Bring On the Sparkle for the Holidays

By HOLLY ENDERSBY

December and January are packed with gatherings of family and friends, and often these times find us sharing good food and great wines. With gift purchases and events impacting your budget, the wines presented here are both delicious and budget friendly. So, enjoy these yourself, and be sure to share them with those you hold dear!

One of the most delightful sparkling wines we enjoyed recently is Prosecco D.O.C Brut by Candoni from Torino, Italy. This simple but sophisticated dry wine is best served chilled and goes with an array of party food. It’s crisp, very refreshing, and has the preferred tiny bubbles rising through your glass.

It reminds me of ripe pears and is both light and satisfying. You can find it at your local wine shop for around $16, and it’s worth every penny.

Serve it with spicy stuffed mushrooms, garlic shrimp and crostini with warm tomato and Greek olive tapenade, and you can’t go wrong.

Another Prosecco Brut is made by Adami of Italy. This wine tasted of crisp green apples, with a subtle, but noticeable, mineral undertone. The Adami family has been producing fine wines in the Valdobbiadene area of Italy on steep slopes under the Dolomite Mountains.

The climate is moderate and perfect for growing the white glera grape used in their Proseccos. The Alta Marca region is near Treviso and has been producing wines since the Middle Ages, and, in 2009, the Italian government decided that only grapes grown in this region of hills could be called Prosecco. This wine is light and relatively low in alcohol, making it a perfect pre-dinner celebration wine.

A crazy find for our group was the inexpensive Barefoot Bubbly Brut Cuvee Champagne from California. Under $10, we didn’t expect much … and we were so wrong! It is delicious and does not have the aftertaste that some champagnes have.

Even the non-champagne drinkers in the group agreed this was a brand they’d buy and enjoy during the holidays. There’s nothing sweet about this champagne using Chardonnay grapes: it is dry and very traditional with hints of apple and peaches.

We found it crisp, refreshing, and able to complement a wide variety of foods. Buy this bubbly, and you won’t be disappointed. And believe it or not, we drank it with pizza!

Our final sparkling wine was La Petillante by Coeur Clemintene from Provence. A gorgeous, pale Brut Rosé from France that is exceptionally dry, this sparkling wine is made from 100-percent Grenache grapes and undergoes natural double fermentation, which results in the desired small bubbles that enhance the drinking experience. Open this wine for New Year’s and enjoy the fresh berry taste while ushering in 2019.

If you’re not into sparkling wines, then consider a wine that speaks to good energy! The 2016 Chakras red from Mendoza, Argentina focuses their label on “force centers of energy” to provide good vibes for their wines.

This traditional vineyard in the Andes uses the intense heat of the region and old vines watered by snowmelt from the iconic mountains to produce a wine that is bright with a striking red-violet color. This wine is exceptionally smooth, redolent of ripe red berries with just a touch of cherry and topped off with a suggestion of vanilla.

Thinking of prime rib for one of your holiday meals? Then you can’t go wrong serving Chakras and enjoying all that positive energy.

Happy holidays to all! MSN

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