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The Cellar: Bubbles for Everyone

Friday, December 30, 2016

 

New Years Eve is this Saturday and regardless of your budget you deserve to welcome the New Year with bubbles. Thankfully sparkling wines are made in all kinds of styles, all over the world and to fit every wallet. If you are having a bunch of people over and looking for something on the less expensive side I suggest sparkling wines such as Spanish Cavas or Italian Proseccos. On the other end of the spectrum, for those of you who are celebrating NYE in a more intimate settings, I suggest splurging on something special.

For the party attendees I will be pouring Prosecco. Zonin has a series of sparkling wines out this season that are sure to please. Made from the Glera and Pinot Grigio grapes the ‘Grey Edition Spumante Brut’ is made through a process called Charmat where half of the pressed juice undergoes an initial fermentation at a controlled temperature, while the remaining half is blended as it is transferred into pressurized stainless steel tanks where the wine is made sparkling as the carbon is trapped and infused into the wine. The result is a great sparkling wine; fruity and aromatic with flavors of stone fruit, apples and pears. It is light on the palate making it good as an aperitif or paired against creamy soups.

At midnight I will be popping an iconic bottle of Champagne. The Non-Vintage Charles Heidsieck Brut Réserve; a multi-vintage Champagne made from a house blend of Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay. The grapes are sourced from approximately 60 farmers with whom Heidsieck has long-standing contracts. Most non-vintage Bruts are actually blends of vintage juice and reserve wine (in this case 60/40), with the aged reserved wine often being more than 10 years old. After blending the wine undergoes a secondary fermentation inside the bottle, which creates the bubbles, and aging on the lees - in the case of the Charles Heidsieck Brut Réserve for more than 5 years.

The resulting wine is absolutely gorgeous! The rich, ripe and somewhat candied flavors are complimented by intense bubbles, hints of toast and minerality with lingering acidity on the finish. This truly is a complete sparkling wine. While not inexpensive - $60ish - this wine is worth every penny on this special occasion. 

Happy New Year! 

Steffen Rasch is a Certified Sommelier and Specialist of Wine. Learn about wine in person by signing up for one of his tastings at the Providence Wine Academy. 

 

Related Slideshow: 10 New England Wine Getaways

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Hardwick

Hardwick Vineyard & Winery

Central Mass’s own Hardwick Vineyard & Winery, open March-December, is a close to home treasure that produces 3,000 gallons of wine each year. The winery, which grows 6 varieties of grapes, is built on a quiet road in Hardwick that abuts the Quabbin Reservoir. Located on the property is a majestic 200 year old mansion. This weekend, take the trip to the vineyard to enjoy a wine tasting. Favorites include Massetts Cranberry and Yankee Girl Blush. If you head out on a Sunday; you’ll be in luck—the winery is hosting Sangria Sundays for the rest of the month.

3305 Greenwich Road, Hardwick, MA. (413) 967-7763.

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Westport Rivers

Westport Rivers Vineyard & Winery

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417 Hixbridge Rd, Westport, MA. (508) 636-3423.

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61 Pardon Hill Road, South Dartmouth, MA.

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Amherst Farm Winery

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529 Belchertown Road, Amherst, MA. (413) 253-1400.

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Nashoba Valley WInery

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100 Wattaquadock Hill Road, Bolton, MA. (978) 779-5521.

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Mill River Winery

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498 Newburyport Turnpike, Rowley, MA. (978) 432-1280.

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155 Glendale Road, Southampton, MA. (413) 527-0164.

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Taylor Brook Winery

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848 Route 171, Woodstock, CT. (860) 974-1263.

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Obadiah McIntyre Farm

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44 Old Worcester Road, Charlton, MA. (508) 248-7941.

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Puttney Mountain Winery

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8 Bellows Falls Road, Putney, VT. (802) 387-5925.

 
 

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