Ellen Silverman sent this image of the charming chairs her friend Lauren Malkasian‘s daughter made out of the wire cages from bottles of Champagne drunk during a celebratory dinner one evening. That got us thinking about sparkling wines so we asked our trusty wine/spirits/entertaining advisor Anthony Giglio for his recommendations. He sent us FIVE plus his favorite summer cocktail:
I keep a lot of sparkling wine on hand during the warm months because their acidity – assuming they’re brut — is so perfectly thirst quenching. I stock a lot of Prosecco, in particular, because my wife Antonia and I are addicted to Aperol Spritz cocktails and you can’t make them without good Prosecco (and, oddly, other sparkling wines render the drink weird). Editor’s note: you’ll find Anthony’s recipe for the refreshing Aperol Spritz here.
For value there’s no better sparkler than Cava from Spain (which we poured at our wedding when we hosted 270 people!). A good sparkling rosé is always welcome as a classy aperitif.
But perhaps the greatest surprise I can pour for friends after they hear that telltale delicate “pop” sound is a fabulous sparkler from New Mexico made by a family from Champagne who searched for the best climate in the U.S. to replicate their home territory. Go figure! In blind tastings people think it’s Champagne, or at least a very expensive New World sparkler, but Gruet is always well under $20, as are all of these picks. Note: All are NV i.e. non vintage and available at Astor Wine & Spirits.
Nino Franco Prosecco Rustico, Conegliano-Valdobbiadene, Veneto, Italy, NV $15.97 Item #16984
Pears, apples and white peaches.
Mionetto Prosecco di Valdobbiadene, Veneto, Italy NV $16.99 Item #17705
Soft citrus, star fruit and white peaches.
Coteau de Pizy Touraine Rosé Sparkling “Méthode Traditionelle,” Loire, France NV $14.99
Ever-so-slightly off dry, brimming with watermelon and strawberries.
Casas del Mar, Cava, Penedès, Spain NV $10.99 Item #21639
Floral, honeysuckle aromas, mildly toasty, mouthwatering.
Gruet Brut, New Mexico, USA NV $13.97 Item #16934
Creamy apples, pears, ripe plum, gulpable.
Thanks a million Anthony!
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