Help me with a sparkling wine tasting party

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Steve Bird
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Help me with a sparkling wine tasting party

#1 Post by Steve Bird » May 5th, 2019, 2:47 pm

I like bubbles, but my wife does not. Hence, I don't drink it much. But we're throwing a party for our friends to taste different types of sparkling wine, and I need some suggestions. There will be 8 couples (16 people). Here's what I've come up with, but would appreciate some suggestions. Looking for a total of 8 bottles
Champagne
Processco
Cava
California sparkling
Oregon sparkling (?)

Thanks to those who know way more about this than I do.

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cjsavino
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Re: Help me with a sparkling wine tasting party

#2 Post by cjsavino » May 5th, 2019, 3:51 pm

For California sparkling get some Schramsberg
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Re: Help me with a sparkling wine tasting party

#3 Post by Merrill Lindquist » May 5th, 2019, 3:54 pm

Can't help you with sparkling other than Champagne, but could you help me with my bags next time I fly? flirtysmile
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Re: Help me with a sparkling wine tasting party

#4 Post by S teve R edenbaugh » May 5th, 2019, 4:04 pm

For Oregon sparkling, gotta be Argyle Extended Tirage...or Tony Soter's Sparkling Wine. But I think you need to include Pet-Nat to your basic list of types.

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Re: Help me with a sparkling wine tasting party

#5 Post by Steve Bird » May 5th, 2019, 4:07 pm

S teve R edenbaugh wrote:
May 5th, 2019, 4:04 pm
For Oregon sparkling, gotta be Argyle Extended Tirage...or Tony Soter's Sparkling Wine. But I think you need to include Pet-Nat to your basic list of types.
Thank you! That's the kind of help I need!

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Re: Help me with a sparkling wine tasting party

#6 Post by Dan Sch » May 5th, 2019, 5:39 pm

If you can get Lichen Blanc de Noirs from Anderson Valley, it is a really nice California sparkler!
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Re: Help me with a sparkling wine tasting party

#7 Post by Nathan Smyth » May 5th, 2019, 8:38 pm

For the champagne, Le Mesnil has excellent distribution throughout the USA, at about $40:

https://www.wine-searcher.com/find/le+mesnil/1/usa

For the Prosecco, you can never go wrong with Zardetto [it's a big fat blowsy wine which swallows like water]:

https://www.wine-searcher.com/find/zardetto/1/usa

And for the sweet sparklers, you have to include the Paolo Saracco Moscato d'Asti; year in & year out, Paolo Saracco is flat-out the greatest wine value in the world [I don't know how they do it so consistently with every harvest, but they do]:

https://www.wine-searcher.com/find/saracco+moscato

Around here, you can find both the Zardetto & the Saracco in big box stores, such as Total Wine.

PS: I think I would start the tasting with the soft easy-sipping wines like the Zardetto, and save the leaner more acidic more minerally more penetrating wines for later.
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Re: Help me with a sparkling wine tasting party

#8 Post by J. Rock » May 5th, 2019, 8:51 pm

Schramsberg is a great domestic; Pierre Moncuit NV is great and not expensive Champagne.
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Re: Help me with a sparkling wine tasting party

#9 Post by Siun o'Connell » May 5th, 2019, 8:53 pm

I've been really enjoying both Cruse Pet Nat's and Under the Wire's sparklers. There are some of both listed on Wine Searcher ... worth trying both. I haven't opened any of my latest shipments of each yet but 2014's really drank well this year.

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Re: Help me with a sparkling wine tasting party

#10 Post by Steve Slatcher » May 6th, 2019, 2:31 am

Other types to seriously consider:
English sparkling
Franciacorta
Moscato d'Asti
Aussie sparkling Shiraz

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Re: Help me with a sparkling wine tasting party

#11 Post by LMD Ermitaño » May 6th, 2019, 4:34 am

You may want to try out one from Bugey Cerdon.
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Re: Help me with a sparkling wine tasting party

#12 Post by Howard Cooper » May 6th, 2019, 5:12 am

It might be fun to try a side by side wines from a company that makes Champagne and sparkling wines from California. A good example of this is Roederer.

Outside of Champagne, IMHO, some of the best sparkling wines from the Loire. You might try Chidane or Huet.

Another interesting area for sparkling wines is Germany (the wines are called Sekt). I have in the past been able to find aged Sekts from Peter Lauer that are quite good.
Last edited by Howard Cooper on May 6th, 2019, 5:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Help me with a sparkling wine tasting party

#13 Post by Howard Cooper » May 6th, 2019, 5:14 am

Steve Slatcher wrote:
May 6th, 2019, 2:31 am
Other types to seriously consider:
English sparkling
Franciacorta
Moscato d'Asti
Aussie sparkling Shiraz
Moscato d'Asti is an excellent suggestion but note that these wines tend to be sweeter and very low in alcohol. Drink this at the end after the other wines.
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Re: Help me with a sparkling wine tasting party

#14 Post by Mike Grammer » May 6th, 2019, 8:54 am

I was going to mention thinking about some Cremants---either Cremant de Bourgogne, Cremant de Loire (see Huet, espec. 2009) or Cremant de Jura, which can all be interesting additions to a sparkler list.
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Re: Help me with a sparkling wine tasting party

#15 Post by Hank Victor » May 6th, 2019, 9:20 am

Sekt
Cremant
Limoux
Franciacorta
Lambrusco
Cap Classique

Are all sparkling wines I would consider.
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Re: Help me with a sparkling wine tasting party

#16 Post by Jay Miller » May 6th, 2019, 10:12 am

Howard Cooper wrote:
May 6th, 2019, 5:12 am
Outside of Champagne, IMHO, some of the best sparkling wines from the Loire. You might try Chidane or Huet.

Or Pinon!
Ripe fruit isn't necessarily a flaw.

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Re: Help me with a sparkling wine tasting party

#17 Post by Jay Miller » May 6th, 2019, 10:13 am

Howard Cooper wrote:
May 6th, 2019, 5:14 am


Moscato d'Asti is an excellent suggestion but note that these wines tend to be sweeter and very low in alcohol. Drink this at the end after the other wines.
Chambers St. carries some excellent, unexpectedly complex Moscato d'Astis.
Ripe fruit isn't necessarily a flaw.

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Re: Help me with a sparkling wine tasting party

#18 Post by Richard T r i m p i » May 6th, 2019, 10:50 am

Along with Lambrusco, Brachetto d'Acqui can be novel/interesting.

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Re: Help me with a sparkling wine tasting party

#19 Post by Robert M yers » May 6th, 2019, 11:20 am

Ok I’ll play ... How about:
Cava - Raventos
Prosecco - Drusian
Oregon/Washington - Sokol Blosser bluebird
CA (small) - Under the Wire
Ca (large) - vintage Roederer
Champagne (large) vintage Roederer (find same vintage...liked Howard’s idea here)
Champagne (small) - Agrapart
Vouvray - Foreau
Rose - lots and lots of choices

I tried to keep the price points similar here and not extreme as well. Also besides Roederer to pick something not straight off the market shelf, but available at a good wine shop ect.

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Re: Help me with a sparkling wine tasting party

#20 Post by Howard Cooper » May 6th, 2019, 1:08 pm

Jay Miller wrote:
May 6th, 2019, 10:12 am
Howard Cooper wrote:
May 6th, 2019, 5:12 am
Outside of Champagne, IMHO, some of the best sparkling wines from the Loire. You might try Chidane or Huet.

Or Pinon!
I have had excellent still Vouvrays from Pinon but have not had a sparkling one. Can these be found outside the NYC area?
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Re: Help me with a sparkling wine tasting party

#21 Post by Jay Miller » May 6th, 2019, 1:21 pm

Howard Cooper wrote:
May 6th, 2019, 1:08 pm
Jay Miller wrote:
May 6th, 2019, 10:12 am
Howard Cooper wrote:
May 6th, 2019, 5:12 am
Outside of Champagne, IMHO, some of the best sparkling wines from the Loire. You might try Chidane or Huet.

Or Pinon!
I have had excellent still Vouvrays from Pinon but have not had a sparkling one. Can these be found outside the NYC area?
I've only ever bought them at Chambers St. but wine-searcher shows availability in NJ, CT and CO as well as a bunch of NY stores. For a moment I thought Calvert Woodley had them but they carry a sparkler from Damien Pinon, not Francois. You can do a search on Francois Pinon Brut and a bunch of hits will come up.
Ripe fruit isn't necessarily a flaw.

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Re: Help me with a sparkling wine tasting party

#22 Post by Howard Cooper » May 6th, 2019, 1:30 pm

MacArthurs has Chidaine, so my guess is if I want a Loire sparkling wine, I would probably get that. Don't know where the OP lives, however, and so am thinking he may have trouble finding Pinon. I think of that as a Louis/Dressner wine and they are mostly in NYC, although we get some in the DC area.
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Re: Help me with a sparkling wine tasting party

#23 Post by Michael O'Brien » May 6th, 2019, 1:53 pm

You should add some Cremant to the mix as well. There are several very good ones from the Loire and from the Alsace.
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Re: Help me with a sparkling wine tasting party

#24 Post by maureen nelson » May 6th, 2019, 5:20 pm

This is terrific - Vajra N.S. della Neve - half nebbiolo, half pinot. Under $30.

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Re: Help me with a sparkling wine tasting party

#25 Post by AD Northup » May 6th, 2019, 5:52 pm

Could have some real fun and grab a South African sparkler...personally a big fan of Black Elephant Vintners MCC
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Re: Help me with a sparkling wine tasting party

#26 Post by Yao C » May 6th, 2019, 5:59 pm

LMD Ermitaño wrote:
May 6th, 2019, 4:34 am
You may want to try out one from Bugey Cerdon.
I suggest you don't overlook this, or pet nats in general (petillant naturel, otherwise known as methode ancestrale)

They're fun, typically off-dry and lower in alcohol
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Re: Help me with a sparkling wine tasting party

#27 Post by Jason T » May 7th, 2019, 1:08 am

S teve R edenbaugh wrote:
May 5th, 2019, 4:04 pm
For Oregon sparkling, gotta be Argyle Extended Tirage...or Tony Soter's Sparkling Wine. But I think you need to include Pet-Nat to your basic list of types.
I wouldn't limit myself to just Argyle's Extended Tirage - the rest of their lineup is pretty fantastic. And that's from someone who loves their Extended Tirage series - just finished off my last of six Extended Tirage 2007's. Hoped to let the last couple sleep for a while but they were just so damn good.
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Re: Help me with a sparkling wine tasting party

#28 Post by Ian Fitzsimmons » May 9th, 2019, 7:11 pm

Moutard Brut Grande Cuvée is surprisingly good Champagne for about $30, if you can find it.

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Re: Help me with a sparkling wine tasting party

#29 Post by Lee Short » May 9th, 2019, 8:53 pm

Here's what I'd do, trying to get a good sampling of styles and regions. Most styles have good recs in this thread, so I won't repeat those here, but will add some of my own.

1. Champagne -- Bereche Reserve, Chartogne-Taillet Cuvee St Anne
2. California -- Schramsberg
3. Oregon (or Washington) -- Mellen Meyer or Analemma if you can find it. Argyle if not.
4. Cava -- Recaredo if you can find it. Gramona if not.
5. Cremant de Loire -- Huet* or Chidaine or Pinon
6. Prosecco or Franciacorta -- I've got no widely available recs
7. rose Cremant from Jura or Bourgogne or Alsace, or rose Champagne -- same here
8. wildcard: does the group like wines with a bit of sweetness? If so, then Moscato or Cerdon du Bugey or Blanquette de Limoux or Brachetto d'Acqui. If not, maybe a Txakolina or a bubbly from Tasmania.

*I can vouch for the 2013 Huet. I've heard only one report on the just-released 2016, which hasn't reached our market yet, and the report didn't sound great.

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Re: Help me with a sparkling wine tasting party

#30 Post by Steve Bird » June 7th, 2019, 3:19 pm

THANK YOU for all of the suggestions. I'm finalizing the list and will follow-up with how the tasting went and what was chosen.

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Re: Help me with a sparkling wine tasting party

#31 Post by brigcampbell » June 7th, 2019, 5:01 pm

S teve R edenbaugh wrote:
May 5th, 2019, 4:04 pm
For Oregon sparkling, gotta be Argyle Extended Tirage...
That is a fantastic bottle.

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Re: Help me with a sparkling wine tasting party

#32 Post by RichardFlack » June 7th, 2019, 8:16 pm

A couple of less expensive options
Cava - Duran Gran Reserva
Cremant de Bourgogne - JCB 21

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Re: Help me with a sparkling wine tasting party

#33 Post by Eric Ifune » June 8th, 2019, 2:17 am

Portuguese espumant.

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Re: Help me with a sparkling wine tasting party

#34 Post by Doug Schulman » June 8th, 2019, 10:53 am

I would consider a Cremant du Jura if you can find a good one.

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Re: Help me with a sparkling wine tasting party

#35 Post by Nathan Smyth » June 8th, 2019, 2:54 pm

If you can find it: Giuseppe Contratto.

https://www.wine-searcher.com/find/contratto/1/usa/

Had the 2012 Asti Spumante this afternoon - not at all what I was expecting - but my Goodness, it's a profound bottle of wine.
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Re: Help me with a sparkling wine tasting party

#36 Post by Jud Reis » June 8th, 2019, 5:33 pm

Another vote for English Sparkler - if you can find a Raimes, buy it. Had a bottle recently that was terrific.

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Re: Help me with a sparkling wine tasting party

#37 Post by Steve Bird » June 20th, 2019, 6:18 am

Thanks, again, for all of your suggestions. The night was a big hit - people seemed enjoyed learning about and tasting these different sparklers.. Here's what we ended up tasting (sorry, no TN).

Champagne: Roederer
CA sparkler: Roederer
Cava: could find no gran reserva, can't remember what we drank
Prosecco: Drusian
Vouvray: Foreau
Cremant de Loire
Sekt: difficult to find. Can't remember what we drank, but it was dry and a big hit.
Pet-Nat: this was difficult to find. Total Wine had just one bottle that I could order. Couldn't tell you much more than that about it.
Moscato d'Asti: Paolo Saracco (tasted last)

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