A Dozen Choice Champagnes and Sparkling Wines For Your Holiday Cheer
Each is an incredible performer, just pick your price.
By Wes Marshall, 9:30AM, Fri. Dec. 20, 2013
With Christmas and New Year’s upon us, it’s time to stock some bubbly in your refrigerator. We always recommend that you keep a bottle of Champagne cold year round and use any excuse possible to pop a cork.
Nonetheless, more sparkling wine and Champagne is sold during the next two weeks – from today through January 2 – than during any other time of the year. This year, we’re going to focus solely on the pink versions. Each maker has their own process for turning the wine pink. Some add a bit of red wine during fermentation. Since many sparkling wines are made from combinations of red and white grapes, some winemakers let the red wine rest on its skins a little longer to pick up a hint of color.
There are three ways to make sparkling wine. The best and most expensive is méthode champenoise, which creates the bubbles during secondary fermentation in the bottle itself. This is the method used in Champagne. Next best is Charmat, where they use a tank for bubble-producing second fermentation. Carbonation, i.e. the method they use to get bubbles in your soft drink, is the worst of the lot. That is the version that induces the awful hangovers and creates the most post-party kneeling at the porcelain throne. If your bottle doesn’t say “Champagne” or méthode champenoise on it, then ask your friendly salesperson which it is. If they don’t know, shop somewhere else. The truth is, there are a very few carbonated wines that are quite tasty. But, unless you know which ones they are, you really do want to avoid the even the chance of accidentally ruining your post-holiday revelry with carbonated wines.
These wines are each incredible performers at their price point. Feel free to pick a price you like and then ask for the wine. All are easy to find locally or to order. And remember, one of the reasons shops sell so much sparkling wine at this time of year is they all have big sales going on. A little looking and you might find these wines at an even lower price. I included a few high ticket picks at the end for people who drive German cars. Happy New Year.
Segura Viudas Brut Rosé Cava ($9)
Gruet Brut Rosé ($15)
Simonnet-Febvre Crémant de Bourgogne Brut Rosé ($17)
Contadi Castaldi Franciacorta Brut Rosé ($20)
Ferrari Brut Rosé ($35)
“J” Rosé ($38)
Nicolas Feuillatte Brut Rosé ($40)
Moet Rosé Impérial ($50)
Bollinger 2004 La Grande Année Rosé Brut ($250)
Dom Ruinart Brut Rosé ($295)
Perrier Jouët 2004 Belle Epoque Rosé ($350)