I remember the night that the Patriots won the Super Bowl in 2001, in what was to become the first of five titles. I was at a party in the Longwood Medical Area and when the game was over, everyone came out of houses and bars and restaurants and just started hugging and celebrating. Cars couldn’t move; when a Boston cop got out of his cruiser to try and clear things up, he got delayed by about twenty people who high-fived him. It was quite a game and quite a night.
I also remember thinking,” I wish I had a bottle of Champagne.”. When the game’s over on Sunday, don’t be caught short; here are some recommendations that cover some sparkling options – a few high-end names, but the majority under thirty bucks.
I want to start with my personal favorite, Veuve Clicquot; the Veuve Clicquot Brut, NV, Champagne, France, ($60.00), offers a refreshingly smooth and creamy texture with a toasty finish. Not too sweet for the wine connoisseur, but not too dry for the novice. It’s a little bit more than the other wines listed here, but it’s not as bank-breaking as Cristal or Dom Perignon. In my opinion, it’s worth the splurge and a consistent value for the price.
Coming back to the States, Gruet Blanc de Blancs, NV, New Mexico, ($16.99), is a pleasant surprise. The family was on its way to California, but when they stopped in New Mexico, they stayed. While New Mexico isn’t the first place that comes to mind when you think of great wine states, the Gruet Winery has been getting some good buzz lately, particularly for this affordable sparkling wine. Its mature taste has a core of pear, apple and tropical fruit.
Another great Sparkling wine is Argyle Brut, NV, Willamette, Oregon, ($27.99), one of the most respected sparkling wines in this country, this champagne features coveted small bubbles and hints of spice, citrus blossoms and toasted brioche. A sophisticated sparkling wine, it’s fruity with only a hint of sweetness.
If you like Champagne at all, you’ve probably heard of (and perhaps had) Cristal. Well, it has an American-made cousin, Roederer Estate Brut, NV, North Coast, California, ($21.99). This delicious California sparkler starts off toasty and nutty, then reveals flavors of citrus, green apple, and pear. The quality and depth of this Sparkling wine at a price point this low make it one of the top values in the American market.
“Last, but not least”, as they say, I’d like to point out a Prosecco whose consistency and quality over the years make it a sure bet to please. La Marca Prosecco, Brut, NV, Veneto, Italy, ($14.99) is a sparkling wine with a pale, golden straw color. Bubbles are full textured and persistent. On the nose, it brings fresh citrus with hints of honey and white flowers. The flavor is fresh and clean, with ripe citrus, lemon, green apple, and touches of grapefruit, minerality, and some toast.
Enjoy the game and the bubbles.
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