Sparkling wines to add to your holiday table

Columnist December 3, 2013
Recommendations

★★★Exceptional  ★★Excellent ★Very Good

Availability information is based on distributor records. Wines might not be in stock at every listed store and might be available at additional stores. Check Winesearcher.com to verify availability, or ask a favorite wine store to order through a distributor.

Dave McIntyre is a wine columnist for The Washington Post. He also blogs at dmwineline.com. View Archive

This week’s sparkling recommendations — all under $20 — include two proseccos from northern Italy and two cavas from Spain, with each pair showing subtle but distinct differences in style. Bonus: a California bubbly made by a Spanish cava producer. 

Adriano Adami Bosco di Gica Brut Prosecco Superiore

★★★

Veneto, Italy, $19 

Prosecco, the lightly frizzante fizz from northern Italy, is often rather neutral. This fine example stands out from the first sip and features a bright core of ripe peach and apricot flavors. It is also available in half-bottles for about $12, making it an ideal aperitif for a romantic dinner for two. Adami’s Garbel Prosecco ($16) is also excellent. Alcohol by volume: 11 percent.

Downey Selections: Available in the District at Calvert Woodley, Cork Market, Morris Miller Wine & Liquor, Rodman’s, Whole Foods Market (all locations). Available in Virginia at Arrowine and Cheese and Crystal City Wine Shop in Arlington, Balducci’s (Alexandria, McLean), Grape + Bean and Unwined in Alexandria, Whole Foods Market (all locations except Springfield).

Carmina Loggia Prosecco Extra Dry

★★

Veneto, Italy, $14

A hint of sugar gives this wine a voluptuous texture and a pleasing aftertaste. ABV: 11 percent.

J.W. Sieg: Available in the District at Cowgirl Creamery, De Vinos, D’Vines; on the list at Eatonville, the Hamilton, Nooshi, Tash. Available in Virginia at Tastings of Charlottesville, Teaism in Alexandria; on the list at Tavola in Charlottesville.

Mascaró Brut Nature Cava

★★★

Penedes, Spain, $18

Cava as a category might be the best bargain bubbly available, with delicious offerings ranging from about $8. (Jaume Serra Cristalino and Segura Viudas are my favorites.) Examples costing closer to $20 often are more complex and, dare I say, more like champagne. This delicious example, with red-fruit flavors and notes of earth and minerals, could almost fool a champagne expert. (Brut nature signals that the wine is made without the “dosage” of added sugar at disgorgement.) ABV: 12 percent.

J.W. Sieg: Available in the District at Cordial Fine Wine & Spirits, Modern Liquors. Available in Virginia at Crystal City Wine Shop, La Tienda in Williamsburg, the River Market in White Stone; on the list at Commonwealth and Maya in Charlottesville, the Inn at Willow Grove in Orange.

1+1=3 Brut Cava

★★★

Penedes, Spain, $16

This wine displays bright tree-fruit flavors reminiscent of a blanc de blancs, with a long finish. It therefore tastes a bit sweeter and fuller than the Mascaró; that’s a style difference, not a qualitative judgment. ABV: 11.5 percent.

Elite: Available in the District at Calvert Woodley, Dean & DeLuca, Georgetown Wine & Spirits, MacArthur Beverages, Paul’s of Chevy Chase, Rodman’s, S&R Liquors, U Street Wine & Beer, Whole Foods Market (all locations); on the list at Dirty Martini, Jaleo, Mio, Terasol. Available in Maryland at Boulevard Fine Wine & Spirits in Owings Mills; I.M. Wine in Fulton; Mills Fine Wine and Spirits in Annapolis; Old Line Fine Wine, Spirits & Bistro in Beltsville; Petite Cellars in Ellicott City; Quarry Wine & Spirits and Wine Source in Baltimore. On the list at the Rumor Mill in Ellicott City. Available in Virginia at Arrowine and Cheese in Arlington, Balducci’s (Alexandria, McLean), Fern Street Gourmet in Alexandria, Libbie Market in Richmond, Wine Warehouse in Charlottesville, Whole Foods Market (all locations); on the list at Guarapo in Arlington, Jaleo in Crystal City, El Manantial in Reston, Orzo and Zocalo in Charlottesville, Las Tapas in Alexandria.

Gloria Ferrer Sonoma Brut

★★

Sonoma County, Calif., $19

This easy-to-find California bubbly is made by the same family that produces Freixenet, the popular, sweet cava in the distinctive black bottle. This is in the cava style, with California fruitiness and appealing depth. ABV: 12.5 percent.

Washington Wholesale in the District, Reliable Churchill in Maryland, RNDC in Virginia: Widely available.

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