Nothing says “Let’s Celebrate” like popping a bottle of bubbles. Whether it’s New Years Eve or making it through a Wednesday, this list of my top 5 bottles will surely add extra sparkle to your celebration. Although true Champagne can only come from Champagne France, there are some great producers here in the U.S. making top quality sparking wines that rival their overseas brethren.
Budget: Mumm Napa Blanc du Blanc, Napa Valley California, $18
They won’t tell you this, but my friends from Paris keep a case of Mumm Napa Blanc du Blanc on hand at all times. At around 17 bucks it doesn’t break the bank and you won’t be upset if your kid sister mixes it with orange juice. This wine is a crowd pleaser, vibrant and lush with citrus and red fruit flavors and the acidity is matched by its richness.
Top Domestic: Schramsberg Blanc de Blanc, $32
This pick actually rivals bottles coasting twice as much from France and it’s easy to find at any well stocked grocery store or wine shop. This is a bright and vibrant with tastes of grapefruit, lemon, mango and peach. This fruitfulness is balanced very well by it’s vanilla infused richness. The step up in quality is also evident in the long finish. This is one of my favorite wines.
Popular Name: Perrier Jouet Grand Brut, $45
When you want a sense of flair without breaking the bank look to Champagne, the region in France that invented the wine by the same name. This bottle is elegant and restrained with light citrus flavors that won’t overwhelm. At the same time, this entry level Champagne is quite lively and ready party.
The Stand Out: Veuve Clicquot Rose, $65
If you are looking for something a bit different, think pink. Rose was made just a bit differently which results in more color from the red grapes. This gives the wine a bit more body and more red fruit flavors of strawberry and apple. This wine is a bit more savory than the Perrier Jouet and can easy stand up to a wide array of foods, perfect for late night h’droves.
The Wow Factor: Krug Grande Cuvee, $185
If you want to impress, or be impressed, buy this wine. Krug is known for it’s over the top richness, impeccable elegance and complexity. The flavors of wine of this age and level verge on roasted almond, toasted brioche and hazelnut along with the crisp acidity and mouth filling roundness. Drink this bottle alone and savor it.
LaPalme Spirit Guide, Aaron Legare