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Toast to the Holiday Season

No other season generates as much interest in sparkling wine as the end of the year holidays. Sparkling wine -- you can only call sparkling wine “Champagne” if it comes from the specific region in France where it is made -- is more popular today than ever before as Italy and USA, among others, have created huge markets for high quality, inexpensive sparkling wines. Some even use the traditional method of creating Champagne-style wines.

The wine buyers at the Vin Bin suggest several options for Champagne and Champagne style wines that will fit any occasion.

Prosecco: The Italian sparkling wine from the Veneto region is light, fruity, dry and thirst quenching. It is extremely popular today as a Mimosa cocktail, or added to other drinks.

Our favorites:

Col di Salici Valdobbiadene $20

Fantinel Rose $19

Prima Perla $13.

For domestic champagne, there’s a huge market to choose from, but at the Vin Bin, our favorite for price and quality has always been Gruet. This Champagne style sparkler is made in New Mexico by the Gruet family who emigrated here from Champagne and brought their skills with them. The flavor is sensational and hardly different than any “true” Champagne.

Our favorites: Gruet Blanc de Blanc $30

Gruet Brut $19

Now, for real Champagne, we try to stay away from the mass produced commodity houses that produce millions of bottles and concentrate instead on what are known as “grower” champagnes. These are wines produced by the family that grow the grapes on their property – resulting in a higher dedication to quality, but thankfully, not always as pricey.

Our favorites: Charles Collin Cuvee Brut Champagne $35 Moutard Grand Cuvee $40 2006 Besserat Cuvee les Moines (vintage Champagne) $80 Duval Leroy Brut $39

All sparkling wines available at all Vin Bin locations.

---- Special thanks to Rick @ the Vin Bin for putting together this holiday wine list!

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