As 2020 has been a disaster, we really should be toasting with a bottle of sparkling wine on New Year’s Eve to welcome 2021. Here are a few sparkling wines that I tried in 2020 that would be nice to enjoy for New Year’s Eve. I put the BC sparkling wines at the top as they should be the easiest to find depending on where you live, followed by the sparkling wines from Europe.
My New Year’s Eve Sparkling Wine Recommendations
Church & State Wines Sparkling Pinot Gris 2017 (BC $25.29) – This sparkling wine is a lighter lemon colour in the glass. It has a medium intensity nose with toast and apples aromas primarily.It is off-dry with medium plus acidity and flavour intensity. I really enjoyed the small, very creamy bubbles in this wine. Tasty stone fruit, in particular peaches, as well as grapefruit flavour. It has a medium length finishing with light tart and ripe stone fruit flavours and some pith. Very nice.
Rating: – This wine has excellent small creamy bubbles. A light intensity nose showing apples and toast. It is off dry with stone fruit and some grapefruit flavours.
Church & State Wines Frizzante Muscat 2017 (BC $20.69) – A pale straw colour. This wine has a light intensity nose showing citrus and orange aromas. It is slightly off dry, has higher acidity and flavour intensity. I was expecting sweeter as I usually associate Muscat with sweetness, but this is quite dry which is very nice. You get bigger sized bubbles, but they are creamy. Light orange, peach, lemon and lychee flavours mix on your palate. It finishes with citrus and citrus rind, apples and oranges, and some pepperiness. A fun light sip.
Rating: – A light bright citrus and orange sparkling wine with medium sized creamy bubbles.
Summerhill’s Cipes Ariel 2000 – sparkling wine is made from all organic grapes; 60% Pinot Noir, 38% Chardonnay, and 2% Pinot Meunier. This wine really shows that it has been aged with a medium-plus ripe pear skin colour. It has a nice fuller intensity nose showing toast, roasted pears, a hint of ginger and with a little swirling some butterscotch. The wine is dry with medium-plus body and acidity. Big depth feel in your mouth. Round and thick. Toasty, pears, apples, and roasted apple flavours along with a touch of minerality and some butterscotch on the finish. There is also a bit of a sherry tone to the wine, which adds to its complexity. You get light creamy bubbles that dance on your tongue. They dissipate quite quickly after being poured. After 17.5 years sur lie you may have thought that this sparkling wine would have very little fruit flavour and more tertiary flavours like hay, lanolin or mushrooms, but you would be wrong. This is a big sparkling wine with lots of depth of fruit flavours.
Evolve Cellars Pink Effervescence, NV (BC $19.99) – This sparkler is a blend of 97% Pinot Blanc and 3% Merlot. It has a lighter colour that is a blend between watermelon and peach. A medium intensity nose, with fresh inviting aromas of red fruits, strawberries, and crisp red apples. This sparkling wine is off-dry with light tannins and medium plus acidity body and flavour intensity. Medium sized creamy bubbles that have a biting edge. This wine has a mix of tart flavours and sweetness. Red apples, red fruits, and a touch of peach and roses on the palate. There is some pepperiness from the mid-palate to the finish. A medium length finishing with mainly red apples, but also apple skin. Bubbles stay creamy till the finish.
Rating: – Inviting red fruits and crisp apple aromas and flavours. Off dry. Quite peppery from the mid palate to the finish.
Evolve Cellars Effervescence NV (BC $19.99) – This wine has a pale straw colour in the glass. A medium plus intensity nose offering ripe, sweet stone fruits, oranges, apple skin, and light bready lees aromas. This wine is off-dry, semi-round and has delightful light, creamy, tiny, airy bubbles. These creamy bubbles settle down but still persist to the finish. It has light crisp stone fruit flavours, followed with apples and pears, a hint of orange, and finishes with tart citrus and citrus rind. A very delicious wine.
Rating: – Delightful ripe stone fruit and lees on the nose. Small creamy, airy, tiny bubbles. Fresh acidity, not too strong. Slightly off-dry with crisp stone fruit flavours.
Narrative Sparkling XC Method (BC $24.90) – This wine has a pale peach colour. It has very nice aromas of stone fruits, strawberries a citrus edge along with some lees. It tastes slightly off-dry yet has 22 g/l so it hides it’s sweetness very well. It has a medium-minus body, lower acidity and fine creamy bubbles. Bright tart red fruit, strawberries, red cherries and crisp delicious apple, along with a touch of floral and minerality. Lingering tart red fruit finish. This wine is deceptively easy to drink.
Rating: This sparkling wine has very nice red fruit aromas and flavours, and a fine creamy bubble. It is deceptively easy to drink.
Okanagan Crush Pad Free Form Ancient Method 2017, BC – My favourite bubble of the night, and overall wine of the tasting. It has a light apple nose along with some red cherries. Medium body and high acidity. Crisp apple and red cherry flavours. Creamy small bubble. Exciting. –
Harper’s Trail Chardonnay Sparkling 2016, BC (Traditional method sparkling) ($26) – Bright medium-plus lemon in colour. Medium-sized bubbles cling to the sides of the glass. The wine has medium plus intensity with bready, toasty, citrus and roasted apple aromas. It is dry with a fine, creamy bubble on the palate and some acidic prickle. Crisp apple flavour with some toastiness. Tart acidity. Some pepperiness toward the finish. It finishes crisp with roasted apple flavour. Very good quality.
Rating: A quality sparkling wine. Nice bready and roasted apple nose. Creamy fine bubble. Toast and crisp apple flavour, with tart acidity and some pepperiness toward the finish.
Blue Grouse Estate Winery and Vineyard Paula 2014, BC – This wine is a blend of aromatic white grapes; Muller-Thurgau (42.5%) and Ortega (42.5%) from the Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island, and Pinot Auxerrois (10%) and Riesling (5%) from the Okanagan Valley. The secondary fermentation in the bottle had no dosage added. The wine is dry but has a slight feeling of sweetness, which I believe comes from the fruitiness of the grapes. The wine is a bright medium lemon with a green tinge to it. Swirling shows teardrops on the glass. You don’t see a lot of bubbles in the glass, but they are there when you taste the wine. The wine has medium intensity aromas starting off as ripe, sweet stone fruits, but with some air (a few minutes), you get cut apple as well. The wine is dry, higher acidity, body and flavour intensity. Medium-sized creamy bubble, with tart acidity coming to the palate after the bubble dissipates. Roundish mouthfeel with an acid edge. More stone fruit and lesser citrus and grapefruit flavours to start, but as the wine opens in your glass you can add crisp apple, pear and some stoniness to this wine. Medium length, leaving you with some stoniness, grapefruit rind, other citrus and some bitterness.
Monte Creek Ranch Sparkling 2019 (BC est $21.99) – a blend of 53% La Crescent and 47% Frontenac Blanc. It has a light straw colour. Nice aromatics of apples, lime and tropical fruit. It is off-dry with a medium sized creamy bubble. Medium acidity. Tropical fruit, in particular pineapple, flavour and some lychee with air. A fun bubble.
Alfred Gratien Champagne Brut Classique NV (France) – Bright lemon colour. A nice nose with toast and bruise apple aromas. This wine has higher acidity and creamy bubble. Bruised apple and tart crab apple flavours.
Alfred Gratien Champagne Rosé Classique NV (France) – A nice orange-rose colour. Wonderful nose with crisp red fruits and red apples. Full body, dry, with higher acidity. Tiny creamy bubbles. Crab apple flavour.
Champagne Taittinger Prelude Grands Cru NV (France) – Light apple and stone fruit nose. Medium-plus body with higher acidity. Citrus apple and light toast on the palate. Very creamy bubbles.
Poderi Dal Nespoli Metodo Classico Nespoli Pas Dose NV (Italy) – This sparkling wine has nice apple aromas. This wine is dry with medium-sized creamy bubbles. Light body with crisp apple flavour.
Champagne Taittinger Brut Reserve NV (France) – This Champagne has nice stone fruit aromas. Tiny creamy bubbles. It is off-dry with a medium body. Ripe stone fruit and apples along with some pepperiness. –
Champagne Taittinger Prestige Rosé NV (France) – Nice red apple nose. Light body; dry. Creamy light bubbles. Red fruits followed by red apples on the palate. –
Villa Sandi Asolo Prosecco Superiore DOCG Brut NV (Italy) – Fairly aromatic nose showing stone fruits and tropical fruit aromas. Fuller body, off-dry, higher acidity, but still has a nice creamy mouthfeel. Tropical fruit flavours with a herbal edge. Quality. –
Giusti Wine Asolo Prosecco Superiore Brut DOC, Italy – Medium intensity bright lemon in the glass. Fresh apple, peach and toast on the nose. This wine is off-dry with a medium-plus body with a creamy bubble. It has flavourful stone fruit flavours along with toast, apple seed, and apple skin. –