We love bubbles. Created by the yeasts that transform the grapes’ sugars into alcohol, the carbon dioxide fizz makes wine not only fun, but helps us taste it better too. As the millions of bubbles in a bottle bounce to the top of the glass and pop, they send the wine’s volatile aroma compounds right into our noses, and seconds later they’re dancing on our taste buds.
Early winemakers tried to get rid of the bubbles since they’d often lead to exploding bottles and lost wine. The monks at the Abbey of Hautvillers originally wanted Dom Pérignon to eliminate the gas from their champagne; we’re glad that plan didn’t work out.
Whether you love the classic toasted notes of methode champenoise wines, the lightly frizzante reds of Lambrusco, or the funky spritz of low alcohol piquettes, we’ve got a bubbly for you. We love it all, and we’re highlighting a few of our favorite selections this week, all perfect for popping this New Year’s Eve.
Melaney and Malia of Landmass produce some of our very favorite wines, and this brand new release is another home run. A vibrant méthode champenoise comprising 35% organic Dundee Hills Pinot Noir and 65% Willamette Valley Chardonnay, it is full of aromas of waxy apple skins, summer plum and almond. Meyer lemon on the palate complements the bouquet, and persistent bubbles lend themselves to a playful mousse. This wine saw 8 months in neutral barrel and 30 months in tirage, with 2g/L dosage at bottling. If you’re looking for something special to pop, you’d be hard pressed to do better than this bright, lifted, elegant “champagne.”
Practicing organic since the mid-90s, Pierre Gerbais’ champagnes are aged for at least 3 years, presenting an exceptional value among the burgeoning “grower champagne” movement of the last few years. At once ripe and linear, this estate bottling from southern Champagne is friendly, versatile, and absolutely delicious. The somewhat unusual blend includes 25% Pinot Blanc, lending the wine a subtle undertone of soft fruit amongst its otherwise bright, mineral character.
Food friendly, easy drinking, bright, refreshing; the pleasures of a truly dry prosecco cannot be overstated. Made by a small family winery at the foot of the Dolomites, Flora is all of the above and more, miles away from the insipid plonk cluttering up the grocery store prosecco shelves. Crisp and fizzy, with notes of Asian pear, Granny Smith apples, and endless alpine meadows, its clean, lingering finish is tart and dry. Perfect with radicchio salads, cheese and charcuterie, it is also dressed to party, and makes a lovely aperitif wine.
From the rolling hills of Emilia Romagna, Folicello’s naturally-fermented bottle of bubbles is sure to brighten the gloomiest of days. The vibe here is playful and celebratory, with aromatic notes of tropical flowers and honey leading to a fresh palate of stone fruit and wild herbs. A wonderful way to get the party started, this charming, rustic pet-nat is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.
Sustainably farmed Cab Franc and Cab Sauvignon grapes from the cool, limestone rich soils of the Loire give us a bottle of pink bubbles suited to any occasion. The Chateau, a UNESCO World Heritage site, nestled in its namesake village Breze, sits west of the Atlantic in the Saumur AOC in the middle of the Loire Valley, one of France’s most famous wine producing regions. A backbone of chalky minerality leads to a palate of bright red berry fruits accented with notes of plum, cassis, meyer lemon and orange, all tempered by an unexpectedly creamy mousse. Worthy of any and all upcoming celebrations, and great on weeknights too.
We’ll be open 11-7 tomorrow, New Year’s Eve, so you’ve got plenty of time to grab those last-minute party needs. We will be closed on January 1st and 2nd, and resume regular hours on Monday, January 3rd.