The Quintessential Requisite Sparkling Wine Guide

It’s upon us…the most highly anticipated event of the year- New Year’s Eve.

And there is only one beverage of choice…Jager!!

No wait…Champagne!! (and sparkling wine after things are getting fuzzy.  Don’t waste the cash on the good juice if you’re not going to remember it anyway.)

So here’s what we’ll be drinking:


It’s the go to.  Start your night off right with a killer bottle (and while your palate is fresh).  All of the listed bottles are super affordable.  (Sorry Selosse…you know I still love you!)

Aubry:  Best-valued Champagne ever.  Nuff said!

Pehu-Simonet:  Everything from this producer just rocks (Brut, Rosé, Blanc de Noir).  All of his bottlings contain at least 80% Pinot Noir and worth the effort to seek out.  See why this newcomer is quickly becoming a fave of the somm world.

René Geoffrey:  Straight hedonism.  Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir dominate this house’s blends, creating vibrant, rich and seductive bubbles.

Diebolt-Vallois: Purity and Focus.  These Chardonnay-driven examples are some of the most linear and expressive Champagnes on the market.  Serious Champagne for serious drinkers.  Look out for the ‘Prestige’ bottling in particular- it’s one of the best sparklers I’ve had all year.

Non-Champagne Sparkling

Wish I was super rich but turns out I’m in the F&B industry.  Maybe I should’ve listened to the folks and pursued finance…hmmm….decisions.

I LOVE Champagne but needless to say, it’s not always (by which I mean rarely) in the Ballstein budget, which has made me a resourceful bugger when it comes to sparkling wine.  Here be my faves!!

Baumard Brut Rosé, Crémant de Loire: Just so happens that one of my favorite producers out of the Loire makes some spectacular sparkling from Cab Franc on the side.  Known for their intense Savenniéres and stunning Coteaux du Layons, Baumard is rightfully considered one of the premier producers of the Loire valley.  Take advantage of the stupidly reasonable pricing; it might just be the best deal in the sparkling wine world.

Jean-Luc Joillot, Crémant de Bourgogne:  This might as well be Champagne.  Produced from the classic Chard and Pinot blend, this is a better representation of Champagne than quite a few Champagnes I’ve experienced.

Castelroig, Cava Rosada:  Obviously, I hold the French sparkling wine industry in a high esteem since it’s all I have recommended thus far.  Well, I gotta give Cava its due shout out as well.  Penedes, the ‘real’ home of Cava has quickly progressed over the past couple decades to become a quality player on the international level.  This particular producer is killing it and this Trapet-based (obscure, indigenous varietal) is plush, giving and straight up hedonistic.  Tons of fun!!



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