FOOD AND DRINK
Bottle Shop: Bubbles for the Holidays
There is plenty of affordable and quaffable cava, prosecco and even champagne to be had. But for a special sparkling wine, you need to look beyond the glitzy displays and stacked cases to find the good stuff. Whether it’s for a hostess gift, a Christmas dinner aperitif, or a New Year’s Eve toast, these three bottles say, “Celebrate!”
Adami Dei Casel Extra Dry Prosecco di Valdobbiadene Superiore
When a prosecco label reads “extra dry” that’s by prosecco standards. In reality, the wine still has at least twice the residual sugar of a typical bottle of brut champagne. It’s one of the main reasons prosecco is often, well, kind of lame. Not Adami. The vibrant acidity of this bottle compensates beautifully for the gentle sweetness creating a just-off-dry sparkler with great tension and verve. It’s fruity and floral with white peach flavours and a mouth-watering finish that keeps you coming back for more. Pop the cork with seafood appetizers or prosciutto-wrapped melon, and at relatively low 11% alcohol, it’s the perfect pour at brunch.
Marie-Pierre Manciat Brut Crémant de Bourgogne
Not all French sparkling wine comes from Champagne. Rivers of the stuff is bottled under the Crémant designation with eight appellations in France and one in Luxembourg. They are still made by the méthode champenoise, where the secondary fermentation takes place in the bottle. But unlike champagne, it rarely tops $25. This bottle is on the higher end, but it’s an extraordinary example of Burgundian bubbles with uncommon depth for a Crémant. Expect aromas of fresh baked biscuits, lemon candy flavours, and a creamy mousse. It’s a rich wine that would pair nicely with a holiday turkey or crackling pork roast.
Tarlant Brut Rosé Champagne
While most pink champagne – the real stuff, that is – pushes the $100 mark, this bottle is a relative bargain, especially considering the quality juice inside. The blend is 85% Chardonnay and 15% Pinot Noir, the latter of which is responsible for the pale copper hue. It’s tight, tart and taught with strawberry-rhubarb flavours, bracing acidity and a firm, mineral-laced finish. This has the cojones to stand up to heavier foods than you think. Open during the cocktail hour with smoked salmon canapés, or at the dinner table with medium-rare duck breast or rack of lamb.
This article was originally published on December 10, 2015