If going out and hitting the town on New Year’s Eve ain’t your idea of fun, then you might be looking for a great bottle of bubbly to toast with either at home or at a party. Wine Expressions has put together a list of sparkling wines that will impress you and your family and friends.
If you’re a fan of supporting families rather than large companies, look no further than shopping at an independent wine shop. Major grocery stores carry brands like Veuve Clicquot that are owned by massive companies like Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessey (LVMH), and not to mention it tastes like sparkling lemon water – bleh! LVMH is all about marketing, so just because you see the beautiful ads promoting a lifestyle, doesn’t mean the wines are good. Family producers would rather save that money and put it towards investing in their vineyards and winery. Independent retailers is where you find the best wines, and you can always ask what their favorites are because they taste the wines they carry.
Here’s my top picks and in no particular order:
1. NV Dama del Rovere Brut, Brenton Lessini Durello – $18.99
Move over Prosecco, there’s a cooler kid in town. This sparkling wine produced by the Durello grape from some of the highest altitude vineyards in the Veneto, will dance across your palate like the Snow Queen in the Nutcracker. Delicate, yet lively and full of green apples and citrus notes.
2. 2014 Murgo Brut Rosé, Sicily – $27.99
Sicilian wines have been quite popular over the past years and no grape has been as trendy as Nerello Mascalese. The Murgo family are one of the pioneers tending to their vines on Mt. Etna. Thanks to the volcanic soils, this bubbly is mineral driven with notes of wild strawberries and pomegranates. Need a wine to also pair with chocolate? Here ya go!
3. 2015 Raventós i Blanc Rosé ‘de Nit,’ Conca del Riu Anoia – $22.99
Raventós was founded in 1497 in Penedès and was the first family to produce Cava. Still ran by the same family, this sparkling beauty offers up an elegant freshness with citrus, orange blossoms, and a touch of cassis flavors.
4. NV Val de Mer Brut, Bourgogne – $20.99
This is hands down my favorite Crémant for the money. This 100% Chardonnay from vineyards around Chablis offer up zippy acidity packed with loads of citrus and green apples. It is by far a total people pleaser, so pick up more than 1 bottle.
5. NV Bernard Rémy ‘Carte Blanche,’ Champagne – $34.99
A true steal from the region of Champagne! 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay, this wine is full of a wonderful freshness topped with grapefruit and citrus notes. It boggles my mind that Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label retails around $50 and has no character, yet a wine like this one from Bernard Rémy costs much less and you rarely see it. A true gem. Ask for it!
6. NV Domaine Jean Vesselle Brut ‘Oeil de Perdrix,’ Bouzy Grand Cru – $53.99
I say this a lot, this is probably my favorite Domaine in Bouzy. Delphine is the current generation managing the estate with her husband and producing the wines. She truly brings a softness to her wines. This wine has a welcoming orange-pink hue and is 100% Pinot Noir. Elegant, silky, and balanced with a medley of fruits from orange zest to red berries.
7. Domaine Egly-Ouriet Grand Cru Brut Tradition, Champagne – $84.99
New Year and time to splurge on at least 1 bottle that is for sure what some dreams are made of. 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay this puppy packs a rich party in your mouth. Pears, lemon zest, raspberries, peppers, and a lingering creamy finish that may cause you to snap a pic of the bottle and brag to all your Instagram pals.