Sparkling Wines ~ great with more than celebrations

Weddings, holiday parties, birthday celebrations.  These are all events in which it is common to serve a little bubbly.  Yes, these are great wines to enjoy with big festivities, but sparkling wines are versatile and can be enjoyed with a variety of foods, in various settings.  We’ve been known to pop open a bottle with brunch (and not spoil it with OJ), but why not enjoy alongside appetizers before dinner with friends, or while sitting on the patio enjoying the afternoon sun? 

Here are a few different styles of bubbly we’ve shared with friends:

Blanc de Noirs 

Blanc de Noirs are made from dark grapes.  Grab a seat on the patio and enjoy with an assorted cheese platter.  Select rich, buttery triple – crèmes and brie type cheese, like camembert and herbed cream cheese

Recommend: Gruet ($15): We first discovered this sparkling wine for our New Year’s Eve, “Coast-to-Coast Champagne Toast” party.  A surprising find from New Mexico! 

 Crémant 

Crémant is French for “creamy” and traditionally refers to a sparkling wine with softer effervescence.  This is a great one to pair with appetizers, or as a palate cleanser before a great meal.  Try it with salty, sharp cheese, fruit plates, and even Thai food.

Recommend: Scharffenberger Cellars ($25): We discovered this on our latest California wine adventure.  Unfortunately, it is only available direct through the winery, but a great find…go ahead, order it!

Brut

Brut style sparlings taste quite dry on the palate.  A great brunch bubbly, and it’s perfectly ok to drink straight up, don’t mix with OJ or other juice!  This pairs well with great brunch staples like eggs, potatoes, bacon and sausage, and pastries. 

Recommend: Roederer Estate ($20): This is a regular find in our fridge, and can be found in most wine shops like BevMo and Total Wines.  Well balanced, crisp with lemon and apple flavors. 

Prosecco

Prosecco is generally sweeter than Champagne-style sparkling wines.  Bring this one along on your picnic and pair it with creamy pastas, spicy foods, seafood, and even fried chicken.  I’d skip enjoying with anything too fruity, as it clashes with the higher acidity of this wine.

Recommend: LaMarca ($15):We were introduced to this bubbly when our friend Terri shared a bottle with us.  It has crisp peach and apple flavors, and goes surprisingly well with popcorn.  That could be why Terri loves it so much!

Posted on April 30, 2013 and filed under Wine Discoveries.