Your Ultimate Bubbly Wine Gift Guide from Your Ultimate Bubbly Wine Gift Guide

Your Ultimate Bubbly Wine Gift Guide

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Your Ultimate Bubbly Wine Gift Guide

Kristen Hom

Your Ultimate Bubbly Wine Gift Guide

Far more bubbly is sold during this time of year than any other, which isn’t surprising as sparkling wines are great for both entertaining and for gift-giving.

It’s also a good time to note that the world of sparkling wines continues to expand, and the products — except at the very low end — keep getting better. The Franciacorta region of northern Italy is an overlooked region worth looking into that makes sparklers in the style of Champagne at a somewhat lower price.

Also, English sparkling wine has come virtually out of nowhere and can be of Champagne quality at bargain prices. Plus, there is a new Champagne on the American market this year — Palmer — that makes us wonder why no one has imported it before.

Here, then, are 35 sparkling wines, listed according to price, from $14 to $180. There is surely something here to help you celebrate either by popping the cork or giving it to someone all wrapped up in ribbons and bows.

Sant’Urbano “White Knight” Treviso Prosecco NV ($14)

Sant’Urbano “White Knight” Treviso Prosecco NV ($14)

Very fragrant in a good way. Pollen and beeswax, white flowers, and more flowery than fruity in general with the savory notes in the front and the light fruitiness in the end.

Mumm Napa Brut Prestige NV ($18)

Mumm Napa Brut Prestige NV ($18)

Mumm Napa Brut Rosé NV ($20)

Mumm Napa Brut Rosé NV ($20)

Fruity and tight strawberry flavors with some pineapple and lots of mousse that quickly dissipates.

Szigeti Austria Gruner Veltliner Brut NV ($20)

Szigeti Austria Gruner Veltliner Brut NV ($20)

Light to medium body with a bit of tang — creamy with apples and hints of dried herbs.

Zardetto “Z” Treviso Prosecco Brut NV ($20)

Zardetto “Z” Treviso Prosecco Brut NV ($20)

Ziss” wine has good structure with pastel aromas and flavors and candied pears in the aftertaste — fruity but firm.

Lucien Albrecht Cremant d’Alsace Brut Rosé NV ($21)

Lucien Albrecht Cremant d’Alsace Brut Rosé NV ($21)

Very creamy with dark cherry flavors, some tannins, and some savory notes.

La Valle “Primum” Franciacorta Brut NV ($29)

La Valle “Primum” Franciacorta Brut NV ($29)

Quite refreshing and deliciousa very good buy — with creamy richness and fresh green herbs with a metallic, finishing minerality.

Biltmore Estate “Château Reserve” North Carolina Blanc de Blanc Brut 2011 ($30)

Biltmore Estate “Château Reserve” North Carolina Blanc de Blanc Brut 2011 ($30)

Tangy and tart in a satisfying way, with minerality, crisp apple notes and beaucoup bubbles.

Ridgeview England “Cavendish” Brut 2013 ($35)

Ridgeview England “Cavendish” Brut 2013 ($35)

Very nice and complex — tanginess followed by crème fraîche, good minerality, hint of tannins from somewhere, rich but relatively lean.

Barone Pizzini “Animante” Franciacorta Brut NV ($38)

Barone Pizzini “Animante” Franciacorta Brut NV ($38)

Nice and satisfying with mellow apple and dried herb flavors and good richness and texture.

Barone Pizzini “Nature” Franciacorta Brut 2011 ($38)

Barone Pizzini “Nature” Franciacorta Brut 2011 ($38)

Rich, but tightly knit with lots of savory notes. Resembles the flavor of lemons.

Laurent-Perrier Champagne Brut NV ($42)

Laurent-Perrier Champagne Brut NV ($42)

A nice, minerally Champagne with flavors of wet slate to go with the apricots and lemons, all wrapped up in a good structure.

Piper Heidsieck brut NV ($42)

Piper Heidsieck brut NV ($42)

Lots of satisfying intensity with flavors of citrus, then apple and pear, and even a little dried geranium.

La Valle “Naturalis” Franciacorta Extra Brut 2009 ($44)

La Valle “Naturalis” Franciacorta Extra Brut 2009 ($44)

A little light and ephemeral (or is that elegance?) with flavors of rose petals and a nice tart mixture of citrus and stone fruits.

Ridgeview England Blanc de Blanc 2011 ($45)

Ridgeview England Blanc de Blanc 2011 ($45)

Full-bodied with lots of savory notes of dried and green herbs and nice minerality.

Barone Pizzini “Bagnadore” Franciacorta Riserva 2008 ($50)

Barone Pizzini “Bagnadore” Franciacorta Riserva 2008 ($50)

Lean and flavorful with lots of lemon, lime, and other citrus flavors — crisp, but not overly acidic.

Barone Pizzini Franciacorta Rosé 2011($50)

Barone Pizzini Franciacorta Rosé 2011($50)

Bright but tart cherry flavors with some candy notes and good acidity.

Palmer Champagne Brut Reserve NV ($50)

Palmer Champagne Brut Reserve NV ($50)

Here are the signature Champagne characteristics: minerally/metallic tastes, tannic and crisp finish, yet full-bodied.

Barone Pizzini “Saten” Franciacorta Brut 2011 ($53)

Barone Pizzini “Saten” Franciacorta Brut 2011 ($53)

Minerally, tangy, and gamey with tart apple flavors, intense bubbles, and crisp acidity.

La Valle Franciacorta Brut Rosé ($53)

La Valle Franciacorta Brut Rosé ($53)

It could use a little more length on the palate, but there is a lot of pleasant, creamy effervescence with light strawberry flavors.

Piper Heidsieck “Sauvage” Rosé NV ($58)

Piper Heidsieck “Sauvage” Rosé NV ($58)

A darker rosé with apple on the nose and flavors of cherry, cola, and red vermouth — an excellent food wine.

Mumm Napa DVX 2008 ($60)

Mumm Napa DVX 2008 ($60)

A very nice sparkler, showing what Napa can do when it sets its mind to it. Touch of gaminess, great structure, hints of tannin, savory notes, and pleasantly assertive.

Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve NV ($60)

Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve NV ($60)

Golden, stone-fruit flavors with complex savory notes of herbs and grains. Rich and refreshing.

Palmer Champagne rosé reserve NV ($65)

Palmer Champagne rosé reserve NV ($65)

Not terribly complex, but the flavors, — primarily light cherry — the texture, and the acidity are all good.

Taittinger “Nocturne” Sec Champagne ($69)

Taittinger “Nocturne” Sec Champagne ($69)

Very good and very well-made. More fruity than sweet, with flavors of orange, lemon, and pineapple.

Taittinger Champagne Premier Rosé NV ($70)

Taittinger Champagne Premier Rosé NV ($70)

Tangy, strawberry, and tangerine flavors with a lot of minerality and a crisp finish — very satisfying.

Charles Heidsieck Champagne Rosé NV ($73)

Charles Heidsieck Champagne Rosé NV ($73)

Strawberry tartness with young blackberries, cream, and puff pastry.

Palmer Champagne Blanc de Blanc NV ($75)

Palmer Champagne Blanc de Blanc NV ($75)

Rich and intense with flavors of both mellow and tart apples, a little creaminess, and a little metallic tang — very much a versatile food wine.

Charles Heidsieck Champagne Rosé 2006 ($144)

Charles Heidsieck Champagne Rosé 2006 ($144)

Flavors of rose petals and pastry shells, quite floral with light tannins, and an intense finish.

Taittinger “Comtes de Champagne” Blanc de Blanc 2006 ($148)

Taittinger “Comtes de Champagne” Blanc de Blanc 2006 ($148)

The wine is elegant, yet rich and intense with flavors of baked apples, cream, and only light hints of brioche. Still tightly wound and very delicious.

Palmer “Amazone” Champagne brut NV ($153)

Palmer “Amazone” Champagne brut NV ($153)

A reserve wine with a good interweaving of yeasty brioche and lemon flavors and a crisp, dark finish — very nice, indeed.

Taittinger “Comtes de Champagne” Blanc de Blanc 2005 ($159)

Taittinger “Comtes de Champagne” Blanc de Blanc 2005 ($159)

Extra rich body with a great lean finish, with flavors of lemon and lemon peel, good minerality. Very elegant.

Piper Heidsieck “Rare” Millesime 2002 ($168)

Piper Heidsieck “Rare” Millesime 2002 ($168)

Well-structured, tending toward volume rather than length. Quite elegant with flavors of lemon, custard, roasted nuts, and pear.

Charles Heidsieck Champagne “Blanc de Millenaires” 1995 ($173)

Charles Heidsieck Champagne “Blanc de Millenaires” 1995 ($173)

A very savory wine with flavors of grain, vanilla and lemon — rich, complex, delicious.

Taittinger “Comtes de Champagne” Rosé 2006 ($180)

Taittinger “Comtes de Champagne” Rosé 2006 ($180)

Dark strawberry and black tea notes with a touch of tannins and good minerality.

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Your Ultimate Bubbly Wine Gift Guide

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