While you should be drinking sparkling wine anytime of the year — seriously, start drinking sparkling wine — it seems most people wait for special occasions and holidays to break out the bubbly. If you are one who doesn't drink sparkling wine throughout the year — shame on you — and need some suggestions to get you through the holiday season, Eater Atlanta has you covered.
Here is your holiday sparkling wine shopping guide from two of Atlanta's top wine professionals at three of Atlanta's best wine shops. Whether you want to spend a little, or maybe even splurge a bit — hey, it's the holidays! — the list of sparkling wines our pros have provided will get the job done. And remember, don't embarrass yourself and your guests by calling your sparkling wine Champagne, unless your sparkling wine comes from the Champagne region of France.
Eric Brown, Le Caveau Fine Wines
NV Ampelidae 'Armance B' Brut Rosé, $22.99
This is a blend of 70 percent Gamay and 30 percent Cabernet Franc farmed organically by Frédéric Brochet on the tuffeau soil (limestone and chalk) of the Haut-Poitou region of the Loire. Aromas of fresh strawberry, white pepper, white cherry, and crème fraiche are predominant on the nose, with soft rounded bubbles and a crushed white rock finish on the palate. This rosé sparkler is perfect for holiday parties or at home as an aperitif.
NV (2014) Éric Texier 'RouleTaBulle' Pétillant Naturel, $24.99
Éric Texier, a vigneron in the Rhône Valley in France, found a plot of vines planted to white and pink Chasselas growing on sandstone in near his vineyards in Saint-Julien en Saint-Alban, and instead of ripping them up decided to try making a sparkling wine with the grapes. This is both bright and savory on the palate with a bit of almond skin on the dry-ish finish. This 'Pet Nat' is the perfect brunch sparkler.
2008 Champagne José Michel & Fils 'Special Club' Brut, $64.99
This Champagne is made from Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay vines that were planted in 1929 around Moussy in the Coteaux Sud d'Épernay. This Champagne has an ultra fine, creamy mousse and an incredibly soft texture ... it's not a complicated Champagne, it's just insanely delicious.
Sarah Pierre, 3 Parks Wine
Maysara Sparkling Pinot Noir Rosé, McMinnville, Oregon, $28
One of my all time favorite domestic sparkling wines. The Momtazi family makes high quality, terroir driven wines using only biodynamic farming techniques resulting in some of the best wines coming out of Oregon. Their sparkling pinot noir is exactly what you want to drink when celebrating with friends and family over the holidays. It has delicate bubbles, and expressive red fruit — cranberries, strawberries, and pomegranate, and it's extremely versatile. This small production Oregon Sparkling Rose is pretty much a holiday must have ... if you can get your hands on a bottle.
Jardin En Fleurs Sparkling Vouvray, Loire, France, $19.99
Because Sparkling Vouvray should be enjoyed all the time, but especially over the holidays. 100% Chenin Blanc, this sparkling wine from Loire, France is made using the Traditional Method, same method used to produce Champagne, and can stand up next to some of the top sparkling wines in this price point. It's rich, moussey, slightly toasty, nice acidity, with notes of crisp apple.
Foggy Ridge "Handmade" Cider, Dugspur, Virginia, $25
Diane Flynt's Apple Cider should not be overlooked. Her Champagne-like Ciders are surprisingly versatile and food friendly, and have little to no manipulation. It's an apple harvest in a bottle and screams Christmas. There is so much attention to detail in the cider-making process which is so apparent upon consumption. You'll thank me later.
Champagne Delamotte, France, $48.99
My go-to Champagne for all occasions. It's affordable, it's delicious, it's stunning, and it's Champagne Salon's little sister. Comprised of the three Champagne grape varieties, you'll find balance, elegance, and freshness in this wine. Delamotte is located in Le Mesnil-sur-Oger which is one of the most highly regarded Grand Cru Villages of the Côté des Blanc. It's ridiculously good, and should be in every household this holiday season.