Five Thanksgiving sparkling wines

With the holiday season just a few days away, its time to put your Thanksgiving dinner menu together and put some thought to sparkling wine choices for the table.

Whether your holiday meal includes turkey, stuffing, cranberries and candied yams/sweet potatoes or beef brisket, roast/mashed potatoes, orange duck or goose, there are many choices and price points to consider.

Whether the following five choices fit your taste profile or pocketbook, sparkling wine can be a great way to open a gathering or holiday meal. The most important aspect to remember when trying something new is to take note of your preferences, and drink what you like.

champagne
Segura Viudas Cava Reserva Heredad makes a nice opening beverage for your Thanksgiving table.

There may be non or occasional wine drinkers at the holiday table who would rather have a glass of bubbly, Beaujolais or a light white wine with appetizers and, in some cases, with dinner. There may also be others who’d prefer a craft beer.

Sparking wine and/or Champagne are great choices for Thanksgiving and holiday meal times as their bubbles go so well with cheese, nuts and fruit to spicy foods as well as potato chips and popcorn. Whether your sparkling is only for the opening toast or with shellfish or cheese pasta, egg rolls and Japanese food or quiche, crispy French fries and mussels, it is bound to bring smiles and get the holiday atmosphere rolling.

While a Blanc bubbly is often a celebration starter, an aperitif or paired with a starter, sparkling Rosè, with its heavier fruit, will go very well with your turkey dinner as it can help tone down garlic and savory tastes in the meat and can handle sweets like candied yams and cranberry sauce.

Five Thanksgiving sparkling wines:

While I like the Best Cheap Champagne choices the WineTurtle suggests, I also want to add a couple of sparkling bottles I’ve come across.

1) Segura Viudas Cava Reserva Heredad Brut ($20): The sparkling Spanish Cava winemaker’s notes include yeasty and smoky aromas with hints of brioche, honey, fruit and flower petals. This is a full flavor dry Cava with dried fruits and a touch of honey and apple on the finish. I love its elegance, luxurious and tart mouth feel. Heck the bottle gives the table a stately look.

The Segura bubbly pairs well with pasta in cream, butter or truffle oil along with most shrimp and shellfish dishes. I know biased meats can even be served with this Cava. We toasted our daughter’s acceptance into her diabetics internship program and we will serve this Champagne at the start of our Thanksgiving meal.

campagne3
The Ferrari Brut Rosé can be a wonderful celebration sparkling or used at the holiday table as a versatile bubbly with most dishes.

As I posed earlier, a Champagne Rosé can go so well with a turkey or other meat Thanksgiving dinner. With so many competing flavors on the table, you might add a a pink version as well depending on your meal choices.

Sparkling Rosés have deeper depth, more acidity. Many have more body and fruit. Champagne is so versatile. Take the time to research whether the bottle is sweet, semi-sweet or dry and how much or the variety of fruit flavors burst on the palate.

2) We enjoyed a bottle of Ferrari Brut Rosé Trentodoc ($30) earlier this year. It is a classic Italian sparkling with gorgeous aromas of wild strawberry, flowers, red currants and fresh baked bread with an old copper hue. Whether its sipped alone or with dinner, the wine is fresh, fruity and has a sweet almond elegant aftertaste with its dried fruit.

The Ferrari Rosé is made with Pinot Nero (60%) and Chardonnay (40%) created under the metodo classico style that is delicate with a gorgeous mouth feel and light citrus notes, finishing with a hint of musk.

Additionally, I like what Fiona Beckett posted in her Best food pairing for Rose article last year. Rosé wine and sparkling are no longer just spring and summer wines. Depending on your choices, you could move from one style of Rosé to another as the appetizers move to entrees and beyond the holiday meal.

3) Roederer Estate Brut Rosé is one of California’s most consistent, well received sparking year after year from the Anderson Valley ($29). This is a food-friendly, medium bodied bubbly which can easily move from the family or living room toast to the table. The Brut is 55% Pinot Noir and 45% Chardonnay. Oak-aged wines make up 10-20% of each cuvée, adding consistency year after year.

three-bubbly
All three of the Varichon & Clerc, Rogederer Estate and Lucien Albrecht sparkling wines have their appropriate places for Thanksgiving and/or holiday celebrations.

While an elegant wine, its gentle Pinot Noir nuances of gentle cherry, raspberry, light pear, red apple, graham cracker and hints of spice and almonds with pineapple aromas create the illusion of a more expensive wine. There is a touch of ginger and vanilla on the finish to cleanse the palate. Bring on the holiday dinner!

4) Lucien Albrecht Cremant d’ Alsace Brut Blanc de Blancs ($18) is one of the most versatile sparking wines on the market. Whether its Easter Sunday, birthday celebrations, a popcorn party or a toast on Thanksgiving, this French Brut is inexpensive for a toast or with a variety of foods. It also comes in a Rosé version that is bound to please. The Brut Blanc is 80% Pinot Auxerrois, 10% Pinot Blanc and 10% Chardonnay, delicate and crisp, straw color with grapefruit and citrus flavors along with a yeasty finish. 

With a beautiful brilliant golden colour, it exhibits a predominantly floral nose, has fine and persistent bubbles and is both elegant and balanced on the palate. As an aperitif, at cocktail parties or receptions, it is the classic drink for all festive occasions.

5) Lastly a bottle of Varichon & Clerc Brut Privilège Blanc de Blancs might fit the budget minded host(ess) who is looking for more than a grocery store bottle of bubbly and needs to find one around $11. Created near the mountains of Lake Geneva and Lake Bourget near the Alpine Savoy region of France, this sparkling producer has continually produced classic “Methode Champenoise” wines since 1901.

The bubbly is smooth, creamy with gentle pear, apple, vanilla a hint of exotic fruit notes along with a toast and nice minerality. While this bubbly may not be for the entire Thanksgiving meal, it would make a nice toast and apertif. Serve with light appetizers, cheeses such as Brie and Camembert.

All five Thanksgiving or holiday sparkling wine choices can be ordered online via their websites and through most local wine shops in your area. As I live in Central California, most of these and many other choices are available via The Grape Tray in Fresno.

All five Thanksgiving or holiday sparkling wine choices can be ordered online via their websites and through most local wine shops in your area. As I live in Central California, most of these and many other choices are available via The Grape Tray in Fresno.

For more information, read The Grape Tray reopens in Fresno’s Opus I Center. Call owner Stan Kato at 559.226.6828 for these and other suggestions. Be sure to visit his shop at 6023 N. Palm Ave., Fresno, CA 93704. The Grape Tray can also be reached via email: stan@grapetray.com and on Instagram: @GrapeTray.

Be sure to read TalesoftheCork’s previous blog post, “Sipping a Cambria Moonstone Cellars Tempranillo.” And if winemakers, wineries or restaurants are interested in a TalesoftheCork wine and/or food review on the blog, InstagramTwitter and/or Facebook, please send us a request via email: talesofthecork@gmail.com or use DM on social media. TalesoftheCork also offers social media seminars for businesses.

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