Category Archives: Sparkling Wine

Brazil’s Medal Worthy Wines

I’m thrilled the Olympic Games in Rio went so well, exceeding expectations. I am happy to report that another potential source of pride for Brazilians is the fact that some excellent wines—yes, even medal worthy—are now being made there. Surprised? So was I. Continue reading

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Bubbles Rising: Sparkling Trend in Santa Barbara?

One thing I’ve learned from several trips to Santa Barbara County over the past year is that there’s tremendous potential for making sparkling wines here. The exciting news is that an increasing number of excellent Santa Barbara area producers are trying their hand at creating delicious sparkling wines. Continue reading

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A Plea for Authenticity: No Bogus Wine for Your Valentine

What all the top domestic sparkling wines have in common is that they are not misleading about where they are made. The ones on the market that abuse the loophole and prominently display the word “Champagne” on their labels, websites and retail store signage are the ones you should avoid. Not only are they committing a fraud on unsuspecting consumers; the wine inside also tends to be of inferior quality to accurately labeled domestic sparklers on the market. Continue reading

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Geek Treat: Sparkling Shiraz at 2012 Hospice du Rhone

Sparkling Shiraz is very much an acquired taste, and no country seems to have acquired the taste except that of its origin, Australia, where it remains highly popular (like Vegemite). It’s not the kind of light and/or minerally sparkler most of us are looking for when we reach for a sparkling wine. It’s often heavy, black fruited and, with a little age, meaty and savory. Those flavors can, however, make it a remarkably good pairing with salumi and charcuterie. Continue reading

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Value & Versatility: Italian Sparkling Wines

There’s a lot more to sparkling wine in Italy than Prosecco. Italy has the largest proliferation of different kinds of sparkling wines of any country. And the price ranges for most of these wines are quite low compared to Champagne and most sparkling wine produced in California. Continue reading

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Prosecco’s New World Order: Simple Bubbly Gets Serious

What I found most compelling is the new DOCG’s producers’ drive to upgrade standards to distinguish their product from a foaming sea of Italian sparklers. Conegliano and Valdobbediane are home to a very distinct, hilly, cooler climate terroir, and producers here appear to be doing everything they can to make the best quality and most appealing wines possible from the grapes that have proven to grow best there, using processes they have developed and refined over a period of nearly 150 years. Continue reading

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