Nothing makes an occasion more festive than Sparkling Wine. The pop of the cork, the rise of tiny bubbles and the gentle whoosh of foam in the glass—it’s romantic and special. Sparkling wines are not just for holidays and celebrations, they make a fine choice for everyday meals and pair exceptionally well with a variety of foods. From fried chicken to lobster bisque, the range of food pairings are endless, but nothing beats potato chips or truffle fries for flavor match made in heaven.
Sparkling wine hails from the Champagne region of France and wines grown and produced there are labeled Champagne. In the United States we call our bubbles Sparkling Wine and they are made in a variety of methods. The traditional method called Méthode Champenoise, and the tank method called Charmat. The many styles include Blanc de Blanc–made entirely of white grapes, Blanc de Noir, and Rosé. Sparkling wines come in a range of sweetness levels from sugar called dosage that is added to the wine before corking the bottle. The most popular style is Brut with less than half a gram of sugar per glass. Extra Brut and Brut Nature have even less sugar resulting in a bone-dry wine.
Here are capsule reviews of ten Sparkling Wines that will deliver you unto the bubble kingdom.
Amista Sparkling Syrah Morningsong Vineyards
Swipe right for an instant connection with this beauty from Amista.
Nuanced and multi-faceted, the Amista Sparkling Syrah shines like a rare
gem. Pale garnet color with an inner golden glow, it’s juicy and bright
with a persistent bubble stream. Full flavors of Rainier cherry, dusty
rose petals, and all spice (nutmeg) delight the palate all the way
through the long dry finish.
The Cast Brut Rosé is comprised of 78% Pinot Noir, 19% Chardonnay,
and 3% Pinot Menuier. Pale blush pink in color with a cascade of tiny
bubbles, the initial flavors are full and lush with Queen Anne cherry,
tart citrus, grapefruit pith, and candied ginger. A creamy second wave
of flavor comes to the forefront with rich buttered apple and a light
toasty note on the long dry finish.
Harvest Moon Sparkling Zinfandel 2017
A vision to behold, the Harvest Moon Sparkling Zinfandel is a deep
garnet and ruby that sparkles with a fine bead of bubbles. A delicate
perfume of cranberry and cherry glides to the top of the glass. On the
palate, it’s a blend of traditional zinfandel flavors with a twist of
all spice and a dash of strawberry whimsy that’s a sure bet with robust
holiday fare like roasts and turkeys for the holidays or any special
Iron Horse 2017 Winter’s Cuvée, Green Valley
A classic for the ages—Iron Horse Winter’s Cuvée is rich and elegant
with a bright clean scent of a fresh fallen snow. Full bodied, yet
buoyant it delivers a range of captivating flavors with lemon zest,
brioche, a touch of chalk, crisp green apple, lemon curd and white
strawberry. The long silky finish lingers with creamy notes of peach and
apricot. Like a fabulous white cashmere scarf, the Iron Horse Sparkling
wine is a luxurious accessory to wrap around any occasion.
A delicate pale amber rose color in the glass, the Longboard Brut
Rosé is a singular flex of flavor and style. Balanced and sumptuous it
unfolds with a soft perfumed bouquet of chamomile and crushed rose
petals on the nose. The palate is plush and creamy with top notes of
orange creamsicle, white peach and white raspberry. Secondary flavors of
toasted almond and strawberry mousse mingle on a bright juicy finish.
Moshin 2014 Pearl Anniversary Brut Rosé Pinot Noir Estate Grown
This special Anniversary edition of Brut Rosé is a wonder of the
senses. The pale orange amber color sparkles with a steady stream of
fine bubbles. A delicate sent of peach, anju pear and candied ginger
reverberates on the nose with a top note of white strawberry. The palate
thrums with tart cranberry and orange zest and juicy Asian pear. The
finish is a dry delight with a subtle earthy bramble note at the end.
Lively and enchanting with a body like super model—taut and supple—
the Orsi opens with notes of crisp apple and brioche on the nose. The
palate is round and full with flavors of lemon curd, lime zest, biscuit
and a savory nutty note. Creamy and plush with a bright and silky
strawberry finish—this special sparkler is must for any fête.
The VLM Blanc de Noir opens with an initial sweet marzipan top note
then takes you on a pleasure ride of flavor with granny smith apple,
lime zest, grapefruit pith and fresh strawberry. A secondary wave of
flavor delivers Crenshaw melon, honeydew and apple jolly rancher
tartness that converge with lemon curd and ginger for a complex and
deeply satisfying finish that lingers on and on.
West Seafoam Blanc de Blanc 2016 Extra Brut Chardonnay
Plush. Lush. Delish! The West Seafoam Blanc de Blanc Extra Brut
Chardonnay is a true pleasure. A persistent string of tiny bubbles race
to the top of the glass delivering a nose of lemon cream mousse with
distinct yet subtle notes of chalk and a kiss of brine. On the palate, a
cavalcade of full-bodied flavors converge with lime zest, lemon curd,
green apple, juicy white peach and pomello pith. A bright swirl of
ginger and biscotti linger on the fine dry finish.
Woodenhead Naturale 2019 RRV Single Vineyard
A profusion of fine bubbles bring a fresh foamy lift of citron and
crème brulee to the nose. An abundance of flavors prevail upon on the
palate with apple cobbler, orange zest, apricot, candied ginger and
toasted almonds. The dry and crisp finish has a tough of quince and
honeydew melon that is both lively and refreshing. Austere yet elegant,
the Woddenhead Natural is the essence of celebration
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