Special Feature: Products Sally Recommends

Sparkling Wines for New Year’s Eve 2012

by Sally Bernstein

You don’t need to buy a bottle of the prestige cuvée, Dom Pérignon (named in honor of a Benedictine monk MANY years ago) to enjoy your New Year’s Eve.  Here are a few suggestions in various price ranges, starting at $50 and going down to $10.  And remember, if you are buying sparkling wine to make Mimosas, Bellini (a Bellini cocktail is a mixture of sparkling wine and peach purée) or a blended drink, you needn’t use an expensive bottle.



Chandon is one of the leading sparkling wine producers in the United States, located in Yountville, California.


étoile Rosé ($50)

The Rosé combines the fruit of a red wine (Pinot Noir) and a white wine; Wine Enthusiast magazine awarded it 92 Points in December 2010; it offers fresh aromas of plum, raspberry and nutmeg.


étoile Brut ($40)

The Brut is mainly Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, with a splash of Pinot Meunier. It’s an elegant wine, rich in citrus fruits, green apples, raspberries, smoke and creamy yeast.  It has an appealing taste of baked apple, honey and cinnamon.


Brut Classic ($22)

The Brut Classic has aromas of green apple, cinnamon and vanilla that lead to flavors of tropical fruit and spicy anise.


Blanc de Noirs ($22)

The Blanc de Noirs features Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier and is one of Chandon’s most popular wines. It is the bubbly served at all White House receptions. It offers a delicate salmon color with dark cherry, currant and strawberry flavors with hints of cassis and blackberry.


Chandon Rosé ($22)

Chandon Rosé is a deep pink color with fruit flavors including ripe strawberry, juicy watermelon, and fresh red cherry fruit. Aromas and flavors are interwoven with apple, pear, and stone fruit.


Extra-Dry Riche ($22)

An extra-dry style, the Riche’s floral bouquet is followed by rich, honeyed fruit flavors that harmonize with the velvety-soft texture. Luscious peach and white nectarine flavors are layered with honey and apricot.




Schramsberg — America’s House of Sparkling Wine

2008 Blanc de Noirs ($39)

The 2008 Blanc de Noirs is made from red Pinot Noir grapes and means “white from black.” In other words, this is a white wine made from red grapes.  The aromas are of apricot and persimmon, which lead to a hint of honey and lemon.

A top sparkling wine producer, Schramsberg is located in Calistoga in Napa Valley. The Davies family has been growing grapes and bottling sparkling wines for 47 years.  Hear my interview with the original owners Jack and Jamie Davies at: sallybernstein.com/studio/davies.htm.

Hugh Davies, Jack and Jamie’s son, currently operates the winery. Check out their Wine Clubs and Camp Schramsberg.





Biltmore Estate®

Sparkling Pas de Deux ($18.99)


Like its "Dance for Two" namesake, this lively and sweet sparkling wine is crafted with aromatic Muscat Canelli grapes. It is slightly sweet and offers intense floral and fruity notes.

This sparkling wine comes from the Biltmore Estate in Ashville, North Carolina. Their website says, "With a growing portfolio of 15 varietals and more than 45 wines, Biltmore Wine is a testament to the Vanderbilt legacy of hospitality and entertaining. And as local producers with sustainability always in mind, Biltmore Wines are a testament to George Vanderbilt's legacy of sustainability and preservation."






Barefoot Wines & Bubbly

Barefoot Bubbly Brut Cuvée ($10)


Celebrate the holidays and ring in 2013 with Barefoot Bubbly Brut Cuvée, located in Modesto, California. Toast the New Year with this classic bubbly full of green apple and jasmine flavors with hints of kiwi and peach flavors. This sparkling wine bubbles with aromas of Chardonnay and is Barefoot’s most traditional bubbly.





Note: This information was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the businesses in question before making your plans.

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