Originally published in West Hawaii Today
I love this time of year. As autumn sets in with a slight drop in temperatures and evening breezes cooling the night, we prepare for the holiday season, and nothing is better during the holidays than bubbles. Every day is a day to enjoy sparkling wine, as there are delicious options available in every price range and style.
A frequent visitor to the Big Island, Domaine Carneros Winemaker Eileen Crane, just hosted a decadent pairing dinner at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel. Of the selections poured that night, her 2012 Le Reve Blanc de Blancs ($110), 100% Chardonnay traditional method sparkler from Carneros, California, stole the show. Rich and creamy while maintaining freshness, with toasted brioche, honey-crisp apple, and ripe pear.
Family-owned Champagne house, Bruno Paillard masterfully crafts small production Champagne from estate-owned vineyards and purchased fruit from throughout Champagne’s Reims region. The wines are elegant, subtle, and delicate, using only the finest, first pressing of the fruit. Bruno Paillard Premiere Cuvee ($55) melds red currant, lemon curd, tropical banana, and crushed stone from the influence of the region’s limestone soils.
Established over seventy years ago by seven grower-families with Montagne de Reims Premier Cru and Grand Cru vineyards, Palmer & Co. Champagne is known for its quality and incredible refinement, existing to create the finest bubbles in the world, always with passion. Champagne Palmer & Co. Blanc de Blancs Brut ($90) leaps from the glass with exuberant style, freshness, and crisp minerality.
A scene-stealer since the beginning, J Vineyards Cuvee 20 Brut ($35) showcases the complexity and character of cool-climate, Russian River fruit in a fresh, lively, well-rounded sparkler revealing fresh lemon peel, lime zest, lychee, and honeysuckle.
Exceptionally dry, celebrating the arid, dusty soils of Spain’s Penedes region, Segura Viudas Brut Cava ($12) layers nuttiness with crisp citrus, white flowers, and tropical fruit. Made in the traditional method from Spanish varieties, Segura Viudas and their sister Cava, Freixenet ($12), consistently deliver quality, with incredible value.
Taking inspiration from Spain’s celebrated architect and artist, Antoni Gaudí, artisanal Cava producer, Vilarnau presents their limited edition NV Brut Rose Cava ($20) with a stunning mosaic Gaudi inspired label. The beauty continues inside the bottle, showcasing strawberry, marzipan, and tangerine filled sparkling wine.
If you prefer your bubbles a bit fruitier and juicier, Prosecco is the ideal option. Produced from 100% organically grown fruit, showcasing rustic Italian terroir, Mionetto Prestige Organic Prosecco DOC Extra Dry NV ($16), the first to create a Prosecco from 100% organically-grown grapes. Very fresh, crisp, with a hint of honey, lemon balm, and elderflower.
Melding freshness, with texture and complexity, Adami “Bosco di Gica” Valdobbiadene DOCG Prosecco Superiore Brut (SRP $20) is fruit-forward and juicy. Produced by leaving the still wine on the lees (yeasts) for an extended period during fermentation, creating a well-rounded, structured palate, with a beautiful, lingering finish.
For cocktail lovers, Riondo Prosecco Spago Nero ($12), Da Luca Prosecco DOC ($14), Ruffino Prosecco DOC ($15), La Marca Prosecco DOC ($15), and newly launched, Josh Cellars Prosecco ($18) each delivers what you want, with an easy-to-enjoy palate that can be sipped on its own or mixed into your favorite cocktail.
Happy New Year!!!