11 Bubblies to Celebrate the Season

11 Bubblies to Celebrate the Season

For a sparkling holiday season, another list of choices at many price points

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Here’s hoping your holidays include at least one bottle of sparkling wine to celebrate friendship, reminiscences and the coming new year. Today, a list of bubblies I’ve really enjoyed this year. As the prices increase, I’d like to think that what each wine represents somehow justifies the price. A merry holiday to everyone!

  • Anna de Codorniú Blanc de Blancs Brut Reserva $15
    The best release of this dry Spanish sparkler I’ve ever tasted.
  • Blanquette de Limoux Methode Ancestrale, Domaines Paul Mas $16
    One for the crowd. Dry, but not too much. Easygoing and tasty.
  • 2015 Prosecco Superiore Bisol “Crede” Brut $25
    Refined, small bubble, intense styling.
  • 2016 Prosecco Mionetto Superiore ‘Rive di Santo Stefano’ Millesimato Brut $25
    One of my favorites. Really dry, but bursting with Prosecco fun and frivolity!
  • Piper-Heidsieck Brut Champagne Non-Vintage $45
    Absolutely their best non-vintage offering in years. Great value.
  • +Drappier Brut Carte d’Or NV $49
    One of my all-time favorites. Full-bodied and consistently excellent year after year.
  • +Champagne Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve NV $65
    Very bright, sassy and bursting with freshness. Best with food.
  • +Jacquesson Extra Brut Cuvée #737 NV $75
    One of the purest, cleanest and driest NV styles. For slow-sipping.
  • +2008 Moët & Chandon Brut Grand Vintage $70
    This release gives their Dom Perignon a run for the money – at less than half the price.
  • +2004 Dom Ruinart Brut Blanc de Blancs $200
    Always one of the finest, most complex vintage Champagnes. This is hitting on all cylinders.
  • +2002 Pol Roger Cuvée Winston Churchill Brut Champagne Reserve $225*
    A connoisseur friend recently called this the finest Champagne he’d ever tasted. In the heavenly stratosphere.
    P.S. Their non-vintage Brut at around $45 is a steal.

+For the better Champagnes listed here, you may need to go to specialty wine shops. A phone call will save you time and money.

*Very limited availability. The 2004 is also very good, but get the 2002 if possible.

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Arturo Ciompi
Trained as a classical clarinetist and conductor, Arturo plied his trade for many years in New York, performing with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, New York City Opera, the American Symphony and countless chamber music groups. While living in Durham, Arturo became the wine manager at two iconic gourmet stores: Fowler’s in Durham and Southern Season in Chapel Hill. He had a wine spot on NPR in the ’90s and has been a continuously published wine journalist since 1997. He has won national awards for his work and is currently writing for Durham Magazine and its weekly blog, “Wine Wednesdays”. In addition, he loves teaching the clarinet. Read more on his website.