On a recent visit to Mumm Napa I tasted a magnum of their Brut Rose, side by side with the traditional 750ml bottle. The magnum was aged 6 years vs. 18 months for the 750ml, which was most evident in the light pink color and elegant aromas of rose petal, strawberry and toast, and available now for a special holiday discount if ordering directly through the winery.
Nina Franco Rustico Prosecco DOCG from the Veneto region of Italy is an elegant, creamy bubbly with light floral aromas and a fruit forward, vivacious palate. Prosecco is popping up on more and more bar menus lately, and some can be a little too fruity for the palate, but this one blends the fruit with creaminess nicely. A great aperitif, or starter wine with shellfish, salads or a risotto with green peas, asparagus and lots of Parmesan.
If you want the bubbly sensation, but just don’t go for sparkling wine, run to your local supermarket and pick up a bottle of 7Up Pomegranate Antioxidant soda. Only available through the holiday, I was surprised how much I liked this. The perfect cocktail to make is the Cheersicle with 6 oz Pomegranate 7Up and 1 oz vanilla vodka served over ice. Fruit forward soda that is surprisingly subtle in sweetness, nicely representing of the actual fruit flavor. And as soda goes, it is good for you!
If you are going to blow it out this year with a big bottle of bubbly, try the 2002 Piper-Heidsieck Pure. Vintage specific fruit from one of the oldest, yet forward thinking, Champagne houses in France. Elegant and interesting, a solid blend of classic Champagne gapes of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. Hints of berry and fresh baked bread fill the palate with elegant flavors of sweet peach, melon and apple on the palate. It is not the least expensive thing you will find on the market, but it is definitely special.