We are pinching our pennies a little more these days, with the cost of everything skyrocketing across the country. But because we have savings doesn’t mean we want our sparklers to underdeliver. As always, we expect them to exceed every expectation and then some! Luckily, each of these tasty options pleases the palate and pocketbook. Cheers to what will be a fantastic 2023! Stay safe and enjoy every day. Each is a gift.
Just the name of highly respected South African winemaker Ken Forester’s new sparkling wine makes me want to raise a glass. Sparklehorse Cap Classique is crafted from Chenin Blanc fruit grown in well-draining sandy soils in Stellenbosch and Helderberg, planted almost fifty years ago. Produced in the traditional method, the wine ages for 18 months on the lees (yeast), giving a creamy, brioche, and marzipan richness to the refreshing bubbly. Layers of golden orchard and stone fruit meld with a hint of soft herb and spice, costing around $25 a bottle.
Crafted from a blend of Macabeo, Parellada, and Xarel-lo, Vilarnau Brut Reserva Cava is the ideal aperitif to begin any evening with, costing around $16 a bottle. Bright and crisp, leaping from the glass with a frothy mousse, inviting you to indulge. Crafted traditionally, aging from 15 to 24 months in the bottle on the lees, the bright acidity melds with creamy yeastiness, creating balance in the glass. The aromas of fresh flowers and citrus blossom give way to creamy custard, orchard fruit, and honey.
Fresh and zesty, Josh Prosecco shines with fruity, flirtatious effervescence. It is a bargain for under $15 a bottle. The wine comes from the winery begun by Joseph Carr in honor of his father. Still, the actual selection is crafted in Italy from the Glera variety, according to the laws governing the production of Prosecco. The wine is light, juicy, and refreshing, a trademark of the sparkler made in the Italian or Charmat method, in large tanks capturing the youthful zestiness of the fruit. It is a sparkler best enjoyed shortly after release, and with the approachable pricepoint, it can be enjoyed daily on its own or as a base in cocktails.
Extremely expressive, Chandon Brut Rose is like sipping strawberry shortcake with cream in a glass. Produced in Napa from fruit grown throughout various cool climate sites, the traditional method crafted sparkling wine blends predominantly Chardonnay with 40% Pinot Noir and 3% Pinot Meunier, delivering a vivacious bubbly with layers of ripe red berry, red apple, buttery croissant, and honeyed pastry dough, for about $27 a bottle. This is the sparkler I will start an evening with and sip with dessert.
South Africa’s Boschendal Winery has been crafting premium selections in South Africa’s Western Cape for over 330 years. From fruit grown between Franschhoek and Stellenbosch, Boschendal Methode Cap Classique Brut blends the traditional varieties of Champagne (Chardonnay and Pinot Noir), with a touch of Pinotage creating an elegant, sophisticated blend revealing layers of golden citrus fruit, honey, raw almonds, and sweet almond cookies. Bright and balanced, with a note of zesty minerality that lingers from the front palate through the finish, the wine is a beautiful way to toast the start of a very good new year, available for around $15.