The following post was written by Heinen’s wine expert, Ed Thompkins.
In our world, celebrations and special occasions are not required to pop a bottle of bubbly. That said, there’s something special about sipping a sparkler at the holidays, possibly because these wines convey a certain festivity that is not captured by any other style of wine.
The only “challenge” with bubbles is finding the right one to serve, gift or simply pop while watching it snow by the fire. Our recommendations below represent a diverse selection of styles, flavors and price points – and they are all delicious! We’ve also included cheese recommendations for each selection, because fizz and fromage is just too tasty to not enjoy together!
With each cork that’s popped, we wish you a Happy Holidays!
1.Vin Hunter Prosecco Rosé
We are excited to introduce you to the new rosé version of our incredibly popular Vin Hunter Prosecco! This vibrant wine was hand-selected by our experts at the winery that is nestled in the hills of Italy’s Prosecco region. This incredible value features dried cherry and ripe berry flavors on a frame that’s crisp and clean. If you’ve yet to try a Prosecco Rosé, let this one be your delicious introduction!
- Say Cheese: Heinen’s Parmigiano Reggiano – It makes sense to enjoy an Italian wine with a classic Italian cheese – they’re the perfect pair on paper and on the palate. The tangy/salty notes of this Parmigiano Reggiano bring out the inherent berry character in the wine.
2. Pierre Sparr Cremant Brut
While the Champagne region receives a majority of the credit for French sparklers, many other nearby regions produce delightful bubbles too. This one from the beautiful Alsace region offers aromas and flavors of ripe pear and lemon with a fresh, crisp finish. It’s incredibly versatile with many foods too!
- Say Cheese: The umami-laden Beillevaire Bio (Organic) Comte has a fun, earthy “funkiness” that pairs perfectly with the wine’s ripe pear notes to create magical flavor.
3. Decoy Brut
This new sparkler from California’s Decoy wine lineup impressed our experts with its alluring layers of baked apple and vanilla-like flavors. Made from a blend of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier, this wine has “crowd pleaser” written all over it.
- Say Cheese: Nestled along the stunning northern California coast is one of our favorite farmstead creameries, Point Reyes Creamery. Their Toma cheese is packed with rich, buttery notes that seem to beg for exactly what the Decoy Brut provides, which translates into an excellent creamy/crisp partnership. For a truly indulgent treat, look for the Truffle Toma!
4. Chandon Brut Rose
We’ve been fans of this tasty California rosé for years, and the critical acclaim has never been better. In fact, this year’s release landed at #70 on The Wine Spectator Top 100 list. From the wine’s pretty pink color to the ripe red berry flavors, there’s a lot to like with this selection.
- Say Cheese: Perfectly suited for this time of year, Carr Valley Cranberry Chipotle Cheddar has tantalizing smoky, sweet and spicy flavors that make the berry notes of this wine the star of the show.
5. Jean Josselin Cuvee des Jean
A tried-and-true champagne of the season, Jean Josselin Cuvee des Jean is brand new to our stores and a must-try for fans of a well-made, complex champagne experience. Made entirely from the winery’s estate Pinot Noir, there are fresh flavors of green apple, brioche and warm spices with a long finish that lingers on the palate. This is the bubbly to have on hand for a special celebration, or for champagne lovers on your gift list!
- Say Cheese: Sometimes simple is perfect! That’s proven true when Heinen’s French Brie is paired with this exceptional champagne. The cheese’s luxurious creaminess is the perfect foil to the wine’s juicy, crisp flavor.