Wine

Sparkle and Shine: The Very Best Bubbles To Toast With This Holiday Season

December 16, 2018
sparkling wine

{Full disclosure: Some of the products suggested in this list were provided to me at no charge.}

This shouldn’t come off as a surprise, but did you know December and January are the top months for Champagne and sparkling wine consumption? Makes sense right? Bubbles are seen as a celebratory beverage, it sparkles, it shines, it’s meant for special moments. Personally, I like to enjoy a glass of bubs year-round because life is a celebration in it’s own. Amirite? Or amirite?

So, what’s the difference between Champagne and Sparkling Wine?

If you didn’t know there’s a difference between Champagne and sparkling wine, it’s ok. You are most definitely not alone. The majority of people call all bubbly they come across, Champagne. Legally, only sparkling wines made in the region of Champagne in France are allowed to bear the name Champagne on the label. All other wines, even if they are made with the same grapes, in the same style, must be labeled Sparkling Wine (or Cava or Prosecco, but that’s a whole other blog). So there you have it!

Now, the next time you’re sipping on some champs at your family gathering or out with friends celebrating, you’ll have some interesting wine knowledge you can impress them with!

Here’s some of my favorite Champagne and Sparkling Wines that will be gracing my holiday table this year: 

champagne

BilleCart-Salmon Brut Rosé

I absolutely love this Champagne. With roots going back to 1818, this brand is most definitely not new to the Champagne scene. They are also still family owned after all of these years! Their Rosé Brut is a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir. The color is a gorgeous pale salmon pink and lots of light red fruits on the palate. I suggest enjoying this one on it’s own, perhaps before brunch, or with lox and eggs. YUM. 

sparkling wine

Schramsberg Blanc de Noirs

I have a lot of love for this Blanc de Noirs – a sparkling wine made from Pinot Noir grapes. Highly respect this producer for staying true to their roots (since 1965) and the traditional wine making practices, despite pressure to adjust to production. If you are ever in the Napa Valley stopping by Schramsberg for a tour and tasting is an absolute must. Their caves are some of the oldest in Napa and they still make all of their sparkling in the traditional Champagne style, which means they even hand riddle all of the bottles. Whoa!

j sparkling wine

J Vineyards Brut Rosé

Who doesn’t love a sparkling rosé? This rosé is made from Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes from Sonoma County. Lots of ripe fruit flavors, along with hints of almond and meringue make this the perfect sparkling to pair with a cheese plate. Gouda, anyone?

sparkling wine

Frank Family Rouge

Have you ever had a sparkling red wine? I included this Frank Family Rouge because it is so different and special. Whenever I bring this around people aren’t quite sure what to expect at first and then are blown away with how delicious it is. This sparkling rouge is made with Pinot Noir, Petit Sirah and Chardonnay. Rich flavors of spiced cranberry and cardamom make this the perfect holiday treat. 

champagne

Ferrari Trento Brut

This Brut Champagne is crisp, high in acidity and pairs well with food. Made from 100% Chardonnay grapes there’s lots of golden apple and yeasty, brioche bread characteristics. It’s extremely affordable, so it’s perfect for the holidays and is definitely a crowd pleaser.

sparkling wine

Domaine Carneros Ultra Brut

This beautiful sparkling house situated in Carneros is owned by Taittinger – who definitely knows a thing or two about making Champagne. This 2014 Ultra Brut is bright, refreshing and has lots of structured minerality. If you prefer a very dry sparkling wine, this one is for you! This wine works beautifully as a apertif or a delicious palate cleanser between courses. Don’t mind if I do!

sparkling wine

Iron Horse Wedding Cuvée

One of Sonoma’s best, Iron Horse makes some seriously good sparkling wine. This Wedding Cuvée is made with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes, and then aged for three years. A beautiful light peach color, this wine is dangerously easy to drink. Layers of strawberry and nectarine fill the palate, leading to a crisp, long finish. Making a turkey for the holiday? This one will pair perfectly with poultry and veggies. 

I hope you find the perfect bottle of bubbles, or many perfect bottles, to join you during the holiday season. I will be enjoying all of these…with help. 🙂 Bring on the bubbly!

Cheers,

Raquel

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