From France to Argentina, the world is full of sparkling wines, and I love them. They are the most versatile wines made, and they don’t have to break the bank. Drink them with food or without, to toast in the new year or to welcome friends to your home. Champagne is still the benchmark. Its traditional method is used by many of the sparkling producers throughout the world, but not all. But you always remember an evening that starts (or ends) with bubbles.
This month’s selections are available at The Cellars, five locations, thecellars.com.
Gerard Bertrand Cremant Brut 2007
(Limoux, France), $18.99
This wine has a floral nose and is medium-bodied with crisp tart acids. It’s well-balanced, with just a hint of sweetness on the finish. You could drink this one all night and want more. It’s better than some Champagnes that cost three times as much.
Perelada Cava Brut Rosado
(Emporda, Spain), $14.99
Cava is Spain’s word for sparkling wine. This one’s nose reminded me of a strawberry-filled Bismarck. That’s not a very elegant description of a very elegant wine, but with the fruity and yeasty qualities, you will know what I mean when you taste it.
Zuccardi Family Vida Organica Brut 2007
(Mendoza, Argentina), $12.99
Topical and bright, this organically grown wine is delicious and so affordable, notable for a little sweetness but balanced with good acid.
Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Noir NV
(Carneros, California), $19.99
Blanc de Noir means white and black, which are the colors of the grapes used in the making of this great sparkler from California. This name is taken from its counterpart in France. Light berry flavors fill your mouth and leave a delicate tart note lingering on your tongue.
San Martino Prosecco NV
(Trevigiani, Italy), $11.99
Prosecco is the grape as well as the wine, and I really enjoyed this one, made with great fruit and a strong mineral backbone. Prosecco is made year-round and rarely has a vintage date. It’s not vinified in the traditional method but is actually closer to beer in a bulk process. That keeps the price down and the bubbles flowing.