BUBBLY FOR EVERY PRICE POINT
“I could not live without Champagne. In victory I deserve it, in defeat I need it.”
- Winston Churchill
This is the best quote I could find to sum up 2021 thus far. We all got through 2020, and we are not looking for a repeat. I would like to share some of my favorite sparkling selections in every price point to calm your nerves, or to add to your upcoming Valentine’s or Galentine’s Day celebration.
Under $20 selections
Cuvee Vaux: This sparkling wine from Germany checks all the boxes for quality. It is made from biodynamically-farmed-estate fruit from a winery that dates back to the 1880’s. It is made in the traditional Champagne Method by a committed cellar master, a young woman named Maike Maria Münster. The Cuvee gets its creaminess from Pinot Blanc and Pinot Noir, while maintaining crispness from Riesling and Chardonnay.
Bertolani Lambrusco Rose: The Bertolani winery is more than a century old and they continue to win awards for this DRY Rose Lambrusco that pairs with an entire meal from appetizer to dessert. Also, wildly enjoyable on its own. It is a sparkling every wine lover should experience for themselves.
Phaunus Pet Nat: Interest in natural and low-sugar wines is increasing; this is a wine that exceeds those expectations. A rose sparkling wine made from the Portuguese grapes Alvarelhao and Vinhao with no added yeast, sugar, or sulfites, and unfiltered with no forced stabilization, makes this wine vegan and as healthy as wine can be.
Villa Crespia Franciacorta Brut: If you are in the market for something with a little complexity, I suggest Fanciacorta (Italy’s method traditional sparkling wine). The Muratori family has always been deeply rooted in the Franciacorta territory and Tenuta Villa Crespia concretizes this bond and passion of the family to their homeland. Since its birth, Villa Crespia has always been focused to the exclusive production of Franciacorta, with grapes from the family-owned vineyards.
Schramsberg Blanc de Blancs: Schramsberg, Napa’s sparkling winery, dates back to the 19th century, when German immigrant Jacob Schram first made his home and started his winery on Diamond Mountain. Jack and Jamie Davies restored the Schramsberg estate in 1965 and set out to produce America’s most prestigious sparkling wine.
Over $50 selections
Hidden Bench 2013 Natur: I have tasted few dry wines from Canada, but this is one that I have tried. I was pleasantly surprised. This wine exhibits notes of toasted brioche, dried almond and hints of citrus. The generous midpalate, body, intensity and structure lead to flavors of fresh orange and an autolytic character.
Champagne Mousse Fils L’or D’Eugene: Not including a true Champagne in this column would simply be unheard of. This Champagne is unique because it is made from mostly Pinot Munier, which is made using perpetual reserve. Imagine two barrels, one full and one empty. You transfer half of the full barrel to the empty one so both are at 50 percent. Then you add half of the new harvest in each barrel. You’ll bottle one of the tanks and keep the other to start again next year. Winemaker Cedric uses this method to strike a masterful balance between the freshness of the new vintage with the complexity and depth only “old wines” can bring.