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Suggested Sparklers for the New Year

What could be better than enjoying some sparkling wine while celebrating the new year? While Washington is known for red and white still wines, it is not known for sparkling wine. Bookwalter Winery once had a blush sparkling wine, about 16 years ago. But they discontinued it due to production costs. That last case of Bookwalter lasted about a year, even with good intentions of holding onto it longer. While I am not an expert on Champagne, I still have some recommendations. Because I drink what I like.

Washington: Chateau St. Michelle does produce a fine list of sparklers. My personal favorite is their NV Blanc de Noirs. This is a pink wine with small bubbles and a delicate taste. I suggest you pick from their list of seven sparklers, extra dry, brut, frizzante, etc. and find out which one you prefer. A terrific bargain, especially when priced on sale for about $10 and sometimes less.

Oregon: The first choice for Oregon has to be sparkling wine from Argyle Winery. They have five different sparklers listed on their site. I've noticed several good reviews of their wines, but have yet to drink any myself. Aiming to remedy this defficiency, I have a bottle of 2001 Argyle Brut chilling. As soon as I have a taste I'll update this post with notes.

Australia: I lucked out three years ago when I came across a bottle of Jacob's Creek Sparkling Chardonnay Pinot Noir on clearance at the Washington State Liquor store. Absolutley delicious! Unfortunately for me, I have been unable to find another bottle in town since. I tried tracking down more, but gave up after months of failure. If you can find this wine in your town - buy it. And let me know where you found it. I see a lot of Jacob's Creek wine in town, but they must not have any contracts to distribute the sparklers in Eastern Washington. Shame.

France: Home of Champagne, France is the country to go to for true Champagne. You could go broke drinking French Champagne on a regular basis - it usually commands a premium price. Not that you don't have some reasonable choices if you want to celebrate with some "real" Champagne. My first choice is Veuve Clicquot Champagne Brut Yellow Label. This is an easy to enjoy Champagne, nice crisp bubbles and clean finish. This wine is well distributed and can be reasonably priced at $38. Although, I see that the price has bumped recently to $50 at some stores. If you want to bring in the New Year in style, this would be a great choice.

France: If you have a Costco in town, then don't miss out on the Kirkland brand Champagne. This is true French Champagne with the Costco Kirkland label. The label may not be pretty, but this is a good value at $20. Ive had a couple bottles and enjoyed every drop.   Check the Costco site for details. 

Hope this list helps you make a choice for the New Year and for more special occasions in 2007.


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