7 best sparkling wines for the holidays

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Looking for the perfect bubble for the holidays? From the traditional to the new and wonderful, from a Scrooge-like budget to sky’s-the-limit, here are the top seven bottles worth popping this season.

Lini 910 ‘Labrusca’ Lambrusco ~ NV, Emilia Romagna

Surprise! We’re starting with sparkling RED wine — one of the few of its kind available in the province and a must-try this season. I can’t think of a more delectable way to startle and delight your friends for less than $20. This is an absolute stunner with explosive aromas of fresh dark berries. It’s dry, low in alcohol, and finishes with a pinch of refreshing tannin. The food pairing opportunities here are endless.

Price/availability: $17.99 BCLDB

Innocent Bystander Moscato ~ 2014 Victoria, Australia

Moscato is the grape here and it delivers exuberantly floral aromas seasoned with crushed grape, citrus blossom, and mandarin. It’s the liquid version of the most delicious fruit salad you’ve ever had. At the winery, this bubble is so popular they serve it on tap. Be forewarned: This bottle will be gone SO fast you’ll regret not having bought a case of it.

Price/availability: $18.49 BCLDB

La Vida al Camp Brut Cava ~ NV Penedes, Spain

Cava is the name given to the sparkling wines of Spain that are made in the same method as the great Champagnes of France. Though destined to live in the shadow of its French predecessor, this bottle, from the historic La Vida al Camp family estate, is one heck of a contender. Poured blind, you’d swear it was Champagne.

Price/availability: $27.00 Liberty Wine Merchants

Le Mesnil ‘Grand Cru’ Blanc de Blancs ~ NV Champagne, France

Real deal Champagne for under $50? Unheard of! Not so fast: Le Mesnil crafts a beautiful ‘Blanc de Blancs’ (meaning that it is composed exclusively of Chardonnay). The fruit comes from Grand Cru vineyards and makes for an absolutely sublime wine, complete with flavours of citrus zest, chalk, and toasted baguette.

Price/availability: $49.99 BCLDB

Jacquesson ‘Cuvée No. 737’ ~ NV Champagne, France

The new release of Jacquesson lands at Marquis Wine Cellars around this time every year. It’s definitely cause for celebration, and I’ve made it a tradition to nab a few bottles to share over the month. This blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier — mostly from the 2009 vintage — has an astounding textural intrigue highlighting ginger and citrus flavours.

Price/availability:$79.99 Marquis Wines

Egly-Ouriet ‘Grand Cru’ Brut Rosé ~ NV Champagne, France

This is far and away the top rosé I tried this year. Here, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are blended and aged for 48 months resulting in an absolutely captivating, supercharged wine. Hats off to the meticulous dedication of one of the most revered producers in Champagne, Egly Ouriet.

Price/availability: $142 Kitsilano Wine Cellars

Taittinger ‘Comtes de Champagne’ Blanc de Blancs ~ 2005 Champagne, France

It’s worth saving up for this one: Taittinger delivers one of the region’s greatest ‘Tete de Cuvées’ (a house’s top wine). This noble wine (as its name suggests) is a paradox of whimsical delicacy and luxurious breadth. If, for some reason, you could only have one Champagne ever again, this would be a wise choice.

Price/availability: $209.99 BCLDB

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About the author

Chambar - Jason Yamasaki
Jason Yamasaki Jason Yamasaki is the Wine Director at Chambar and was awarded the title of Best Sommelier in BC by both the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers (CAPS) and the 2015 Vancouver International Wine Festival.

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