas/Holiday party season is here and the New Year is just around the corner. You really need to pour Sparkling at your event; Sparkling makes your party memorable!
Some people shy away from sparkling because they feel it is not affordable. Certainly, you can spend the bank account on great Champagne if you feel so inclined, but there are huge number of excellent bubblies you can pour that don’t break the bank. Look for affordable wines from Ontario, Spain (called Cava), California (especially from the Carneros, Russian River Valley, and Anderson Valley regions), and France (Crémant is the good value wine from outside the Champagne region). Your budget will thank you.
The nice thing about sparkling for a party is it is one of the most versatile wines on earth to pair with food. It pairs with almost anything. So, when the plates being passed around vary from potato chips to shrimp cocktail to charcuterie to mini sliders, good fizz is your answer.
Cheers to the Holidays from Wine Journeys!
Segura Viudas Reserva Cava NV ★★★½ $15.95 (LCBO) Made in the traditional method like Champagne, this Cava shows lemons, grapefruit peel, green apples, hazelnut, ginger, toast, and minerals. It’s dry, fresh and great by itself or with appetizers.
Villa Sandi Prosecco Il Fresco NV ★★★ $15.95 (LCBO) A Prosecco that is fresh, just off dry, and delivers lemons, apples and minerals. The off dry nature makes it easy to drink as an aperitif and the acidity means you can continue to pour it with your appetizers.
Grande Cuvee 1531 De Aimery NV ★★★½+ $19.00 (LCBO) If you’re a fan of sparkling, you will love this Cremant from the Roussillon region in France. Made in the traditional method, it delivers yellow apple, brioche, lemon, hints of honey, and a stony mineral note with lovely small bubbles. It’s a versatile pour; so, this could be an aperitif, but you could also serve it quite nicely with your Christmas dinner.
Louis Bouillot Perle d’Aurore Brut Rosé Crémant de Bourgogne NV ★★★½ $21.95 (Vintages) A very good, dry traditional method sparkler from Burgundy showing lots of ripe red berries here with a gingery note on the nose. It’s pleasant to sip as an aperitif or with a strawberry salad.
The Roost Bunch a’ Trouble Rosé Brut Sparkling 2017 ★★★½ $24.95 (Vintages, On-line from Winery) This enjoyable sparkling Rosé comes from near Collingwood in The Blue Mountains. It’s clear, pale pink, medium bodied, with strawberry, lemon, sour red cherry, and chalky minerals with just a whiff of “breadiness”. It’s a good crowd pleaser for your Holiday Party.
Tawse Spark Limestone Ridge Organic Sparkling Riesling 2016 ★★★½ $20.95 (Vintages) This is a taut, very dry Niagara sparkler that practically radiates lime juice, peel, green apple, and grapefruit along with a yeasty back note. It is very good, but some may find it tart for a sipper. This is one for your shellfish.
Chateau des Charmes Brut NV ★★★ $25.95 (Vintages) This Niagara sparkler is made from the time-honoured blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. It is medium bodied and has some brioche richness. Pour it as an aperitif to start your party and keep pouring it for your appetizers or even your mains.
Cave Spring Blanc de Blanc Brut NV ★★★★ $29.95 (Vintages) Expect fine bubbles, stony minerals, bready notes, green apple, and lemon peel in this elegant Niagara wine. Try it with charcuterie since the refreshing acidity will cut the oiliness. It would make a nice brunch wine as well.
13th Street Cuvée Rosé Brut NV ★★★★ $29.95 (Vintages) Medium bodied, it has hints of strawberries, charming minerality, good acidity, and fine mousse. The crisp red fruits in this sparkler will make it a great pour to welcome your guests or with apps.
Rosehall Run Pixie Sparkling Rose NV ★★★ $19.95 (Vintages) If you like a medium sweet sparkling, try this one from Prince Edward County closed with a crown cap. It’s pale pink and light bodied with cherry cotton candy and strawberry flavours. Pour it as an aperitif or with your fruit based desserts.
Champagne Tattinger Brut Reserve NV ★★★★½ $76.95 (LCBO) Tattinger has everything you would expect from excellent French Champagne. I suspect this is mostly Pinot Noir based on the aroma and flavour profile. Lovely fine streams of bubbles, amazing red cherry and raspberry, along with toast, bread, and a little lemony acidity on the finish. It’s currently being sold as a package with 2 Champagne flutes making it a great gift.
Champagne Bollinger Special Cuvée Brut NV ★★★★½ $87.95 (Vintages) Bollinger is appointed to HM The Queen. It’s also the favourite of Eddy and Patsy if you watched the British comedy “Absolutely Fabulous”. We suspect HM and the characters from “Ab Fab” like a full bodied, rich sparkling wine with lemon curd, toast, freshly baked bread, and an edge of minerals. You can, and should, pair it with almost anything.