These sparklers make any occasion merrier!
Saint-Hilaire Blanquette de Limoux
Languedoc-Roussillon, France, $12
This blend was created by Benedictine monks of the Abbey of Saint Hilaire 450 years ago. At this price, this bubbly is the best you can buy. Easy on the palate, it matches most foods, like all good sparkling wines. Since it comes from southern France and not the Champagne region, it cannot be called Champagne.
Willamette Valley, Champagne, France, $43
Many sophisticates prefer this Champagne over Moet & Chandon. Grapes are harvested from more than 50 vineyard areas in the Champagne region. On the nose, fruit notes explode and the complex palate offers hints of brioche and vanilla. As the wine ages, these qualities gain finesse.
Luc Belaire Rare Sparkling Rose 2011
Burgundy, Provence, France, $30
Grenache, Cinsault, and Syrah grapes were chosen for their vibrant, fresh character and are blended in this carefully aged sparkling Rose. A strawberry and black currant palate follows a rich red fruit bouquet, leading to an elegant and long finish. Provence is where the best rose wines come from, and Luc Belaire offers one of the best sparkling versions.
Krug Grande Cuvee
Champagne, France, $150
An assemblage of 50 wines from 6 to 10 different years makes this a very complex and elegant Champagne. Starting with an enchanting bouquet and full, round aromas, hints of hazelnuts, orange zest, pear and spice are evident with coffee liquor and cardamom on the finish. Rated 95 points by Wine Spectator. Enjoy for another 10 plus years.
J Cuvee 20 Brut
Sonoma, California, $25
In 1986, Judy Jordan started J Vineyards and has done well creating excellent sparkling and still wines. Hand-harvested grapes from the best cool climate vineyards in Sonoma County come together with aromas of lemon, honeysuckle and crisp pears. Balanced with delicate yeast and hints of toasted almonds and angel food cake. Who couldn’t love it?
PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OF THE WINERIES