Over the past two decades, Champagne and other sparkling wine producers, along with us wine writers, have been trying to convince wine drinkers of two related things: (1) bubbly goes well with food and should just be restricted to celebrations, and (2) you can drink it all year around and not just during the winter holidays.
Now, consumers seem to be starting to embrace these messages, perhaps driven by their attraction to sparkling rosés. If you are one of the newly converted, we have an armful of sparklers for you to take with you to the table.
2021 Bonterra “Estate Collection” Mendocino Chardonnay ($13). Very flavorful with juicy apple fruit and a toasty finish that hangs a bit too long on the palate.
2021 Elvio Tinteri Langhe Arneis ($14). Pleasant drinking with rounded, exotic fruits and nectarine flavors.
2020 Duca di Salaparuta “Lavico” Etna Bianco ($16). Light, fruit-forward white with citrus and apple flavors, good acidity, but with a lightly sweet, toasty finish.
2020 Joseph Drouhin Macon Villages ($18). Lightly honeyed fruitiness to go with the apples, a few wood notes, and good fruit intensity.
2021 Château Graville-Lacoste Graves Blanc ($22). Quite nice – both floral and savory, with light lime and kiwi flavors and a long firm, but not lean, finish.
NV Paula Kornell California Sparkling Wine Brut ($22). Fruity with rounded Asian pear and creamy apple flavors, a persistent mousse and a medium crisp finish – a lot like Prosecco.
NV French Blue Crémant de Bordeaux Brut ($25). Tangy crisp apple flavors with medium body and some minerality – a nice food wine.
NV French Blue Crémant de Bordeaux Brut Rosé ($25). Enjoyable, though one-dimensional sparkler with light apple fruitiness – not very long on the palate.
2018 Schramsberg North Coast Brut Rosé ($42). Lots of cherry flavors, good weight and bubble intensity, rich but refreshing.
2019 Paula Kornell Napa Valley Sparkling Wine Blanc de Blanc ($50). Truly of Champagne quality, with crisp but medium body, green apple and lime fruitiness and metallic minerality – all long on the palate.
2020 Duca di Salaparuta “Lavico” Etna Rosso ($17). Very light red with bright cherry flavors, lots of acidity and a raspy finish.
2021 Bonterra “Estate Collection” Mendocino Cabernet Sauvignon ($23). Fresh red and black fruits along with fresh herbal flavors with good depth and intensity.
Prices listed are generally SRP or from wine-searcher.com. As more wineries are shipping directly to consumers, check the winery website if you can’t find a bottle in your retail store.
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