I am one of those people who does not require a holiday or a wedding to open a bottle of sparkling wine.
While Champagne has long been thought of as the wine for celebrations—and certainly functions nicely in that capacity—it really can be enjoyed year-round. Its food-friendly personality makes it a superb choice with brunch fare, and its abundant acidity accommodates pairing with spicy Asian fare, including sushi.
All of that said, a quick glance at the calendar reveals that another holiday season will be here before we know it—and with it, some ready-made “excuses” for popping the cork on a bottle of bubbly.
But what kind? Because so many people purchase sparkling wine only during the holiday season, it’s easy to forget what kind they like. It’s a memory challenge made even more daunting if one does not have command of the French language.
Fortunately, it’s fairly easy to jog the ol’ memory bank by referencing the everyday table wines that we prefer. Think of the exercise as being similar to that trick used by many music critics: “If you like Johnny Cash, you might like Tom Russell,” or, “If you like Fleet Foxes, you might like Mumford & Sons.”
Let’s say you like Sauvignon Blanc, or the lean (typically “unoaked”) style of Chardonnay. Chances are you’ll be happiest with a Brut blend.
On the other hand, if you prefer the richer style of Chardonnay (sometimes referred to as the “California style”), then you’ll likely be happier with a Blanc de Blancs.
Do you prefer red wines? No problem!
If you really love Sangiovese, Grenache and/or Pinot Noir, the sparkling wine for you is Blanc de Noirs.
If your palate leans toward Merlot, Aussie-style Shiraz or those big California Zinfandel wines, a Brut Rosé figures to be your bubbly preference.
Consider these “if you like, you might like…” suggestions, and this could be the holiday season when you expand your sparkling wine horizon—a tasty present for yourself that can keep on giving throughout the year.