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The Dozen - Sparkle Plenty

As much as those of us in the wine trade would like for you to drink sparkling wines year round and to enjoy them at the table with food as well as when you’re partying, we know you’re gonna mostly wait until the holidays to pop a cork or else to shower with it when you win a sports championship.

So who am I to argue with tradition?

With Thanksgiving around the corner, here is the first tranche of mostly domestic sparkling wines at a varying of price and quality ranges.

NV Los Dos Cava Brut Rosé ($13). Good tastes of light cherry fruit with a smidgeon of cream cheese, but it fades quickly.

NV Guinigi Treviso Prosecco ($17). Pleasant mixture of green fruitiness with a little creaminess.

NV Pine Ridge Sparkling California Chenin Blanc + Viognier ($18). A spinoff of their CB + V table wine, and I find I like the bubbly combo much better – nice floral fruit, some caramelized flavors, crisp and elegant.

NV Mumm Napa Brut Prestige ($19). A good, inexpensive wine for the table, full-bodied with good fruit and some underlying metallic minerality.

NV Henri Champliau Crémant de Bourgogne Brut Authentique ($28). Very lively on the palate with toasty creaminess and a touch of vanilla bean.

NV Roederer Estate Anderson Valley Brut Rosé ($30). Very little color, still tightly knit with lightly tangy fruit and lingering minerality. I found myself wanting some McVittie’s shortbread to nibble on while I sipped.

J Vineyards & Winery “Cuvée 20” Sonoma County Sparkling Wine ($32). Loads of bubbles with a soft middle but crisp, metallic finish.

2017 Schramsberg North Coast Blanc de Blancs ($36). Crisp and elegant – lots of minerality with lemon notes and a dash of vanilla.

2013 Roederer Estate “L’Hermitage” Anderson Valley Brut ($49). Full on the palate with lots of jammy red fruit balanced by a long toastiness.

2015 Frank Family Carneros Brut Rosé ($55). About 75% Pinot Noir with the rest Chardonnay, this sparkler is complex and a little edgy with gamey aromas, flavors on the cherry side of strawberry and a refreshing tartness in the finish. Quite good.

2016 Frank Family Carneros Rouge Sparkling Wine ($55). Better than the Aussie sparkling Shirazes, but in the same family. Big, mouth filling with a variety of flavors – a little cherry, a little pear, some savory notes, a fair amount of dusty tannins.

2011 Schramsberg “J. Schram” North Coast Brut ($130). Lots of toastiness from its long aging, but still crisp and tight with a combination of tart and mild apples - delicious.


Prices listed are generally SRP or from wine-searcher.com.

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