We’re just a few short days from New Year’s Eve — and let’s face it, popping some bubbly is an international tradition. Luckily, I just ran a whole series dedicated to sparkling wine, so if you still aren’t stocked up for the big night, you’ve got a ton of options to chose from. Of course, make sure you read up on your Champagne 101 and Prosecco basics so you know how to chose the best bubbles for you and your crowd.

HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM BRISCOEBITES!

J Cuvée 20 Brut

I don’t often write about sparkling wines because I feel like they live in a world all their own. But when I popped the cork on this J Cuvée 20 Brut, I seemed to have entered the realm in which they live. Beautifully light and refreshing, yet profoundly complex and structured. A sip of this sparkle simultaneously released me and engaged me. Cheers to that. (Read the full review)

J.L. Denois Tradition: Extra Brut Pinot Chardonnay

While the name of J.L. Denois may be one for the modern day masses, Jean-Louis (the J.L. in the name) started out as a humble grape-grower and winemaker. He purchased his first Pinot Noir vineyard in 1988 and shortly thereafter Chardonnay in 1989. In 1991 this innovative man planted the first Pinot Champagne clones: a softer skinned relative of an already thin-skinned grape — delicate is a mild description here. (Read the full review.)

Antech-Limoux Blanquette de Limoux Cuvée Brut Nature

Limoux is an appellation of southern France’s Languedoc region. In an area that’s primarily focused on the production of red wine, Limoux is considered somewhat of a “sparkling wine oasis.” Here, bubbles are crafted using the methode traditionelle or methode champenoise (aka the traditional Champagne method), but this Antech-Limoux Cuvée Brut Nature is an interesting take on that sparkling wine tradition, blending together a few non-traditional varietals…(Read the full review)

Perigot Crémant de Bourgogne Brut Rosé

I was never a huge fans of rosés until I started writing about wine. Through my studies and various opportunities to taste rosés made from different varietals, made in different styles, and — of course — from different regions, I can now edit that fact to state that I am quite picky about rosés. Similar are my feelings about bubbles. I rarely had opportunity in the past to have them; when I did, they all pretty much tasted the same. I’ve hesitated to write about them because they are, in fact, a whole different wine-making game. (Read the full review.)

Rotari 2013 Brut Trento DOC

Rotari — for those familiar with wine, specifically sparkling wine, you are no stranger to the Rotari name. It is, in fact, part of the larger Mezzacorona group (responsible for other such “name brands” as Stemmari, Nota, Tolloy, and of course Mezzacorona). But sometimes the fun thing about reviewing larger names like Rotari is finding out a bit about the roots of the product, the people behind the bottle, and how even a wine as common-place as Rotari, celebrates an ancient sparkling wine tradition…(Read the full review.)

Balletto Vineyards 2013 Sparkling Brut Rosé

I like Balletto wines. I like that they are easily accessible in every sense of the word. They’re available at most local shops; they’re affordable; and they’re (most importantly) fun and easy wines to drink. I’ve yet to be disappointed by anything by Balletto — and they have the added perk of still being a family-run business who sources their grapes from their own estate vineyards. So of course after enjoying their classic Pinot Noir and Chardonnay offerings, I was most eager to give their sparkling brut rosé a go. (Read the full review.)

Rotari Brut Rosé Sparkling Wine

Let’s face it, sparkling wine is meant to be fun. We pop the cork when we’re celebrating something — even if it’s the minor celebration of another work-week gone by. The problem I had until recently is that the more affordable bubblies are the ones that would give me headaches — the very evening I’d sip them. So I convinced myself that spending big bucks on sparkling wine, even if just for a minor weekday victory, was what I had to do to enjoy myself. Well this study in sparkling wine has taught me more than just how Champagne and Prosecco is made; it’s taught me that well crafted sparkles can be affordable, you just have to find the right one. Rotari — thank you for making “the right one(s)”…(Read the full review.)

Louis Bouillot Crémant de Bourgogne Brut Blanc de Blanc

Crémant de Bourgogne – it’s the the designation for the sparkling wines of Burgundy, which is primarily known for single-varietal, still wines only. Here, in this self-proclaimed bubbly “oasis” winemakers can, shall we say, “break the rules,” and combine various varietals to create sparkling wines. Bonus points: because these sparkles aren’t technically Champagne (though most are, indeed, made in the methode champenoise), these come at a much more affordable price point. (Read the full review.)

Mezza di Mezzacorona – Italian Bubbly

I highly underestimated Mezzacorona’s sparkling wine. When I received the bottle, I fully intended to make a sparkling wine cocktail because I (incorrectly) assumed that compared to some of the more obscure bubbles I’ve been tasting, this quite popular “name brand,” with kind of a “party school” reputation would fall short of my sparkling wine bar. The Mezza di Mezzacorona Italian Bubbly may have a fun, quirky demeanor, but it can be enjoyed “seriously” as well. Well, however seriously one wants to take sparkling wine anyway. (Read the full review.)

Nino Franco Rustico Prosecco

If you’re new to Prosecco, like I basically am, then one of the best ways to start is with a family-run winery whose sole focus is the Glera grape and the production of Prosecco. Say hello to Nino Franco. (Read the full review.)

 

Nino Franco Brut Prosecco

Still new to Prosecco, especially Prosecco with as high-quality standards as Nino Franco, I was delighted to take part in a #WineStudio chat with an up-close look at various expressions of the Glera grape from a family-run winery from Valdobbiadene — one of the oldest wine-producing families in the area. Though the business is now in the hands of the third generation, there’s still an old-world style and certainly an old-world respect for the traditional Prosecco-making tradition. (Read the full review.)

Nino Franco Primo Franco Prosecco 2016

Valdobbiadene Superiore DOCG, where Nino Franco sources all of their Glera grapes, is known for its steep hillside vineyards. And this small, focused area has a reputation for producing some of the most refined Proseccos available. While vintage Champagne is something that’s most commonly created once every few years, Nino Franco is able to produce a single-vineyard vintage Prosecco harvested from the same parcel of land each year. (Read the full review.)

Nino Franco Grave di Stecca Prosecco 2010

What makes this Prosecco so special? The grapes for this brut Prosecco come from a specific vineyard along the slopes of the Pealps where old vine Glera grapes grow and thrive amongst a unique mircro-climate. Just like any other, wine grape, the age of the vines — as well as the terroir — give resulting wines, whether still or sparkling, a certain aroma, flavor profile, and texture…(Read the full review.)

Da Luca 2014 Prosecco

I came across Da Luca wines specifically in conjunction with my study of Prosecco. While the winery itself is located in Sicily, they work with vineyards throughout Italy producing region-specific Italian classics — from Fiano to Nero d’Avola, Pinot Grigio to Primitivo. And I must say, after tasting this beautifully balanced Prosecco from the heart of Veneto, I’m eager and enthused to take a tour of Italy via Da Luca’s wines. (Read the full review.)

La Marca Prosecco

What I like about La Marca is that they don’t take themselves so seriously. Yes, this is the Prosecco you see lining the shelves year-round, the one that comes in little “goody-bag” -sized bottles to — what? give away at parties? sneak onto the train? pack in a picnic basket? Answer is, yes, all of the above. The La Marca mark is having a good, fun, sparkly time. Their website is riddled with fun party ideas and — while one can, and many do drink La Marca on its own — they know that a glass of this stuff is best filled with flavors of the season. In honor of that, let’s enjoy a little Stacy-tail… (Read the full review.)


BriscoeBites officially accepts samples as well as conducts on-site and online interviews. Want to have your wine, winery or tasting room featured? Please visit the Sample Policy page where you can contact me directly. Cheers!

 

2 Comments on Celebrate the New Year 2018: Sparkling Wine Round Up!

  1. Glad to see you found some affordable well crafted bubbles that don’t give you a headache! It’s a shame that so many people limit sparkling wine to special occasions. I suspect it’s because they imagine it’s necessary to spend a small fortune on them. This article not only disproves that, but shows a number of different options. Well done!

  2. Cheers to that Nancy! I think that is one of the many reasons I shied away from bubbles for so long. I’m glad you found the piece fun and informative…thanks for reading and engaging!

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