Bubbles!

Bubbles!

Dec 28, 2022

Few things are as strongly connected to each other as New Year’s Eve and bubbly drinks. Whether it’s traditional Champagne, other sparkling wines or new-school pet-nats, we’ve got plenty of options at Hop City to help you ring in the new year.

 

CHAMPAGNES

The wines of the Champagne region remain the standard by which all sparkling wines are measured as they are simply unparalleled in their complexity and character. This is particularly true when they come from winemakers who grow their own fruit and make their own wines, known as Grower Champagnes, versus winemakers that purchase bulk fruit and blend to match a specific profile. They’re fantastic, and true Champagnes make you stand out at the party as the guest who didn’t bring yet another bottle of Veuve. A few we recommend:

H. Billiot & Fils Reserve - A blanc (white) Champagne made from 75% Pinot Noir and 25% Chardonnay - $61.99; available at Krog

R. Dumont & Fils Solera Brut - A Blanc de Blancs (100% Chardonnay) made using a solera system, which combines wines from about 20 different vintages dating back to 1991 - $59.99; available at Krog

Henri Dosnon Brut Selection - A blanc made from 90% Pinot Noir and 10% Chardonnay; $48.99; available at West End

Moussé Fils “Terre d’Illite” 2014 - A vintage Blanc de Noirs (95% Meunier, 5% Pinot Noir - $82.99; available at West End

 

CHAMPAGNE ALTERNATIVES

While Champagne sets the gold standard for sparkling wines, sometimes “gold standard” seems too literal, as Champagnes definitely demand a price premium. Thankfully, there are sparkling wine traditions in many countries that use the same methodology as Champagne - conducting secondary fermentation in bottle which gives the wines their distinctive bread and brioche aromatics. These wines aren’t mere Champagne imitations. They are expressive, distinct wines showcasing their own local winemaking traditions, and often carry a lower price than comparable bottles from Champagne. Some we love:

Casa Rojo Molto Negre (Spain) - A Blanc de Noir (white wine from red grapes) made from 100% Trepat - $28.99; available at West End

Casebianche Pashkà Frizzante Secco (Italy) - A dry, sparkling red wine made from a 50/50 blend of Aglianico and Barbera - $31.99; available at West End

Can Sumoi Ancestral Montonega (Spain) - Unfined and unfiltered sparkling wine made native Spanish grapes (100% Montonega), made using traditional secondary bottle fermentation - $22.99; available at Krog

Cruse Tradition Rosé (California) - From one of California’s most highly regarded producers of sparkling wine, a Pinot Noir 68% and Chardonnay (32%) blend that drinks just as elegantly as a rosé Champagne - $59.99; available at Krog

Left Coast Cellars Blanc de Noir 2014 (Oregon) - A Blanc de Noir from 100% Pinot Noir, produced using the traditional method and aged for more than four years in bottle before disgorgemen - $45.99; available at West End

 

PET-NATS

You've likely read about our love for Pet-Nats in prior newsletters. Both the cool new kid on the block and the oldest existing method for making sparkling wine, Pet-Nats are produced by bottling wine before it’s completed its initial fermentation. The wine finishes fermentation in bottle, capturing carbon dioxide to give it its sparkle, and producing wines with vibrant and unique flavors. Made from an enormous range of grape varieties, Pet-Nats can be white, rosé or red, and they can taste like nothing you’ve experienced from sparkling wine before. A few to try:

Stirm “Los Chuchaquis” Sparkling Albariño (California) - A white pet-nat made from 100% Albariño - $28.99; available at Krog

Breaking Bread Pet-Nat (California) - A rosé pet-nat made from 100% Zinfandel - $29.99; available at Krog

Weszeli “We Love” Pet-Nat (Austria) - Rosé pet-nat made from 100% Zweigelt - $28.99; available at Krog and West End

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