Any time is a good time to open a bottle of effervescent wine: Monday through Sunday, when it rains, when you’re thirsty, or just need a pick-me-up. Sparkling is both curative and refreshing. It’s a ubiquitously celebratory beverage and the holiday season seems to require indulgence in it.
Here are three worthy options.
France being the birthplace of sparkling wine, it stands to reason we gravitate toward the crowning jewel of bubbly (those from Champagne region being most famous) and splurge this time of the year. Established in 1729, Maison Ruinart was the first documented Champagne House, leading the way for an industry still prospering nearly 300 years later.
The Ruinart Champagne Blanc de Blancs is the house’s flagship wine. Made entirely of chardonnay, it is a non-vintage cuvée (meaning it’s a blend from two or more vintages), which remains consistent in flavour and profile year in and out.
Pristine lemony notes are layered with yellow apples, honey, acacia flowers and toasted baguette. Creamy yet fresh and boasting flavours of praline and tangerine—it is a beautifully woven and complete sparkler.
Also hailing from France, this classic Champagne, with its trademark yellow (Pantone 137C) label, barely needs an introduction. Veuve Clicquot Brut, affectionately known simply as Veuve, is created from a selection of reserve wines; a blend of vintages that ensures a true representation of house style, year after year.
Grapes harvested from more than 50 vineyard sites are blended into each wine, and those are comprised mostly of pinot noir with descending amounts of chardonnay and pinot meunier. The wine is then aged for three years before release. An affluent bubble, it suggests aromas of buttered and toasted brioche, grilled lemons and baker’s yeast. Creamy and complex, it has a lengthy finish and edgy acidity.
Next, from British Columbia’s Okanagan Falls region, Blue Mountain Vineyard and Cellars continues to be the most respected sparkling wine producer in the province. Blue Mountain’s range of bubbly wines are equally as good as their counterparts from France, and the recent release of their 2011 Reserve Brut is proof.
Consisting of almost equal parts estate-grown chardonnay and pinot noir, the wine was made in a traditional method, whereby a secondary fermentation occurred in bottle—it was then aged in that bottle for more than six years.
An ambrosial wine, it delivers peach and golden apples, honey, wild red berries and candied cashew aromas, which translate to a creamy yet racy palate that is rich and equally taut. Overall, this outstanding wine is complex and lively with impressive length.
Discover your next favourite wine.