Wine Down Eugene: Special Sparkling Edition


Wine Down Eugene December 25-31

‘Tis the season for bubbles.  Whether enjoying an American Sparkling wine, a Cava from Spain, Prosecco from Italy or Champagne from France, there’s just something about celebrating the holidays with a glass of wine that shimmers and sparkles with its millions of tiny bubbles.  There’s truly no other wine out there that expresses celebration quite like sparkling wine does.

sparkling Kramer Rose of Carmine

With a recent influx of family and friends visiting from out of town for Christmas, I’ve had my fair share of popping the corks on some stellar sparkling wines from around the globe – glasses filled with bubbles and the clinking of cheerful toasts have been a constant flow at my house these past few days.  From a one-of-a-kind Rosé of Carmine produced by Oregon’s Kramer Vineyards to a well-known Perrier-Jouet Grand Brut Champagne from France, here’s a list of some my favorites that will be perfect for ringing in 2014.

Zardetto Prosecco Brut Treviso DOC Non Vintage ($16) – Tropical fruit aromas and flavors abound in this juicy, refreshing Prosecco, but the long lasting finish was what really stood out with its delicious pineapple and lemon characteristics. Hailing from the Veneto region of Italy, Zardetto is an easy find at wine shops and grocery markets since there were 1,200,000 bottles produced.


sparkling zardetto

Kramer Vineyards Celebrate! Rosé of Carmine ($30) – Unlike the Zardetto, the Rosé of Carmine is not an easy find – only a total of 528 bottles were produced.  To the Kramer’s knowledge, this is the only sparkling wine produced from the Carmine grape anywhere in the world.  Intense fruity aromas of cranberries, raspberries and watermelon flow onto the palate in pleasing, complex layers of crisp, refreshing and lush waves.  Bold, yet elegant and absolutely unique – and an ambrosial pairing with Bourdin fresh chèvre cheese.

Perrier-Jouet Grand Brut ($50) – Perrier-Jouet is one of France’s well-known Champagne Houses that produce stellar sparkling wine year after year, with their very first vintage dating back to 1825 – they’ve even got some from that first vintage conserved.  The Grand Brut is simply divine with elegant aromas and subtle flavors of apples, citrus and buttered toast.  Delicately rich and well rounded, the zesty lemon finish leaves the palate truly refreshed.

sparkling perrier jouet

Ferrari Perlé 2006 ($35) – Ferrari was founded in 1902, and is located in the mountainous foothills of the Alps in Trento D.O.C., not far from the Trentino region of Italy. Produced from 100 percent Chardonnay, the ’06  Perlé Blanc de Blancs Brut displayed alluring aromas of apple, pear and lemon with a lovely hint of fresh baked sugar cookie and slow roasted almonds.  Creamy and lush on the palate, this bubbly beauty was perfectly balanced by crisp acidity, and it finished with lingering notes of fresh pastries.

Mumm Napa Brut Prestige ($25) – Sourced from more than 50 prime Napa Valley Vineyards, the Brut Prestige is Mumm Napa’s signature cuvée sparkling wine.  Apples and pears on the nose transform on the palate into dancing fruity bubbles highlighted by vanilla and spice.  Excellent acidity rounds out the fruity characteristics to produce an outstanding balance with a crisp, vibrant finish.  Delicious.

sparkling mumm napa

I was a lucky wine gal in 2013 – I traveled quite a bit and had many opportunities to taste incredible sparkling wines from well-known to little known wine regions around the globe.  The sparklers mentioned above are just 5 of over 15 sparkling wines that left me highly impressed, follow me over to for the full list. 



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