Sparkling Wine Choices for the Holidays

Bubbles and more Bubbles!

Planning your wines for this holiday season? I recently wrote a piece in TCW on the 30th anniversary about Pop’s for Champagne and there were some phenomenal suggestions of sparkling wines, mostly from grower producers in Champagne. And while those wines may be pricey, they are certainly unique and fun to splurge on.

As the holiday approaches, you can also consider sparklers for other parts of the globe. In the under $50 category, why not taste the Roederer Anderson Valley sparkling wine from Mendocino, California. The fifth generation French Champagne makers found this gorgeous plot of land in the early 1980s and have produced this lovely reasonable wine since.

Moving across the country, there’s the sparkling Gruet from New Mexico that always raises a few eyebrows. The French-born winemaker took a chance on this property about 150 miles south of Albeqerque, and by 1990 he was in full production with a first vintage. Today, the wines are readily available nationally, at about 100.000-case production, and it remains one of the most fabulous value domestic sparkling wines.

A few domestic sparkling wine options

A few domestic sparkling wine options

Throughout France there are also sparkling wines from the various wine growing regions, from the Loire Valley to Alsace. The wines have the term “Cremant de Loire,” “Cremant de Alsace,” or “Cremant de Bourgogne” on the label to indicate they are sparkling. Most are even made using the traditional “methode champenoise,” which indicates that it’s gone through a secondary fermentation (see link for a more in depth explanation.

With just this quick overview, I hope you’ll make some smart selections! Please come visit me, as I work as a wine consultant a few days per week at a quaint wine shop near my home. I can give you that personal touch and help you make your holiday selections, everyday picks or cellar wine. Happy Holidays!


About Laura Levy Shatkin

Laura Levy Shatkin served for 10 years as food and wine critic for the Chicago Reader. Later, she became an Emmy-nominated executive producer for Taste, a 30-minute food and wine show on NBC-5 Chicago, which later merged into, where Ms. Levy is a partner/owner. Today, she teaches private wine classes and hosts wine parties for consumers and firms, and continues to tell the video stories of wine, girlfriends and wine travel on her TCW blog, Wine…ing Women.