I love sparkling wine. All of it. Prosecco, Champagne. Cava and Franciacorta.
English novelist Charles Dickens said it best when he said, "Champagne is one of the elegant extras in life." I couldn't agree with him more. The only problem I have with sparkling wine is that we don't enjoy more of it once the holidays are over.
I'm recommending four sparklers for you to enjoy this holiday season. The first one is Italian, of course. It's in my genes. My fridge and cellar, too. Careful when opening; you don't want to pull a Ralphie and shoot your eye out.
• I sampled the $12.99 LaLuca prosecco rosé shortly after returning from four days in Italy's Franciacorta region in Lake Iseo. I was pleasantly surprised. LaLuca's prosecco and prosecco rosé are both quite delicious, but I'm into the rosés right now. It even comes in a cute 187ml TSA-sized bottle for $4.99! Not sure if airport security agrees, but TSA is much less complicated in my book: Tastes Super Awesome is my seal of approval. Love the strawberry and Fuji apple nuances. Ultra fine bubbles and a beautiful festive color.
Buy this wine at Mustard Seed Market Montrose and Solon, Kirbie's Meats & Catering.
• California's Mumm Napa Brut Prestige has vibrant bubbles right out of the bottle. It bursts with fresh baked bread and honey notes and some crisp apple flavors. There is a creamy richness to the finish. What an exceptional companion to Cajun crawfish sushi rolls and ahi tuna slices. Bubblicious! Definitely one of Mumm's most popular and readily available in our area. A great buy at $17.99, even better with their current $3 mail-in rebate. Mumm Napa is one of my favorite stops for bubbles when I am on the Silverado Trail in Napa Valley.
Buy this wine at Acme #1, Bailey Road, Tallmadge and Hudson; Heinen's Hudson; Market District Cuyahoga Falls and Green; Giant Eagle Howe Road.
• I like to be adventurous. Amalaya Brut Nature from Argentina popped up on my bubble detector. It's an interesting blend of 80 percent riesling and 20 percent torrontes. An instant hit at $11.99. (The price increases to $12.99 in January.) I had this at a recent wine trade show and it caught my eye among the other higher priced selections. Loved the notes of Asian pear. I paired it with Maryland crab cakes. Amazing is a real understatement. I'm going to pick up a bottle and revisit this pairing this week. Too incredible to pass up.
Buy this wine at Kirbie's Meats & Catering, Heinen's Hudson and Brecksville, and Mustard Seed Market Montrose.
• No, I didn't forget about Champagne from France. Remi Leroy is a exciting new Champagne house that is sparking a lot of attention. Their $44.99 Brut Nature is a blend of hand-harvested pinot noir and chardonnay grapes from the historic Aube Champagne District. For me, the balance is the thing that sets it apart from other French Champagnes. Vivacious bubbles, not overly yeasty (which many people do love), and just enough fruit. Hints of green apple aromas complemented by a kiss of fresh baked bread nuances. Out of this world with grilled tenderloin slices and grilled asparagus.
Buy this wine at Regency, 750ml Akron & Brecksville, Kent Cheesemonger and 101 Bottles Kent, Corkscrew Johnny's Richfield, Acme Fairlawn, Fishers on Fulton, The Galaxy Restaurant Wadsworth, and Mustard Seed Market Montrose.