Sunday, November 29, 2015         


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Flavorful sparkling wines are worthy of a toast

By Chuck Furuya


The holiday season is fast approaching, and it is time to stock up on the bubbly for the festivities.

I use the term "bubbly" because there are many sparkling wines from around the world today that can offer sensational value for your dollar, especially in comparison with champagne.

Here are a few favorites:

» Ruggeri Prosecco "Gold Label" (about $22): Amazingly, Italian Prosecco has caught on in the islands. When I poured wine at a few charity fundraisers recently, I was floored by the number of people who came up and requested Italian Prosecco by name! At its best, Prosecco is very light in body, crisp and completely refreshing. The house of Ruggeri has always been a personal favorite because of its sheer deliciousness. You'll see that this is a real crowd-pleaser at get-togethers.

» Simmonet Febvre Cremant de Bourgogne (about $18): This particular Cremant de Bourgogne (sparkling wine from Burgundy) is 100 percent Chardonnay from the limestone soils and extreme growing region of Chablis in the far north of Burgundy. It therefore has the freshness, lightness and ethereal minerality similar to champagne -- at a fraction of the cost.

» Raventos I Blanc Cava "L'Hereu Reserva" (about $20): This fabulous discovery comes from Spain and has been made for 19 generations by the same family. This particular bottling is produced from three indigenous Spanish grapes -- Macabeo, Xarel-lo and Parellada -- grown in limestone soils and crafted in the French Method Champenoise. Although stylistically it is similar to French champagne, it thankfully tastes and feels like a true Spanish-born wine in aroma and on the palate.

» Roederer Estate Brut (about $25): This Anderson Valley project combines top-caliber California-grown grapes and French wine-making expertise to consistently produce California's premier sparkling wine, year in and year out. How can anyone not love the toasty, nutty complexities and nuances coupled with the vinous creaminess on the palate? This is certainly a wine worth using for a toast at any celebration.

Until next time, please enjoy.


Chuck Furuya is a master sommelier and a partner in the D.K. Restaurant group.

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