Occasionally, I have been known to have a glass of sparkling wine. Birthdays, holidays or just one of those days. Any day, really.
I like to celebrate life's everyday successes — like when I fire up my computer and it doesn't ask me to reset my password. Or discovering I have successfully put on matching socks. How about opening my cable bill and finding no price increase from the previous month? Maybe I just want to celebrate a sunny day in Northeast Ohio this winter.
It's good to be prepared for these momentous occasions. Here's a few suggestions for those of you who love those tiny bubbles as much as I do.
Bellavista 2013 Brut LaScala
Franciacorta never disappoints! This high-end Italian sparkling wine is made the same way as French champagne. However, in my opinion, it drinks much better than many of the pricier bottles from France.
Bellavista La Scala honors the famous Milanese opera house where it is served to guests between performances. I had a glass with a Maryland crab cake from Papas Seafood in Parkville, Maryland. A match made in heaven. I couldn't resist. They ship overnight.
The tiny bubbles quickly came to a crescendo in my glass, delivering lovely aromas of toasted almond and notes of citrus. Elegance in a bottle for $48.99 — and worth every penny!
Gloria Ferrer Sonoma brut
Visiting Gloria Ferrer's winery is always my first order of business when I travel to California wine country. I love her sparkling wines and the spectacular view from her patio. It's the only way to start a wine country vacation.
At $19.99, her Sonoma Brut is a great value. I had a glass with a couple of Chef Beau Schmidt's sauerkraut balls. I picked up a to-go order from Beau's Grille in Fairlawn, Ohio. Yum! Schmidt uses corned beef in his recipe and serves them with a side of pommery mustard sauce. The wine's fresh bread dough aromas and flavors of red pair made for a glorious pairing. A ricotta cheese Zepperoni roll from Zeppe's in Hudson, Ohio, was great too.
LaCaudrina Moscato D'Asti
I didn't forget about the sweet wine lovers. La Caudrina Moscato D'Asti is pure nectar from the gods. It is 100 percent estate grown from a single vineyard. A lot of love goes into producing this $12.99 wine.
It's a perfect dessert wine. I had a glass with a few caramelized pecans, dried apricots and figs. But the wine paired best with a cannoli l had from Retz's Laconi's Restaurant.
You'll be as shocked as I was to learn that this incredible sparkling wine is made in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Winemaker Laurent Gruet comes from three generations of Methode Champenoise winemaking in Bethon, France. It's an amazing value at $17.99 and a must-try bottle for any champagne lover. It had aromas of fresh baked bread with a hint of Granny Smith and lemon meringue flavors. It was a fantastic pairing with a piece of Rocco's fried chicken and also a ricotta cheese Zepperoni roll from Zeppe's in Hudson.
Loredan Gasparini Prosecco Superiore
Prosecco is the most widely known sparkling wine in Italy. I admit, I'm getting to be a bit snobby when it comes to sparkling wine.
Prosecco comes in a wide range of quality. The Loredan Garparini Prosecco Superiore is wonderful — nice vibrant bubbles with a touch of fuji apple notes. I had a glass with a slice of fig and almond cake, a Zepperoni roll from Zeppe's in Hudson and also a few sauerkraut balls from Beau's Grille. At $15.99, it's a great sparkling wine to drink anytime.
Long Story Short Sauv Blanc Bubbles
I can't say that I have ever tasted a sparkling sauvignon blanc until now. I'm not much of a sauvignon blanc drinker. However, this $19.99 bottle, I like.
It's a refreshing wine, for sure. It has lots of beautiful citrus flavors and aromas. These bubbles are splendid on their own, but I had a glass with a few of Beau's spicy shrimp Diavolo. What a great pairing.
This wine is a nice treat for any sauvignon blanc lover.