I’m not sure that these are the kinds of bubbles kids are supposed to enjoy. But this is my son we’re talking about here.
Thanks to the celebratory gifts we’ve been receiving from our generous friends, he’s already had a lot of exposure to bubbles – of the good kind. As The Winedad, however, I think it’s important that he understand even at this early age that not all bubbles come from Champagne, France.
Luckily, the timing is right – I’ve got plenty of bottles around to prove the point. To further Micah’s education I’ve even themed an entire wine collection from Le Metro – Wine. Underground around it – our first annual holiday bubbles collection (Volume VII: “Underground Bubbles”) will be available December 1.
I thought it would be fun to take a moment and briefly expose Little Dude to some of my favorite sparkling wines. Perhaps you’ll learn something too. This list is by no means definitive – it’s just here to turn you on to some styles that I personally love.
- Lambrusco is one of my favorite sparkling surprises. An effervescent red wine from Emilia-Romagna, Italy, it ranges from sweet to completely dry and runs the full quality gambit. My love of this style was cemented a few years ago when a certain Lambrusco producer accompanied me to Bologna on the hunt for wedding shoes. (He will remain nameless for now as one of his wines is included in Le Metro Volume VII).
- Moscato comes in all shapes and sizes. Not always sparkling – and not always Italian – it’s usually delicious, although it can sometimes be cloyingly sweet (and industrially produced). The best news: traditional sparkling Moscato comes in at only around 7% alcohol by volume. This is what I like to call “breakfast wine.”
- Prosecco is one of the best-known sparkling wines in the US, and is reputed for great value. Every Italian restaurant in the country serves at least one (except for New York City’s Dell’Anima, L’Artusi, and L’Apicio, where my old buddy Joey Campanale buys the wine and bucks trends; by being a bit of a rebel, he’s assembled some of the best wine lists in the country). However, inexpensive doesn’t have to mean un-tasty. There’s some wonderful Prosecco to be found if you know where to look. (hint, hint…)
- Crémant de Bourgogne represents perhaps the closest alternative to true Champagne. Burgundy and Champagne share their two main grape varieties – Pinot Noir and Chardonnay – and although the former is famous for wine made without bubbles they sure do know what they’re doing when it comes to secondary fermentation. Like Champagne, Crémant is produced in both white and rosé styles.
- Sparkling Torrontés from Argentina is a surprise entry on this list; honestly, it probably wouldn’t have been here a month ago. Although I was aware from my time in Mendoza that there are a lot of awesome bubbles down south, very few of them make it to North American shores. However, shortly before Micah’s birth my friend Kent from Vinos del Sol sent me home with a special bottle to enjoy. The whole family loved it – myself included. The rest is history.
Now, are you thirsty yet? I’m going to go have a glass of Moscato for breakfast with Little Micah. But if you want to learn more or try any these wines, please check out Le Metro or contact me directly!