Spring is in the air and I’m ready to celebrate! The sun is shining and supplying us all with that full dose of vitamin D we’ve been deprived of all winter. This April is one for the books… It’s my Champagne birthday, so while everyone is getting revved up with this warmer weather my daydreams will be filled with fine bubbles in my glass swirling and dancing around like the raindrops of spring in the ‘rewind setting on instagram’. Just for a disclaimer a Champagne birthday is something you have only once in a life, I will be turning 28 on April 28. Of course when it come to bubbles my brain automatically jumps to champagne and the price tag that comes with it. However there are many other sparkling wines on the playing field that I promise, you’ll enjoy and wont have you biting your nails while checking your account balance. So while we can’t all be like Champagne Papi here are some wines that will make you feel like him.
There are some killer Sparkling Wines from right here in Niagara. Niagara winemakers serve up many different styles of sparkling wine from Traditional Method (basically the same as Champagne) to Charmat (think; prosecco) and a few Pet Nats (the Breaker High version of Sparkling Wine that for the most part I love… But who doesn’t love Ryan Gosling). Here are just a few: Big Bang from Big Head Winery a blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir that has been aged on lees for 5 years and is honestly one of my favorites but is more on a Drake like budget then I can afford at $98.00. However if you are feeling fancy and want the Champagne style for more of an everyday cost check out the Prestige Sparkling from Palatine Hills its great and sits at an everyday price of $20.00. Not from Niagara…But, if you’re feeling like Charmat the Whitecap sparkling from Hinterland Winery that is located in Prince Edward County but can be found at your local LCBO for the great price of $22.25. Last but not least if you want to get fun and funky head over to Leaning Post Winery and see if you can get your hands on some Pet Nat from a small line named First Fruit. Sold at Leaning Post and made by assistant winemaker Ryan De Witte the wine is called World of Fog and is a wine that will get you thinking at $25.00.
Cava is to Champagne pretty much like the Caverners are to the Beatles. It’s a sparkling wine that comes from Spain and is made in the same method as Champagne; referred to as Méthode Traditionnelle or ‘Traditional Method’ if you want to drop the B.S. The best part about cava is that it comes in at a quarter of the cost of Champagne. Made from a blend of Spanish grapes Macabeo, Xarel-lo, and Parellada but not limited to those 3 varieties. It’s cheap and delicious and will totally scratch your itch if its looking for bubbles.
Another great alternative to Champagne and it’s similar to Champagne is almost every way except it comes from anywhere in France just not the region of Champagne. For the most part these will be located in the Vintages section at your LCBO and probably on the same shelf as Champagne itself but they will be located just below eye level and will range in price from $20.00-$30.00ish.
The party wine, seriously. It’s an Italian sparkling wine made in a large pressurized tank that delivers a more sudsy like bubble then the fine mousse that’s in Champagne. A wine that often has sweetness associated with it but if you look for the word “secco” on the bottle you should be able to get a nice dry bubble to sip on. If it still doesn’t quite do the job add some Aperol or orange juice… Really. whatever makes you happy.
Whatever the wine and whatever the price with all things aside its most important to drink what you like and remember Sparkling Wine is for everyday and not just birthdays.