We are all preparing for Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Now is the time everyone is on the hunt for holiday champagnes and sparkling wines! Nothing says celebration like bubbles in your glas. When it comes to holiday champagnes and sparkling wines there are many choices, styles, and price points to choose from. Do you want a true champagne from France? Or will you be happy with a prosecco from Italy or a cava from Spain? Do you prefer a drier brut style, or does your sweet tooth crave a demi-sec? You may need a budget sparkling for a party. Or you can go all out and drop a few dead presidents on a well-known luxury brand. There are so many choices! But I am here to help. Here are twelve fantastic holiday champagnes and sparkling wines. With six different price points, there will be one that fits your budget.
Sparkling Wines: $10-$20
Segura Viudas Brut Cava: $10
This one is easy-peasy. Cava should be your first choice when looking for holiday champagnes and sparkling wines that doesn’t break the bank. Most fall under the $20 price point. The Segura Viudas is perfect for buying in bulk for a party or as a base for mimosas at brunch. Plus, you can find it almost anywhere. This cava bright and cheery with a rich bubble mousse. It has notes of lemon-lime zest, golden delicious apple, almond biscuit, and sea spray. The finish is very pleasing and lasting. A fantastic starter sparkler for your holidays.
Ziobaffa Organic Prosecco: $17
I know that many go for the Tiffany-blue bottle when choosing a prosecco. However, I want to give you something different. The Ziobaffa Prosecco hits all the social media hashtags. It is organic, vegan, and sustainable. Never mind that though. For me, it’s all about the juice inside. A blend of organic Glera, Chardonnay, and Pinot Grigio from the hills of Treviso in Veneto. It has notes of pear, green apple, and acacia. A bit of residual sugar gives the fruit heft, yet it still stays on the dry side.
Sparkling Wines: $20-$30
Gérard Bertrand 2013 Cuvée
Thomas Jefferson Crémant de Limoux Brut: $21
Crémant is the French term for sparkling wines made in the traditional method, but not in the Champagne region. This usually translates into an excellent value for us! Limoux’s sparkling wines were the only sparkling wines in Thomas Jefferson’s cellar. Hence, the homage to our third president on the label. The Gérard Bertrand Cuvée Thomas Jefferson Crémant de Limoux Brut is a Chardonnay blend with small percentages of Chenin Blanc, Pinot Noir, and Mauzac. It has focused aromas and flavors of Bosc pear, apple, white peach, and fresh thyme. The palate is full-bodied with a lasting, lush finish.
Domaine Carneros 2014 Brut: $29
Domaine Carneros is located in the Los Carneros area of Napa Valley. It is the American outpost of the French champagne house Taittinger. Their entry point sparkling wine is from 100% estate grown fruit and leans a bit more on Chardonnay over Pinot Noir. The result is a fantastic, creamy wine with a rich froth. Notes of apple and orange blossom mingle with strawberry and toast. There is a palatable acidity here, and the length is remarkable. This is an excellent choice for the price when you are buying holiday champagnes and sparkling wines.
Sparkling Wines: $30-$40
J Vineyards NV Cuvée 20 Brut: $33
This wine is from cool-climate sites in the Russian River Valley area of California. The J Vineyards Cuvée 20 is a lush and delectable holiday wines and champagnes choice. A blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, with a touch of Meunier. You will find that aromas of almond, apple, ginger, and fresh bread jump from the glass. The palate is creamy and rich, almost dessert-like without the sweetness. The finish is long, yet leaves you wanting even more.
Schramsberg 2015 Blanc de Blancs Brut: $39
When you see ‘blanc de blancs’ on a label, it translates to a white sparkling wine made from only white grapes. In many sparkling wines, this means 100% Chardonnay like this beauty from Schramsberg. There is almost lemon meringue quality to it, with gobs of citrus and creaminess. A toasty nuttiness accents the fruit and the acidity is very bright to keep this balanced at a dry style.
FUN FACT: Schramsberg sparkling wines have been a favorite at The White House for decades. Nixon even took the 1969 vintage of this wine on his historic trip to China in 1972.
Gosset NV Brut Excellence Brut: $45
Gosset is the oldest wine house in Champagne with its founding in 1584 by Pierre Gosset. For over 425 years, Gosset has produced wines in a range of styles and price points. The non-vintage Brut Excellence is the starting point. Light and vivid, with fruit notes of cherry, apple, and lemon. Freshly baked bread, candied ginger, and orange blossom round out the palate. The finish shows off some terroir with a chalkiness shining through.
NV Cuvée de Comte de Marne Rosé Grand Cru Brut: $49
I love this wine! It is sourced from Grand Cru vineyards in the Comte de Marne region of Champagne. This rosé is elegance and class for under $50. A blend of 70% Chardonnay and 30% Pinot Noir and aged for 36 to 48 months in a cellar for complexity and longevity. The result is a delicious Champagne. Its lemon and wild strawberry notes intertwine with toasted bread and rose water. The bubbles are lush and persistent, giving a full-bodied and balanced style.
FUN FACT: You will notice that the bottle is thicker and more opaque than other sparkling wines. The bottle is an homage to wine bottles made before glassmaking became more refined.
Ruinart NV Blanc de Blancs Brut: $80
Ruinart is the second oldest Champagne house. Established in 1729, it is almost 150 younger than Gosset. Ruinart focuses on Chardonnay-dominate wines. The Blanc de Blancs is one of the best non-vintage examples of this style. It is creamy and full-bodied, but with lively acidity. The fruit notes of white peach, lemon curd, and nectarines swim within the frothy mousse. Aging notes of zwieback and smoke linger with candied ginger and white floral aromas. So rich and lush and plain gorgeous.
J.M. Labruyère Anthologie Grand Cru Rosé Brut: $88
This choice is a relatively new kid on the block. It is one of the first offerings from a “Grower Champagne” producer with a long pedigree. The Labruyère family have been grape growers and wine producers since the 1850s. Their vineyards were once centered in the Macon and Moulin-a-Vent areas of France. This changed when the current generation expanded their holdings by adding almost six hectares of Grand Cru vineyards in Verzenay and Verzy. These new vineyards focus on Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The Anthologie Rosé is produced from a single non-designated vintage. It is a blend of 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay. The result is a full, yet crisp wine. It has notes of wild strawberries, tropical fruit, ginger, grilled bread, and marzipan. Labruyère is a producer worth seeking out to add to your holiday champagnes and sparkling wines collection.
Perrier-Jouët 2006 Cuvée Belle Epoque Brut: $150
This is the most gorgeous wine bottle. It is also the signature wine from a premier Champagne producer. There is a more current vintage of the Belle Epoque (2011), but I implore you to seek out the 2006 vintage. It is perfect now. A blend of 50% Chardonnay, 45% Pinot Noir, and 5% Meunier with six years of bottle aging. This wine has aromatic notes of Golden Delicious apple, cinnamon toast, Meyer lemon, and honey. The palate is soft, ripe, and lush. A mineral-driven acidity gives it balance. This is luxury Champagne and worth every penny.
Veuve Clicquot 2006 Cuvée Le Grand Dame Brut: $175
This is the prestige cuvée from the most well-known Champagne house. The Le Grand Dame is a tribute to Madame Clicquot, the innovative founder of the house. It is crafted from 100% Grand Cru vineyards spread out over 8 villages. The blend leans on Pinot Noir for finesse and elegance. A full-bodied wine with depth and a streak of bracing acidity that balances the richness. The notes of poached pear, nectarine, peach, brioche, marzipan, and chalk ride the silky palate. It is simply an exceptional Champagne.
I hope you found a few new holiday Champagnes and sparkling wines that you can enjoy this holiday season! If you want more recommendations check out our post on Holiday Party Wines!
An Introduction to Natural Wine In the world of wine, there are the standards: Napa Cabernet, Bordeaux, Burgundy. There are also the trends. Some of these trends look promising but never gain a great foothold. This is especially true in America. I’ve seen South...read more
Its Time for Holiday Party Wines! It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and that means holiday parties are all around. From family and friends fêtes to office soirées, you are definitely going to need libations to keep the party going. Whether you are a reveler...read more
Let’s face it; Thanksgiving is a lot of work. Between the shopping, getting the house in order, and doing the cooking, you need all the help you can get. When you think you have it all under control, you forget one thing: the wine. Lucky for you, choosing the right...read more