5 sparkling wines from around the world to try, including a refreshing $15 cava
By Dave McIntyre
Special To The Washington Post
Here is an assortment of sparkling wines, from top-notch grower champagne to basic good-value American fizz. Toss in a prodigious prosecco, a captivating cava and a scintillating sekt from Germany, and you have bubbly bursting in all its alliterative glory for the holidays. The ratings are: three stars exceptional, two stars excellent and one star very good.
Gimonnet Gonet Cuvée Or Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Brut
Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, Champagne, France, $55
This beautiful champagne provides convincing evidence of why the Cote des Blancs is revered for its remarkable expression of chardonnay. It's rich and full, bursting with flavors of tart berries, gingerbread and creme brulee. Also available in half-bottles and large formats. Alcohol by volume: 12 percent.
Sorelle Bronca Brut Prosecco Superiore
Most prosecco is simply pleasant; a nice palate cleanser to start a meal on a festive note. This one is simply delicious, with crunchy green apple flavors, plus melons and Mandarin oranges. It is unusually complex for a prosecco, too, revealing herbs and spices as it warms in the glass. ABV: 11 percent.
Marfil Brut Cava
Penedes, Spain, $15
This cava, a blend of white grapes xarel-lo, macabeo and parellada, is deceptively delicious. It starts out as a good, solid crisp bubbly, then reveals flavors of red currants and citrus before gliding into a long, refreshing finish. ABV: 11.5 percent.
Loosen Bros. Dr. L Sparkling Riesling
Sparkling wine, or "Sekt," is a great way to start a meal, especially if charcuterie is involved. Ernst Loosen is one of Germany's foremost winemakers, and this delightful example shows Riesling's bubbly personality at its best. ABV: 12.5 percent.
Gruet Blanc de Blancs
New Mexico, $19
Gruet is a French champagne family producing great-value sparkling wine in New Mexico. This nonvintage blanc de blancs - a sparkling made exclusively from chardonnay - is labeled "American Sparkling Wine," indicating that a good portion of the grapes were grown outside New Mexico. No matter - the wine shows textbook crispness, green apple and citrus flavors, with a hint of ginger. ABV: 12 percent.
Prices are approximate. Check Winesearcher.com to verify availability, or ask a favorite wine store to order through a distributor.