Friday, December 4, 2020

Let Your Holidays Shine With These International Sparkling Wines

Sparkling Wines For The Holidays

Are you anxious to celebrate the holidays and ring in a hopeful new year? Take your pick from these seven sparklers from around the globe.

Global Values In Bubbles

As thoughts turn to holiday celebrations after a difficult 2020 (hang in there, people!), it’s time to reach for a bottle of bubbly. Champagne is the most famed sparkling wine by far, but there are plenty of options for bubbles that won’t put a hurt on your bank account. We recently received seven non-vintage sparklers to review which are sure to tickle your nose and bring a smile to your face. Each is priced below $25.

La Vielle Ferme Réserve Brut and Réserve Rosé

La Vielle Ferme is the best-selling brand of French wine in the United States. It consistently delivers great taste and affordability. We tasted two different bubblies, both created with a unique process. The technique, dubbed Méthode Contemporaine, captures CO2 during the fermentation process and reintroduces it right before bottling.


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These bottles, each with an SRP of $14.99, have plenty of pop. The Réserve Brut is 100% Chardonnay that undergoes battonage (stirring on the lees) for an extra dollop of complexity. Lots of peach and limestone with this bottle. The rosé is Grenache Noir (40%), Cinsault (40%), and Pinot Noir (20%). Look for raspberries and a dash of citrus on the palate. These wines are dependable and delicious.

MAN Sparkling Chenin Blanc Brut and Méthode Cap Classique Brut

We had no idea South Africa had sparkling wine – until we visited there a few years ago. We were introduced to Méthode Cap Classique wines, the country’s finest sparkling wine produced in the traditional method. Minds blown! MAN Family Wines is known for producing widely distributed quality South African wines at value prices.

We had never had a sparkling Chenin Blanc before and really savored this bottle from MAN. Locally known as Steen, the grapes were grown in a dry-farmed vineyard in the Agter-Paarl region. Perfect with seafood, it has luscious notes of tropical fruit. SRP is $15.99.

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The Méthode Cap Classique Brut is also 100% Chenin Blanc and aged four months in French oak. For added complexity, it spent a total of 18 months on the lees. The time and effort is worth it. On the palate there are persistent bubbles with lime, pear and toast notes. A wonderful value at $24.99, this is a great celebratory bottle.

Marqués de Cáceres Cáva Brut PXL_20201027_203321007.PORTRAIT-01.COVER

Why do we love Cava? Simply because it’s awesome. Cava is Spain’s traditional method sparkling wine that is produced mainly in the Penedès region.

Marqués de Cáceres is one of the best-known names in Rioja, and this Cava will not disappoint. The grapes are the traditional trio of Xarel.lo, Macabeo, and  Parellada and are hand harvested from vines that average 25 years of age. Apples and floral notes delight the palate as you enjoy the fine, streaming bubbles SRP $14.99.

Alma Negra Brut Nature

This wine from Argentina captivated us from the start with its label. Alma Negra means “dark soul” and the label features a mysterious, shadowy mask.

Inside the stylish bottle is Malbec and Pinot Noir. We enjoyed this with a patio dinner and could have easily consumed a second bottle. The taste is flowing with strawberry and lime accented with a crisp acidity.

This is a wine from Argentine wine icon Ernesto Catena and is a steal at $21.99.

PXL_20201124_024030209.PORTRAIT~2J. de Villebois Crémant de Loire

We’re big fans of crémant. By law, sparkling wine cannot be called Champagne unless it is produced in France’s Champagne region. There’s plenty of good bubbly from other areas of France and in many cases it’s called crémant. You can get the French grooviness with a crémant without the Champagne price tag.

The wine is 60% Chenin Blanc, 35% Chardonnay and 5% Cabernet Franc. It’s aged for 12 months in underground limestone caves.

We uncorked this tasty bottle to celebrate the birth of our first grandchild. This wine has bountiful, foamy froth and delicate bubbles. On the palate it’s creamy with distinctive vanilla notes.

At $20.99, it is a stylish sparkling wine. Perfect to toast that special occasion.

Full disclosure: These wines were received as marketing samples.

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