Seasonal Wines: Sparkling to Celebrate Every Day

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We see sparkling wine being served as an aperitif or an afternoon cocktail more often these days. The Proseccos and Cavas of today are not your parents’ Baby Duck from the 1970s and they need not sit in the fridge waiting for a big announcement to make an appearance.

No need to empty your wallet for a Champagne to enjoy lovely bubbles and light bodied wine. Countries all over the world produce their version of France’s famous Champagne albeit the processes and the resulting characteristics vary.

The most similar to Champagnes are sparklings made using the same process, referred to as the “traditional method.” These producers use a second fermentation in the bottle to mirror the fine bubbles and complex toasty flavour. Cava, produced in Spain is an example of this and is sold at very reasonable prices, given the complexities of the metodo tradicional. In Spain, the grape varieties often used are Xarello, Parellada, and Macabeu while Champagne uses Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. I recommend a great rosé Cava called Segura Viudas that is a steal at $17.99 and is a bit of an exception as the main grape is Trepat. This crisp, dry wine that is all strawberry and toast would be a superb pairing with Chilean sea bass.

Excellent sparkling wines made from the traditional method are produced worldwide including Canada and the United States.

Italian Proseccos are fermented only once in steel tanks, but these are very affordable and are light and fruity. A great alternative if you do not like the complexity that comes with traditional method. Try the Santa Margherita Brut Valdobbiadene ($20) alongside a charcuterie tray. It is dry, with very sharp acidity and would please any guest on your summer deck.