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Holiday Sparkling Wines to Pop Your New Year's Eve Celebration

Press Democrat
December 26, 2017
By Peg Melnik

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A tsunami of sparklers will be uncorked between now and New Year’s Day, and for many the pours will be somewhat random: a combination of what looked good in the store, what fit the budget and whatever found its way into the party via guests. But sparklers can be the crowning touch when they’re chosen with care to suit the menu and the occasion, not to mention the crowd. Naturally there’s New Year’s Eve to consider, but other events often come into play during the season, too, including a large holiday open house, an intimate dinner party, or a brunch. Here are some event-specific suggestions of what to uncork at each gathering that will keep you and your fellow celebrants sipping and toasting with bubbly that’s spot on.

Intimate dinner party

At a small gatherings like a dinner party, you’ll want to take a bottle of exceptional quality but also one that has an interesting backstory. People in Wine Country love to hear about new ventures and unique approaches to winemaking.

Flaunt and Benovia have new sparklers on the market, while Inman has a catchy label to attract millennials. All three are quality brands and make for great cocktail conversation. For example, vintner Dianna Lee, who produces Flaunt, has been a fan of California sparklers for 25 years and has wanted to make one since she co-founded Santa Rosa’s Siduri in 1994.

Inman, 2014 Whole Buncha Bubbles, Russian River Valley, Sonoma County, Blanc de Noir Sparkling Wine, 12 percent, $68: This fun-loving, spirited label has a delightful range of flavors — raspberry, green apple and mineral. It’s a serious layered sparkler, with gorgeous yeasty aromas.

Brunch

Pink sparklers are festive and food friendly, which makes them perfect for a New Year’s brunch. Crisp and dry, they ride on bright acidity and have tangy fruit flavors like wild strawberry and watermelon. They offer a purity in flavor that contrasts with rich brunch fare like cheese soufflés and omelet tortes. Here are a few that are particularly striking.

Inman Family, 2014 Russian River Valley Brut Rosé, 12 percent, $68: This is a pretty sparkler with brioche and strawberry aromas, and flavors of watermelon and tart cherry. It has a creamy texture and a refreshing mousse.