POP POP FIZZ - Leave bad bubbly in 2023 and ring in 2024 with some of our top sparkling selections for New Year's Eve (or weekend).
Below our Sommelier Ryan has rounded up a few of his fizzy favorites from save to splurge in 3 words and 3 sentences.
WINE: NV Veuve du Vernay Brut, France $11.99
3 WORDS: Crisp, Fresh, Lively
3 SENTENCES: Made from grapes grown primarily around Burgundy, Veuve du Vernay is consistently a great wine for the price. Full-flavored with great acidity, this is the quintessential “catch-all” bottle for bigger get-togethers; perfectly enjoyable on its own as a sparkling wine but also makes fantastic mimosas. When hosting a group with diverse tastes in sparkling wine on a budget, it’s hard to do better than Veuve du Vernay.
WINE: NV Champagne Charles Le Bel “Inspiration 1818” Brut, Champagne, France $49.99
3 WORDS: Great Bargain, citrusy, clean
3 SENTENCES: A unanimous favorite in the wineshop, this wine is a rarity. As time goes on, it has been harder and harder to find any Champagne under $50, regardless of quality. Charles le Bel is a second label of the esteemed Champagne house Billecart-Salmon, and it absolutely shows in the wine. Green apple, fresh lemon and lime juice, and a pronounced minerality make this bottle a little too easy to love.
WINE: NV Villa Wolf Sparkling Pinot Noir Rose, Pfalz, Germany $15.99
3 WORDS: Dry, Red Fruit, Inviting
3 SENTENCES: Due to its perpetual association with the world of beer here in the US, the wines of Germany are typically far less well known and understood by the general American public. Villa Wolf knows this, and from their vineyards in the warmer Pfalz region of Germany they produce definitively German wines but in a more approachable (and pronounceable) way. This dry rose is full-flavored with notes of strawberry, tart cherry, and a slight hint of raspberry, all with the lovely minerality that underpins so many great German wines.
WINE: NV Scharffenberger Brut Rose Excellence, Mendocino, California $35.99
3 WORDS: Full-flavored, fresh, Balanced
3 SENTENCES: Established in 1981, Scharffenberger was an early pioneer of quality sparkling wine in California, partnering with Pommery and Louis Roederer, two major Champagne houses, to help them establish their California brands. Located in the slightly cooler Mendocino area, the grapes are able to keep from overheating, thereby retaining their natural acidity which is so important in sparkling wine. Fresh strawberry, pomegranate, raspberry, and even a little bit of red apple make this a delightful bottle of bubbles.
WINE: NV Gruet Methode Champenoise Brut, New Mexico $22.99
3 WORDS: Classic, fresh, traditional
3 SENTENCES: With the tremendous difficulty that high heat can bring, you would think that New Mexico would be an automatic no for anyone interested in making sparkling wine, but Frenchman Gilbert Gruet knew what he was looking for. His family had been in the business of growing grapes for sparkling wine near Champagne, and he knew that there were ways around temperature but not terroir, and decided on the chalky/sandy soils of New Mexico. In the end what he created would become a classic example of American sparkling wine with crisp green apple, lemon and lime zest, a touch of sour dough and a chalky minerality reminiscent of Champagne but with a Southwestern twist.
WINE: NV Schramsberg “Mirabelle” Brut, North Coast, California $33.99
3 WORDS: Citrusy, powerful, refreshing
3 SENTENCES: The other historic California sparkling wine pioneer, Schramsberg has been dedicated to making “America’s most prestigious, select and admired sparkling wine” since 1965, eventually becoming a staple at the White House to be served to visiting heads of state. Mirabelle was Schramsberg’s first foray into multi-vintage sparkling after some 20 years making single vintage wines. Tangerine and orange are the most dominate fruits, with apple not far behind, and an almost sweet brioche note coming from the time spent on the lees.
WINE: NV Champagne Delamotte Brut Le Mesnil Sur Oger, Champagne $86.99
3 WORDS: Rare, bold, powerful
3 SENTENCES: A second label to the incredibly expensive and hard to get Champagne Salon, the wines of Champagne Delamotte are a bargain even at their higher price point. The area known as Le Mesnil Sur Oger is famous for being the unquestioned pinnacle of Chardonnay which makes up 55% of the blend. Green apple, green tea, oyster shells and star fruit all leap out of the glass, while the racy acidity makes your cheeks start to pucker a bit, but are saved by the soft feeling of the gentle mousse.
WINE: NV Champagne Billecart-Salmon Brut Rose, Champagne $112.99
3 WORDS: Wine shop favorite, classic, crowd-pleaser
3 SENTENCES: Though less well-known than Veuve Cliquot, the Billecart-Salmon Brut Rose is legendary for how well it is received by those who get a chance to try it. Lighter in color than many other roses, what it lacks in color it makes up for in concentrated flavors. Raspberry, strawberry, watermelon, and lemon are all pronounced, with the chalky minerality classic to Champagne, and a beautiful bright acidity which is perfectly poised between “best enjoyed with food” and “best enjoyed on its own".
Want customized advice? Call the wine shop at (231) 334-3149, email email@example.com, or stop in to speak to Ryan and Dennis.
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