Set yourself up for those year-end celebrations with some Sommelier-approved Sparkling Wines!

By Sommelier Renée Sferrazza of wine by Renée.

The year is coming to a close. The parties have been planned, and the gifts have been wrapped. All that’s left on the end-of-year to-do list is picking up some bottles of bubbly to celebrate the last moments of 2022. Sparkling wines are perfect for celebrations, and those bottle-pop moments are coming. This is your sparkling wine guide for all those celebration moments!

Sparkling Wine 101

It takes two fermentations to get the bubbles in sparkling wines. However, not all sparklers are made the same. The most common winemaking styles are Charmat and Traditional Method sparkling wines. 

Champagne, Cava and various New World productions are done in the Traditional Method, by which that secondary ferment happens in the bottle. A base Cuvée is bottled with a Liqueur de Tirage (a mixture of yeast and sugars) to kick off that second fermentation. Prosecco and Lambrusco are done in the Charmat Method, where the base Cuvée and the Tirage are combined in a sparkling wine tank. Though these two methods are similar, they significantly differ in the price of the final wine and how they taste in the glass. 

Traditional method wines are more toasted and rich, while Charmat method wines are creamy and fruit-forward. Each gives a different experience that should be treated like any other wine. The exact reason why Sommeliers opt for sipping sparklers from standard wine glasses. A top favourite that shows sparkling wines to the fullest is the Gabriel-Glas StandArt, one glass for all wines. 

Frizzante, Spumante – Viva Italian Bubbly!

An approachable wine that is made for starting the party. Affordable, delicious and made from the Glera grape, Prosecco comes in various styles. For an off-dry moment, the Astoria Prosecco DOC Extra Dry has a kiss of sweetness with notes of white flowers, Asian pears, lemon cream and a delicate and fruit-leading palate. 

DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita) Proseccos are the top-shelf wines of the region. Santa Margherita Brut Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG is made from grapes grown on the hills of Valdobbiadene. This is a wine filled with aromas of pineapples, peaches, apples and delicate floral notes. Followed by the complex and structured palate that communicated the quality this region can craft. 

Antica Terra by Savian’s Brut Prosecco DOC is a bottle that encompasses the vibe of the region. Filled with floral aromas of acacia flowers, grapefruit and golden apple, with touches of creamy. Followed by a palate that is lively and pleasant. Brut Proseccos are drier and crisper. And coming in a six-bottle case that is party-ready.

Rosé Prosecco is the newest from the region to hit overseas glasses. Done with a touch of Pinot Noir and Glera, the Prosecco grape, the Antica Terra Rosé DOC Prosecco is made in an Extra Dry style showing notes of raspberry, rose petals, papaya and a palate that is sapid, with fruity notes and refreshing finish.

From the hills of Alto Trevigiano just south of the Prosecco region, Foss Marai makes their Marai de Marai Extra Dry Spumanti. Lower in alcohol and perfect with appetizers, this is a wine with nutty, white fruit and floral notes. Showing a different sense of Vento in the glass, this blue bottled wine is made for moments of conviviality.

Emilia -Romagna in central Italy takes a different approach to sparkling with Lambrusco. A sparkling red wine made from the Lambrusco grape family, the Cantina Settecani Grasparossa di Castelvetro Secco Lambrusco is a bold dark purple colour with notes of strawberry, purple flowers and a fruit-laden finish. Pop this bottle in the fridge for a chill and toast with a different side of Italian bubbly.  

À la vôtre! Bring In The French Bubbly

It was once famously said that there is no party without Champagne. However, a magnum of this classic French bubbly would make any celebration great. The La Cuvée Brut by Laurent-Perrier Magnum takes the Champagne house’s traditional wine into a large bottle format. A bottle that can serve a dozen, this Chardonnay-leading wine is filled with cooked apple and brioche notes, full of flavour and with fine bubbles.

The Moët & Chandon Brut Imperial in classic bottle format shows a different side of the Champagne world with a Pinot Noir-dominated blend. This is a bright, toasted and nutty wine with striking intensity. Perfect for those that are into a more savoury sparkler

Rosé Champagne and from the same house, the Moët & Chandon Rosé Imperial is expressive with red fruit, pepper and pastry-like aromas. Followed by a dry palate that exudes a luxury feel with every sip.

Explore the rest of what France offers with the Luc Belaire Rare Sparkling Rosé Art Series bottle. A bubbly rosé from the rosé wine region of Provence, this wine is lightly off-dry and vivacious with berry and watermelon notes.

The Art Series bottles, both the Rosé and the Luc Belaire Rare Luxe Demi Sec Sparkling, are dressed for all those party moments with labels by the French artist Grégoire Devin. The Demi-Sec Sparkling is a gently sweet sparkler with peach, pear, and sunny apple notes. All balances with a bright finish.

Ontario Bubbles, Home-grown and Cin-Cin Ready!

Cool-climate and perfect for crafting stellar bottles of bubbly, Ontario is the local hero to look to for celebration-worthy sparkling wines. One of the first wineries in the region, Magnotta makes a range of sparkling wines encompassing the Niagara Peninsula terroir. Their Blanc de Noir is a Traditional Method Sparkling Rosé wine made with Pinot Noir and done with a dosage of Cabernet Franc Icewine. A uniquely Canadian wine with notes of apples, red berries and tropical touches with a fuller finish.

Cave Spring Vineyard to has been crafting wines and the Ontario culture of winemaking for decades. Making their non-vintage Blanc de Blanc from estate-grown fruit from the Beamsville Bench VQA, this wine is a blend of Chardonnay with a hint of Riesling. In the glass is a dry and crisp sparkling with toasted oats, fennel, biscotti and citrus notes. Prefect for a cin-cin moment.