Sparklers for the holidays

Scott Greenberg, special to

WASHINGTON – There is nothing quite like wine with bubbles to create a festive atmosphere and elevate a holiday celebration to the status of memorable occasion.

The good news is that there are a number of sparkling wines on the market that don’t cost a lot of money, so you won’t have to sacrifice your Christmas Bonus to enjoy tasty bubbly.

Here are a few recommendations from around the globe:

The Sparkling wines from the Cava region of Spain are the unsung hero of bubbly. Particularly the NV Segura Viuda Brut Riserva Heredad from Cava, Spain. I really like this wine for its balance and abundant flavors. It has a pretty nose of rose petals and crème brulee. Its nutty and creamy at the same time with flavors of green apple and ripe pear on the mid-palate. This is a great wine to pair with food. $19

Of course, Proseccos are always fun and affordable. The Casalnova Non-vintage Prosecco from Vento, Italy is one sure way to get your evening off to a great start. Made from the prosecco grape, this straw gold white wine has a bouquet of honeysuckle and acacia and flavors of crisp apples, apricots and hints of honeyed oranges. The tight bubbles refresh and cleanse the palate, sip after sip, getting the tongue properly dressed for the feast to come. $15

If you’re looking for a classic sparkling wine with a domestic label, the Non-Vintage J Vineyards Cuvée 20 Brut from the Russian River Valley of California is a great pick. It sports a wonderful bouquet that is full of toasted brioche, green apple and lemon scents. Tight, compact bubbles carry flavors of ripe apple, citrus and roasted almonds across the entire palate. Great acidity adds a crisp finish and a perfect pairing with oysters on the half shell or shrimp cocktail. $20

Of course, if you want to really splurge, the Non-Vintage Veuve Clicquot Rose from the Champagne region of France is a wonderful indulgence. Aromas of ripe peaches, honeyed nectarines, red raspberries and hints of yeasty notes are buoyed to the surface by tiny, precise bubbles. The party continues on the palate where flavors of baked apples and rich pears mingle with hints of buttered crust. It’s all built on a creamy frame that emphasizes the long, clean finish. A great wine to start the evening with and end the evening with particularly if you want to pair it with strawberries or crème brulée. $65

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