WWMD: Holiday sparklers that shine

What would Margaret drink?

Margaret Pearman is a certified sommelier under the Court of Master Sommeliers and is responsible for curating the award-winning wine list at Charlie’s Coastal Bistro. Here are her sipping suggestions for December.

‘Tis the season to celebrate with bubbles. Champagne is the top choice, but it should not be the only choice when considering high-quality sparkling wine. For a sparkling wine to be called “Champagne,” it must come from the region of Northern France located just outside Paris. However, lots of sparkling wines are made in the same method from other regions of the world. Many can taste just as good without the hefty price tag. Here is a list of my top choices in 2022:

1. Ca Del Bosco Cuvee Prestige Franciacorta:

Hailing from the Lombardy region of Italy, it is comprised of mostly chardonnay. Baked apple, pear and citrus. Organically produced. A real steal for under $40 retail. 

2. Ferrari Brut:

Another northern Italian sparkler, but from the Trentino region. Established in 1902 Ferrari set out to compete with real Champagne, and it is doing a really good job at it! Delicate mousse with real finesse. Around $30 retail.

3. Voirin-Jumel Tradition Brut NV:

This 5th generation producer of true Champagne is churning out elegance in a bottle. Located in the Grand Cru area of Cramant, the winery possesses some extraordinary vineyard sites. Owning their own sites gives them much more quality control. The blend is 50/50 Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Hints of toasty brioche with a touch of honey on the nose. This is a real steal for around $40 retail.

4. Palmer Brut NV:

Another real Champagne that is fresh and balanced. The blend is mostly Chardonnay with 30 percent pinot noir and 10 percent pinot meunier, which gives it a little more broadness. Around $45 retail.

5. Amiot Rose Cremant de Bourgogne Brut NV:

As third-generation Chassagne Montrachet producers, Amiot has access to high-quality pinot noir grapes. Just a touch of strawberry with a beautiful bright pink tone. For around $35 retail, it is really a no-brainer for sparkling rose.

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