• culture

    Best Sparkling Wine Recommendations for the Holidays

    The AGEIST Guide to Bubbly: From the Budget to the Spendy, We Have You Covered

    ‘Tis the season to be jolly, which seems like a good moment to ask some of our experts what they like in a sparkling wine. From the sophisticated-over-the-top, I just won in Vegas, to the informed and terrestrial, we present here our findings. Technically, Champagne can only come from the Champagne region of France using Champagne grapes. In the interest of staying semantically correct, we will use the word bubbly for wine that sparkles, so as not to offend.

    Our first call was, of course, to our friend, recent profile, Paddy Renouf. You may recall that Paddy is a professional flâneur, the man you call when visiting London if you happen to be a Middle Eastern prince with his own plane looking to arrange a sparkling fun evening in London. His clients’ world is not constrained by such matters as budget, so we were very excited about what a top shelf would be. 

    “My house champagne is Pol Roger ($300) and my treat is Cristal Rosé 2002 ($500). It has to be the rosé…the rest just is not up to snuff.” 

    Our next expert is the Director of Champagne at Moët Hennessy, Ethan Boroian, Mr Champagne who was referred to us by, of course, Paddy. We were expecting something quite astronomical in his recommendations, but he covered a range.

    “I would suggest the following depending on personal preference:

    Ruinart Blanc de Blancs: 100% Chardonnay, a perfect aperitif-style Champagne that is elegant and fresh. ($90)

    Veuve Clicquot Extra Brut Extra Old: A cuvée for those who like drier Champagnes, but that still pack a punch. The Pinot Noir dominance gives loads of structure and body to this Champagne, and considering that it’s exclusively made out of reserve wines, the complexity is well worth the price. ($90)

    Dom Pérignon P2 2000: This late-disgorged Dom Pérignon has spent 15 years on the lees and balances Pinot Noir and Chardonnay perfectly. This one is for the Burgundy fans.”($300)

    Helen’s Wine Shop was our next stop. Helen’s is a jewel box gem of a find tucked in the back of Jon & Vinny’s on North Fairfax in Los Angeles. They specialize in discovering wonderful off-the-beaten-path vintages that may not get the proper attention. Helen herself has a storied history as a wine connoisseur. They have an excellent wine club that is worth checking out, along with classes and events. 

    “NV Guillaume Sergent, Les Pres Dieu, Extra Brut, Vrigny, Chardonnay: My current obsession for grower producer Champagne: pure magic. ($90)

    NV Bernard Vallette, Nuit Blanche, Beaujolais, Gamay: Sparkling blanc de noir from Gamay made in Beaujolais! Pale copper-colored, dry and seductive. ($23)

    NV Agnes et Rene Mosse, Moussamoussettes, Vin de Table, Grolleau Gris/Gamay: Pétillant naturel rosé made in Anjou in the Loire Valley!! Unfiltered and amazing. ($39)

    2015 St. Reginald Parish, Sparkle Motion, Brut Nature, Sisu Vineyard, Yamhill-Carlton, Oregon, Pinot Noir: Made naturally and zero additives, nothing taken away but in the style of rosé Champagne! ($87)

    NV Porta del Vento, Voria, Palermo, Sicilia, Catarratto: Skin contact Sicilian natural ancestral pet nat method used. Notes of pineapple, salty and texture.” ($23)

    Susan Feldman knows style. She started One King’s Lane and is now the entrepreneur behind very stylish and eminently shapable In The Groove. What would this fun-loving, fiercely-intelligent woman recommend for a bubbling toast?

    “Well, I love a glass of bubbly to celebrate the holidays. You can’t go wrong with Perrier- Jouet,…added bonus: a gorgeous bottle.” ($180)

    Bob Blumer, who we profiled recently, is a celebrated chef, author and television personality. Bob is a guy who knows how to have a good time as his book Glutton for Pleasure says. What would our duck-leg-eating enthusiast recommend for his holidays?

    “Coincidentally, I just recommended this one yesterday. It’s an amazing value sparkler in a great package: Louis Bouillot Cremant de Bourgogne Rosé Sparkling Wine.” ($15)

    David Stewart
    David Stewart
    David is the founder and face of AGEIST. He is an expert on, and a passionate champion of the emerging global over-50 lifestyle. A dynamic speaker, he is available for panels, keynotes and informational talks at david@agei.st.

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