It’s that time of year to celebrate!
It’s that time of year to celebrate with some bubbly! It’s such a shame that many people wait for a holiday or celebration before they pop that cork. We serve our guests some sort of bubbly instead of a cocktail all throughout the year and it is usually a Rosé sparkler. This type of bubbly is fun and festive and we do mean bubbly, not necessarily Champagne. Champagne can be expensive and there are so many alternatives from around the world. So let’s get the party started.
Remember Champagne only comes from the region of Champagne in France. Champagne houses all have their own style. There are vintage and non-vintage. Non-vintage Champagne is blended year after year to be consistent with the style of the house. Champagne is made Méthode Champenoise meaning a second fermentation takes place in the bottle. Other bubblies use the charmat method which means the second fermentation takes place in bulk tanks and the wine is then individually bottled under pressure.
There are other bubblies from France they just can’t be called Champagne. We sell a couple of French bubblies, a Crémant de Bourgogne and another from Anjou the heart of the Loire. These sparklers are much more affordable than true Champagne.
We also enjoy many California bubblies as well as sparklers from other areas of our country. In the ever expanding world of wine you can find sparkling wines from Virginia, Maryland, Michigan and Texas to name a few. Oh, and don’t forget Gruet from New Mexico – yes, New Mexico! We also have some bubbly from the wine areas of New York including the Hudson Valley. You can cross the New York border into Canada’s Niagara Escarpment and find world class sparkling wine like Henry of Pelham.
If you want to travel to Italy, and who doesn’t, you could spend your vacation tasting through all the Prosecco from the Conegliano – Valdabbiadene Hills in the Veneto. This is a stunning area of Italy, great for a detour or as a destination. Most Proseccos are non- vintage which enables wine makers to blend from year to year. These are made in the Charmat method. Large steel tanks are used and sugar and yeast are introduced, not as romantic as Champagne but only a fraction of the cost. In Lombardy there is also Franciacorta spumante made in the Méthode Champenoise. This is a very special wine made with some of the same grapes used in Champagne. Chardonnay and Pinot Nero, as well as Pinot Grigio and Pinot Blanc, are blended to produce Rosato and Bianco versions. Franciacorta attained DOCG status in 1995. So, take a look around the world and try the “un-Champagne”. You have to add Portugal to your list as well. We sell a lively captivating Portuguese bubbly that is well worth the exploration.
There is nothing quite like fine Champagne but sometimes you just want to have fun, not such a serious glass of bubbly and that is precisely where all these bubblies fit in. No buyer’s remorse, just pure pleasure.