Happy Holidays! If you need some inspiration for how to choose a sparkling wine, look no further.
While sparkling wine is a refreshing option all year along, most of us don’t think too much about it until the final weeks of the year. Rest assured, whatever your tastes or budget, there’s a sparkling wine for you.
Though the term “Champagne” has become ubiquitous with sparkling wines, only wines made in the Champagne region of France can truly be called “Champagne.” These sparkling wines, made from any combination of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, follow a strict legal protocol from harvest to bottle.
Sparkling wines termed “Cremant” can give you the taste and feel of Champagne without the Champagne price tag. These wines generally follow the same strict production standards of Champagne, but are produced in other regions of France using a variety of grapes. Blends vary by region, whether it be Alsace, Loire, Jura, Burgundy or Bordeaux.
Outside of France, you’ll find European wine producers making their own styles of sparkling wines. In northern Italy, it’s Prosecco. In Spain, Cava.
Proseccos are generally lighter and less expensive than their French counterparts. Made primarily from the Glera grape, Proseccos are ideal for sipping, or serving with light fare. Prosecco is also the main ingredient of a Bellini, which is similar to a Mimosa, but mixed with peach puree, rather than orange juice.
Cava can be made with a number of grapes, but you’ll generally find Macabeo in the mix. These sparkling wines are typically made in the same method as Champagne, but are more budget-friendly.
If you’re looking for American-made sparkling wines, look no further than Leelanau County. Larry Mawby has been been making sparkling wines in Suttons Bay for over 40 years, with styles that run the gamut from sweet and fun to full-bodied and serious. The “Traditional” line of Mawby wines are made using the same methods and grapes as Champagne, but for about half the price.
Here are a few of our favorite sparkling wines. Cheers!
Duc de Valmer Blanc De Blancs Brut $8.99 A fruity, delicate, pleasant wine at a great value. Pair with tomato-sauced dishes and citrus-flavored dishes.
Freixenet Sparkling Prosecco, $16.99. Made from the finest Glera grapes in Italy’s Prosecco region of Veneto, Freixenet (pronounced fresh-eh-net) Prosecco is golden straw with lively effervescence and fresh aromas of citrus, apple and flowers. Pair it with light dishes and spicy cuisine.
Corvezzo Prosecco (Organic & Vegan) $16.99 A very bright Prosecco with an elegant perlage and notes of apple and pear. Pair with seafood, savory cheeses, cured meats, and fruits.
Mawby Sex Brut Rose, $17.99. This bubbly is made from a blend of several different grape varieties. It is a fruit forward rosé with light red berry aromas and a balanced finish. Sparkling rosé is versatile and can be paired with just about anything, from heavy sauces to citrusy salads to fried foods!
Moet & Chandon Imperial Champagne, $63.99. The iconic champagne first created in 1869 embodies the unique Moët & Chandon style, a style that distinguishes itself by its bright fruitiness, seductive palate, and elegant maturity. Pair with nutty cheeses, cured meats, and shellfish.