16 Sparkling Wines for Every Kind of Holiday Party
The best bubbles for gifting, saving for yourself, and sharing with friends
As Seen In Food & Wine December 2022
By Ray Isle
“Once upon a time, buying sparkling wine for the holidays was simple: There was Champagne. (OK, there was also André Cold Duck, but let’s not go there. I’m still not even sure what it is.) But these days, there are excellent sparkling wines being made all over the globe, or at least the parts of the globe where you can grow grapes for wine — I’m waiting for that bottle of Antarctic sparkling ice wine, but even with global warming, I’m not holding my breath for it.
Even so, Champagne is still the king, both in terms of price and reputation (and, the Champenois would argue, quality). At the very top levels, I have to agree. The greatest Champagnes are still the greatest sparkling wines in the world (and priced accordingly). But in the midrange, you can now find wines like Franciacortas from Italy, top Cavas from Spain, and wonderful California sparkling wines that rival Champagnes for quality and are often less expensive, too. Then, at the affordable level, there are excellent buys from everywhere: Italian Proseccos, basic Cavas from Spain, and sparkling wines from South Africa, the Loire Valley, Tasmania, and dozens of other places. It’s a bounty of bubbles out there. Go forth, buy, and share.”
“NV Graham Beck Cap Classique Brut – What a pleasant surprise this juicy, citrusy sparkler from South Africa’s Graham Beck is. A light earthy note rides along below the fresh, bright flavors, giving it a bit more complexity than you might expect.”