A Sparkling Idea

Published December 30, 2021

As we put a cork on this year, we celebrate bubbles. I celebrate Madame Bollinger for her wonderfully wise words:

“I drink champagne when I’m happy and when I’m sad. Sometimes I drink it when I’m alone. When I have company I consider it obligatory. I trifle with it if I’m not hungry and drink it when I am. Otherwise, I never touch it–unless I’m thirsty.”

Sparkling wine is always an easy choice and lower in sugar than most cocktails. It doesn’t need to be shaken or stirred. It doesn’t need orange juice. Check out this simplified chart explaining the difference between brut, extra dry, and demi sec, which is French for half dry.

Sparkling wine can be a delightful pairing for snacks or entire meals because of its vibrant acidity and complexity. If you follow me, you’ve probably learned that I am a California wine aficionado who champions small businesses for their hand crafted creations. Here are a few you can support during this bold new year:

Equinox in Santa Cruz

We loved all the wines at Equinox for their sparkling juice with a thick rich hint of dried fruit and very little sugar so absolutely no aftertaste.

Myka Estates in Placerville

If you took my holiday advice and fell in love with rosé, you may also fall in love with sparklers made out of rosé wines. Myka Cellars (now Myka Estates) had a delightful sparkling rosé with a slight strawberry and biscuit aroma but a big bold crisp body and a wide mouthfeel. A hint of red apple and berry on the palate was barely present but led to a low sugar aftertaste and long luscious finish.

Caraccioli in Carmel-By-The-Sea

If you’re a fan of sparkling wines made in the traditional French style, Caraccioli serves wonderful representations in an array of colors and blends.

Riverbench in Santa Barbara

Not sure if you prefer brut, dry or extra dry, try a French style called “demi sec” which means halfway between dry and sweet. Riverbench served a fantastic example of this with a tart mouthwatering flavor and a body of light whipped cream or meringue.

Laetitia in Arroyo Grande

On the central coast, Laetitia pours sparkling wines that cover the map. AND, right now, check out their 15% discount.

Calipaso in Paso Robles

Strolling around Paso’s downtown square sometimes requires a stop at Calipaso for a glass of their delightful Prosecco.

Calipaso's Prosecco

On a budget? Or did ya just spend too much over the holidays? Here’s a sparkling idea; head to a Grocery Outlet to check out their very affordable bottles of Prosecco. Prosecco is a light crisp Italian sparkling wine with hallmark flavors of green apple and lemon curd. Try it for brunch as it is a light crisp refreshing alternative to mimosas.


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