With the holiday season upon us, it’s time to start thinking about sparkling wines. (Yes, bubbly is delicious and appropriate year-round, but the vast majority of sales occur in November and December.) Here are three to get you into celebration mode, at different price points to meet your party and budget needs.
Belle Jardin Blancs de Blancs Brut
Here’s a simple sparkler that’s great for holiday parties. Made with chenin blanc and pinot blanc grapes, it is slightly floral with a touch of pastry dough flavor. It’s perfect for the salty snacks we tend to put out at parties and easy on the budget, too. Alcohol by volume: 11.5 percent. Bottle weight: 555 grams (Light for sparkling).
Carlos Serres Método Tradicional Brut 2019
Rioja, Spain, $20
Wow, here’s an eye-opener! Sparkling wine has been produced in Rioja for more than a century, generally designated as cava instead of the regional name. Carlos Serres owner Rafa Vivanco convinced the Rioja wine council to approve slightly stricter standards than cava for bubblies to be labeled as rioja, and with this 2019 Brut he emphatically demonstrates that the region can produce some stunning fizz. It’s a blend of viura, chardonnay and tempranillo blanco, aged on the lees for at least 15 months. The label also tells us when the wine was disgorged, information more sparkling wine producers should include. Aromas of white flowers and wild herbs lead to flavors of ripe orchard fruits and a hint of kumquat. Vibrant acidity keeps the wine fresh and lively. ABV: 12 percent. BW: 935 grams (Sparkling).
Champagne Albert Lebrun Grand Cru Brut
Champagne, France, $60
The Côte des Blancs in Champagne gives magnificent expression to chardonnay. This delicious example tastes as though age on the lees and in bottle has given it a fuller mouthfeel and richer texture. Classic champagne flavors of brioche, slightly overripe apples and roasted nuts round out the palate. Like a long conversation that takes you down different paths, there’s something new in each sip. ABV: 12 percent. BW: 835 grams (Sparkling).