For some of us, it’s always the season for bubbles; for others, popping a cork requires a special occasion or holiday festivities. Luckily, right now is the time when we can all agree to a glass of something sparkly.
(Maille is even making a mustard with Champagne brandy and winter spices.)
To get recommendations on which bottles to reach for as we plan parties, we talked to regional beverage director for Standard Hotels Ashley Santoro—an advocate for everyday cork-popping.
Chëpika, Delaware NV, Finger Lakes, New York ($34.99)
“Chëpika is a recent collaboration between winemaker Nathan Kendall and sommelier Pascaline Lepeltier. Their sparkling wines are made from two very unfamiliar but native grape varieties: Delaware & Catawba. They are working the land responsibly, using native yeast and doing a pretty damn good job preserving the future of the Finger Lakes.”
Belluard, Les Perles du Mont Blanc NV, Savoie, France ($24.99)
“Belluard has quickly become a cult producer of sparkling wines and the rock star of the Savoie. The Les Perles du Mont is 100 percent Gringlet with notes of green apple, pear and almond with great minerality.”
Recaredo, Rosat, Brut Nature NV, Penedes, Spain (around $20)
“I feel like Cava and Spanish sparkling wine in general are very misunderstood and all too often overlooked. Recaredo is one of pioneers in Penedes that has been die-hard about preserving the reputation of Cava and producing sparkling wine that is on par with Champagne. The rosat is pretty limited—a sure way to impress your guests and a wine that can absolutely take you throughout the entire meal.”
Chartogne Taillet, Cuvée Saint-Anne NV, Champagne, France ($39.99)
“Chartogne Taillet is hands-down one the finest grower–Champagne producers; the Cuvée Saint Anne is the perfect intro to their style and at a price that won’t break the bank. There’s enough richness and complexity to pair with a holiday meal or to be enjoyed on its own.”
Featured photo credit: Flickr/Sam Howzit