Nothing says celebration better than Champagne or sparkling wine, but there’s no reason to bust it out only for big occasions. Toast to any great day with a glass of bubbly—even if you only have 30 minutes to spend with friends or family. While most of us tend to stick to one familiar brand, there’s actually a wide world of effervescents out there that you probably haven’t tried—and there’s certainly one to fit the theme of your day. Pick your mood and custom match it to one of these lovely and light choices recommended by Darrin Baumunk, Beverage Director at Houston’s The Tasting Room Wine Café at Uptown Park.
Your Workday was Pure Chaos
In this case, stick with a true Champagne—something like Moet Imperial, the company’s flagship, comfort brand. Though you’ll certainly get the requisite acidity, with green apple fruit and a touch of pear, you’ll also find homey baking and roasted cereal notes, along with some slight minerality. Those small, elegant bubbles will make you forget all about the trials and tribulations of the day.
You Need a Pre-Dinner Breather
Before you shop for the night’s meal, open up your palate with a Reserva Cava from Argam made in the “method traditionale,” but with different varietals than most Champagnes: a little bit of Chardonnay, Xarel-lo, and Macabeo rather than Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. While it’s fruit-forward like many Cavas, this aged blend is a tad more dry, has ripe-fruit flavor (think juicy Gala apple rather than tart Granny Smith), and a nutty, oxidized character. All of that approachable complexity will wake up your taste buds and get you ready to cook up a storm.
You’re in a Midweek Slump
This is the time to try something different, like a “Grower” Champagne from small producer Aubry—which means they don’t just produce the wine, but grow the grapes as well. With a firmer acidity, more laser-like and palate-piercing, it’ll shake the doldrums out of you in no time. It’s ultra-dry, with sea-like characteristics of minerality—like being at the edge of the sea on a breezy day, rather than your typical Wednesday at work.
The Kids are Calling
You don’t want something too boozy before you jet off to sports pick-up, which makes a glass of this lower-sugar Italian sparkling wine a perfect choice. Italian producer Medici Ermete’s “Solo” is rife with dark blackberry and blueberry flavors—but while it feels fruity and round on the palate, it has a persistent effervescence that prevents it from being cloying. It also looks like red wine, but is actually a bubbly in disguise!
Work is finally over, and the weekend awaits. No matter if you’re planning to relax or have a fully-booked calendar, toast to the end of the week with this “La Brezza” Prosecco from small, family producer Lovo that is the common person’s everyday sparkling wine, inviting and easy-to-drink. Compared to Champagne, the acidity is lower and the fruit more pronounced, with just enough residual sugar to give it a slightly drier profile than you would normally expect from a Prosecco. It goes down easy, just like Friday.
Visit the Tasting Room to sample these sparkling wines and other standouts.