It used to be automatic that for the holidays (and pretty much all celebrations), we all turned to the sparkling wines of Champagne. Then Cava came on the scene, California started making more (and stopped calling it "Champagne"), and Prosecco slaked the celebratory thirst of those with a more Italian bent. Pretty soon it wasn't that much about Champagne, and more about the bubbly. There are still those that say a true celebration involves Champagne, but I'm not one of them (though some vintage Champagnes have no comparison that I'm aware of, maybe some California sparklers I've not been privy to). If you are one of those who believe a celebration means Champagne, here are a few non-traditional sparklers to explore.
Segura Viudas Reserva Heredad is a Spanish Cava made in the traditional méthode champenoise. The pewter-embellished bottle bears the crest of the Segura Viudas family, and houses the estate’s top cuvée. Yeasty, with a touch of honey and stone fruit.
The “Black Bottle Bubbly,” Cordon Negro Brut, is the classic Freixenet Cava, sure to please everyone's palate. For something a little different, mix their Sweet Cuvée (lower acidity) with orange juice for a mighty tasty Mimosa.
New Year's Resolutions? VOVETI Prosecco, whose name has origins in the Latin word “voveo” (to vow), is the perfect choice to toast to new resolutions, and the year to come. Honey and floral aromas lead into green apple, melon and stone fruit flavors, with small, long-lasting bubbles.
Astoria “Lounge”Prosecco – Prosecco D.O.C. Extra Dry: floral and orchard fruit aromas with more of the same flavors, with refreshing and never-ending bubbles to lift the palate.
La Gioiosa Prosecco DOC Treviso Spumante – Prosecco D.O.C.: made with 100% Glera grapes, this sparkler has pear, melon, and floral aromas and flavors. Serve as an aperitif and with light foods.
Much like Cava, Prosecco plays well with others - here are a few recipes for mixed Prosecco cocktails:
- 3 oz. Prosecco DOC
- 2 oz. Aperol
- 1 splash of club soda
- Orange slice, for garnishFill a large glass with ice. Fill the glass halfway with Prosecco. Then, add the two shots of Aperol. Top off with a splash of club soda and garnish with an orange slice.
- 1/3 cup lemon sorbet
- 3 oz. Prosecco DOC
- 1 oz. vodkaFill each glass with 3 oz. Prosecco and 1 oz. vodka. Scoop the lemon sorbet into the glass and serve immediately.
Mia Moscato is available in mini single-serve bottles and this slightly sweet wine is fun to drink on its own or pairs well with pretty much every food. Pack a six pack of these, along with a lunch, and enjoy an al fresco winter picnic.
There you have it, sparklers to meet every occasion and every palate - go out and explore!
(Wines provided for review purposes, all opinions are my own.)
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