Not that you need an excuse to crack open a bottle of bubbles, but the festive season is ideal for indulging in these wonderful wines. From delicate Prosecco to Grande Marque Champagne, sparkling wines can fit any occasion, whether a quiet night in by the fire, a big party with all the friends and family, or a decadent Christmas morning!
Champagne, France (Sparkling White)
The 2005 vintage in Champagne was magnificent, starting with a cold, dry winter and ideal spring and summer ripening conditions. True to the Charles Heidsieck’s house style, their Brut Millésime 2005 displays their adeptness at balancing power and linear elegance. Perfect for winter celebrations, the nose offers aromas of candied chestnuts and honey combined with praline and lightly toasted hazelnuts.
Veneto, Italy (Sparkling White)
Who can resist Prosecco? A perennial crowd-pleaser, the country’s love of Prosecco has no signs of abating. However, the holidays call for something extra special, and a magnum naturally makes a celebration. This Prosecco has pleasant notes of pears and floral hints. A drier style than most Proseccos, it matches the current consumer trend for less sweetness. It has a very bright and lifted palate and lingering freshness
Franciacorta, Lombardia, Italy (Sparkling White)
Franciacorta, from the Lake Garda region of Italy, rivals Champagne for quality and panache. Bellavista’s ‘Alma’ Cuvée is an ideal wine to serve guests as an aperitivo with prosciutto, olives and crusty bread. The wine is crafted with a meticulous blending of more than 100 parcels, 30% of which are aged and vinified in barriques. The resulting wine has a strong personality that can match easily risotto, seafood and fish as well.
Asolo, Veneto, Italy (Sparkling White)
The DOCG of Asolo is in the heart of Prosecco, south west of the Valdobbiadene/Conegliano areas. Here, the well-draining clay soils of the hillside vineyards are rich in minerals. Ca’ Morlin Prosecco is fully sparkling, with intense fresh aromas of fresh green grapes and white blossoms. Due to the quality of the fruit, the wine has a lower level of residual sugar than is usual with Prosecco, so it is drier and more drinkable as a result.
Southern England, United Kingdom (Sparkling Rosé)
This elegant, traditional method sparkling wine makes a mouth-watering aperitif for the festive season and matches wonderfully with classic nibbles, especially smoked salmon. Hush Heath set out to make a benchmark English sparkling rosé and the Balfour Brut is testament to this – a deliciously delicate wine made from the three Champagne grape varieties – Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier – and brimming with rosehip, greengage, apple and ginger flavours.
Côte des Bar, Champagne, France (Sparkling White)
The Cuvée D blend is based on “selection parcellaire” (parcel selection). Devaux’s Cellar Master Michel Parisot creates a blend that is a majority of Pinot Noir from the Côte des Bars (a warmer location, giving the wine richness) balanced with Chardonnay from the fine chalky soils of the Côte des Blancs, Vitry and Montgueux to give liveliness and elegance. James Halliday notes, “there is a plethora of spiced, dried and fresh fruits, balance and freshness provided by a surge of citrussy acidity on the finish.”
Barossa, Australia (Sparkling Red)
Although usually a style for summer BBQs, sparkling Shiraz is a surprisingly wonderful match for turkey and cranberry sauce. With the elegant mousse created through secondary fermentation in the bottle, Peter Lehmann’s Black Queen has finesse, but also the fun of a great party wine. The bouquet shows hints of satsuma, plum and black cherry leading to an explosion of dark exotic fruits on the palate. This would also be a fantastic wine to segue into the cheese course or to pair with Christmas pudding.
Niagara, Ontario (Sparkling White)
Sparkling icewine is a unique, show stopping sweet wine for holiday celebrations. The pure, crystalline fruit aromatics from the icewine making process, in which perfectly frozen grapes are harvested in the dead of winter, mingle fantastically with a luscious sweetness, refreshing acidity and bubbly mousse. With clementine, mango, lychee and pineapple on the palate, the wine would go well with crème brûlée, and rich cheeses from Brie to blue.