Big announcements. Small victories. Long-awaited reunions. Family drama. Whatever the season brings, break out the bubbles. Leigh Thurber and Melissa Apfelbaum, owners of Picada y Vino, a wine shop specializing in smaller-production wines from around the world, shared their expert sparkling picks. They travel in search of great finds from lesser known regions, up-and-coming winemakers, unique estates, and off-the-beaten-path producers, so I knew they’d have some festive Champagne alternatives.
Leigh notes that sparkling wines are a natural cleanser for the palate, making them perfect for any course or in-between. Cool fact: all wine starts out as sparkling, and then the gas is released to make it still. Ok, enough small talk, now for Leigh’s selects and wine notes…..
Gruet, Brut, New Mexico: Yes, a sparkling wine from New Mexico. Made with Chardonnay grapes in the Champagne style, it’s brilliant with ultra fine bubbles. A wonderful fine bouquet dominated by green apple and grapefruit flavors.
N.V. Frédéric Lornet Crémant du Jura Brut Blanc, France: A biodynamic sparkling wine with a lovely pink tint—pink is the big thing this year. It’s fruit driven with wild strawberries, raspberries, a bright fruit profile and bubbles that tickle the palate.
Le Vigne di Alice Prosecco Sparkling: Made from the Prosecco grape, this is how Italians do sparkling. Super elegant and on the dry side with mix of apple acidity with pear notes. The pink is fun for the holidays too.
Lini 910 Lambrusco Rosato, Emilia-Romagna, Italy: Lambrusco is the grape, and this style of wine can range from very sweet to very dry. The dark red color is kinda masculine, so good for guys who don’t typically go for a lighter sparkling wine. This wine has pleasantly brisk bubbles and a fresh, ripe berry flavor-wine detail.
Castellroig Reserva Brut Naturi, Spain: Spanish take on bubbles from the Cava region. This cava is made following traditional methods. The resulting sparkler is festive and elegant. It has delicate but persistent bubbles, hints of bananas, fresh fruit, brioche and a fresh, dry, balanced palate. A great choice for cocktail parties and other holiday occasions.
Thanks Leigh! Stop by Picada y Vino in Brooklyn and shop their hand selected wines.