Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Sparkling Wine

Between Thanksgiving, Christmas and assorted other holiday parties - then New Year's Eve - it seems like there's a good excuse for Champagne around every corner.  There's certainly nothing wrong with a good Champagne from Moet & Chandon, Veuve Cliquot, Piper-Heidsieck, Mumm, Nicholas Feuillatte and a host of others.  With prices for real Champagne - from Champagne, France - getting in the over-100-dollar range very quickly, you may want to look into some good domestic options that are just as festive, but a little easier on the wallet.

From Calistoga, California, Schramsberg is America's first sparkling wine house.  They've been tickling noses since 1965.  Their 1998 J. Schram Rosé sells for over $100, but they offer a wide range of current releases all the way down the price list to the $20 range.

Napa Valley's Domaine Carneros offers a variety of sparkling wines for around $25 to $85 per bottle.

Sonoma County's Gloria Ferrer Va de Vi has a bit of Muscat thrown in and sells for about $20.

Laetitia, in California's Arroyo Grande Valley, has a several Central Coast sparklers ranging from $20 to $35.

Bonny Doon's Riesling To Live was produced for club members, and those members swear by it.  A sparkling Riesling wine produced in méthode champenoise, it sells for about $35.  They say it's a good "Riesling" to join the winery's club.

Massachussetts winery Westport Rivers offers several acclaimed bubblies costing between $25 and $30.

Kluge Estate, in Virginia, makes sparkling wine a specialty of the house.  Their Kluge SP Rose 2007 goes for just under $30.

Segura Viudas, a sparkling Pinot Noir from Spain, usually runs about $20.

Chateau Frank, of New York's Finger Lakes Region, has sparkling wines that go for $20, $25, $30 and $35.

A sparkling Riesling from New York's Finger Lakes region took the top prize at the 2010 New York Wine & Food Classic competition.  Swedish Hill Riesling Cuvée NV, which sells for about $18, was awarded the Governor's Cup for best in show, according to  The wine's production was very limited, so it may be a little hard to find.

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