It’s that time of year, where we are set to gather together surrounded by loved ones, reflecting on past memories, and making new ones… or at least we normally would, except this is 2020. The past year brought incredible changes to our lives and livelihoods, and some of these changes may be with us for years to come.
This month’s recommendations are more than suitable to toast or roast the year behind us, and welcome a new one. Who knows what the year ahead will bring, but I sincerely hope that the year ahead brings health, happiness and safety to those near and dear to our hearts and hearths.
Find these wines by searching the CSPC code at Liquorconnect.com; your local liquor store can also use this code to order it for you. Prices are approximate.
The epitome of a value driven, crushable sparkling wine, Valdo prosecco is positively bursting with apple and peach fruits, milder nectarine and floral characters and a clean, juicy finish. An everyday sparkler, or a wonderful bottle to have on hand for small to mid-size gatherings. Yum!
CSPC +550111 $20-23
A smashably good champagne that checks all the boxes, with tight fruits, wonderful mineral tones, and that little bit of softness that appears on the palate of well-made rosé champagne. Personally, I love the nuance of fresh raspberry, earthy, flinty mineral tones, and a long, graceful finish.
CSPC +482026 $85-90
Relatively new to our market, this wine from the foothills of the Dolomite mountains in northern Italy is all about freshness and opulence. Rich and round on the palate with pear-led fruits with more than a little peach and white grape flavours, the pinch of sweetness is excellent for a evening with a cool glass of bubbly.
CSPC +797215 $18-20
Segura Viudas N/V Heredad Reserva Brut, Spain
Nearly a legend of sparkling wine, Heredad is just as well loved for the quality of the juice in the bottle as its classy (if I daresay excessive) packaging. Lifted and toasty aromas come to the fore over zesty lemon and green apple flavours. A great bottle to enjoy with some light appies such as grilled seafood or some salty snacks.
CSPC +558825 $30-34
One of the stalwart expressions of sparkling wine in Canada, well known and well loved for many years here in Alberta. And why not? It’s great wine! Made in the traditional method, the wine speaks of crushed apples, food friendly acidity, and lovely mineral tones. Can’t argue with the price either for local, Canadian bubbles.
CSPC 314419 $26-30
Cremant d’Alsace is painfully overlooked in sparkling wine for both quality and for price. In this case, a blend of pinot blanc and 20 percent pinot noir, made in the traditional method. Look for flinty mineral characters on the nose and palate, well supported by fresh apples and a mild, blackberry fruit towards the finish. Stunning.
CSPC +512095 $25-30
A bit of a rare treat as this is a sweeter expression of champagne which, while uncommon – compared to Brut can be a welcome treat indeed for those with a sweet tooth or for those just enjoying a glass of champagne for the sake of enjoying champagne. Juicy sweet fruits from start to finish, this is never cloying, but always a decadent treat.
CSPC +719322 $78-82
A style of sparkling wine that Australia seemed to have perfected some years ago, but a style that drifts in and out of our wine consciousness. Well-made red sparkling wines (as this one is) treads the delicate balance of sweetness, tannin, fruit, and drinkability. Tart, red berry fruits with touches of dark chocolate and mild jamminess with good mouth-feel and spice.
CSPC +714898 $25-27
A classic cava brand, Codorniu has long bridged the balance between quality, style, and value for many a year. Ana de Cordoniu evokes a more elegant, if quaffable approach, and does it so very, very well. Lifted and clean characters of lemon and apple fruits, great mineral presence and a touch of sweetness to bring it all together. Very quaffable for a more than casual gathering.
CSPC +156075 $20-24
A long-time enthusiast of the champagnes from Veuve Cliquot Ponsardin and the story of the incredible woman behind it, the rosé is one of my favourites from the house. Sleek and balanced with a steely core of tangy acids and mild berry notes, this bottle never lasts long around me. While champagne is often enjoyed without food in these parts, it will stand up nicely to a citrus or berry dessert too.
CSPC +733615 $85-90
One of the finest sparkling wine producers in Canada, and one that frequently works with unusual varieties – like L’Acadie Blanc. A blend of several non-traditional grapes with pinot noir and chardonnay, this lightly hued sparkler has the right combination of summer berry fruits and just a touch of added sweetness. Somehow, my glass must’ve had a small hole in it, since the wine didn’t last very long.
CSPC +803300 $36-41
One thing that has always resonated with me about Pol Roger is the wonderful freshness and mouth-feel of their wines. The “White Foil” bottle, using about a third each of pinot noir, pinot meunier, and chardonnay, brings out the best of each grape with sleek minerals, bright acids, fresh fruit, and creaminess. A perfect wine for oysters, or let’s be honest, popcorn on the couch with someone special on NYE.
CSPC +748717 $68-72
Made mostly from an uncommon hybrid grape called “marquette”, which can handle rougher, tougher Canadian winters, Monte Creek Ranch’s rose brings a slightly more tart and tight palate together than just strawberries and the like. Tart cranberry and cherry flavours bring a little more depth, making this a solid performer with food. If there was a great sparkling wine for beef or for chocolate desserts, this might be it.
CSPC +834522 $22-24