Friday, December 18, 2009

Bargains in Bubbleland



So it's exciting to write the first blog entry! I'm thinking about the Holiday Season and how we sell more sparkling wine this time of year than any other. It's a time when a lot of customers step up and buy a real Champagne, which is great, and of course Prosecco is always very popular with people on a budget looking for a celebratory glass of bubbly. I'd like to mention a few other options that are gems in sparkling wine territory and, save one, they all sell for $20 or less per bottle.

Le Berceau Blanquette De Limoux ($14.99) is from a small town in the French Pyrenees that has been known for making sparkling wines since 1531. The local grape here is Mauzac and it's a joy to drink, full of dry, toasty, yeasty yumminess.

Malibran Ruio Prosecco Brut ($16.99) is exceptionally dry and better quality than your average Prosecco. It has a creamy mouthfeel and very persistent apple and peach flavors.

WINE FACT: The next 3 wines are "cremants", which is basically a term that means a dry, traditionally produced sparkling wine made in France, but not from the Champagne region.

Moissenet-Bonnard Cremant De Bourgogne ($16.99) or bubbles from Burgundy. A traditional mix of Burgundian grapes, pinot noir and chardonnay (which also happen to be 2 of the primary Champagne grapes) make this dry, yeasty wine that has a lovely nuttiness in the finish. For you geeks out there, the vigneron is from Pommard.

L'Agape Cremant D'Alsace "Emotion" ($19.99). Yes, it's bubbles from Alsace and also pinot noir and chardonnay. The wine is special to me because it has really nice, fine bubbles. It's crisp and svelt and has a lovely spicy floral component. By the way, the chardonnay in the blend is uncommon for Alsace.

Domaine De Montbourgeau Cremant du Jura ($22.99) is from eastern France, near Switzerland. It's all chardonnay and what gives it distinction is that the acidity and long mineral flavors here are comparable to Champagne. Buy this if you want some length and steeliness and you can't afford to buy one of our Grower Champagnes.

To sum it up, this is a perfect time to celebrate with some well-made bubbles, so why not check out something interesting without breaking the bank?

Happy Holidays!
Michael