It makes me so sad when I hear people say that they only drink Champagne or sparkling wine on special occasions…every day is a special occasion, especially when you can find a great bottle of bubbly for around the same price as your favorite every day wine. Yes, some will cost you a bit more…and some should be saved for that special occasion day or night, but that special bottle can also make your every day a special day. So don’t be afraid to open a special bottle and toast to the beauty of the day. I shared a few favorites with the ladies this morning on The Broadcast. Click below to see our segment. Tasting notes below.
One tip to look for when you are buying any bottle of sparkling wine, always make sure it is made in the traditional method, or methode champanoise, meaning that the second fermentation in which the bubbles are created occurs in the bottle. Even very inexpensive Cava, like another favorite Segura Viudas, is made using this traditional method. The overall style and flavor profile is more refined using this method, making a clean, crisp, interesting wine.
Vecchia Modena Lambrusco – $15 at Pogo’s. Lambrusco can be a little bit all over the board, ranging from very sweet with low alcohol to rich and fruity, but more on this dry side, which this one is, balancing ripe red fruits with a hint of spice and earthiness, making it an interesting interpretation of this classic Italian sparkler that is perfect for enjoying as an aperitif on a hot summer day or is great with fruit based desserts and chocolate.
Anna de Codorniu Brut Rose – $20 at Albertson’s stores, Cava from Spain made with the traditional Champagne varieties of Pinot Noir blended with Chardonnay in the method champanoise with the second fermentation taking place in the bottle. Very dry with layers of raspberry, tangerine and bitter cherry. Lively and refreshing, great any time of day…any time of year.
Cremant de Loire – $20, various houses available throughout Dallas, this one from Ackerman near the town of Saumur in Loire made from the Chenin Blanc grape in a very dry, brut style for a light and balanced sparkler filled with hints of white flowers, peaches and fresh citrus.
Bellavista Gran Cuvee Franciacorta – $39 at Jimmy’s – I have talked a few times about this special Italian region dedicated to growing premium sparkling wine grapes for their traditional method sparklers. Bellavista is one of the premier houses in Franciacorta, known for their light, balanced and elegant Franciacorta wines with a delicate, refined palate filled with stone fruit, jasmine and honeysuckle, with the slightest hint of vanilla on the finish.
Moet & Chandon 2006 Vintage Brut – $75, just released and hitting local shelves this classic Champagne is the best of the best – elegant, crisp and light, yet rich and slightly yeasty for a balanced blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Munier. Vintage Champagnes are only made in very special years, with this one filled with layers of sweet peaches and cream, marzipan, mango and a hint of spicy white pepper, clove and nutmeg. Delicious, delicate and special.
Nicolas Feuillatte Brut Rose Champagne NV– $50 at Spec’s, blend of 30% pinot meunier 60% pinot noir &10% chardonnay creating a fresh black cherry, strawberry and spice filled Rose accented with toasted brioche and nutty characteristics that maintains an overall fresh and light style. Approachable and delicious any time.