Sparkling wine evokes holiday cheer like nothing else, and almost every wine region produces a version or two. Some rely on the traditional varieties of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, while others embrace local grapes. Bubbles may be created following the Champagne model, by secondary fermentation in the bottle, or the Charmat method, in pressurized tanks before bottling. Some sparkling wines are dry in style, and others lightly sweet. For dozens of recommendations, see the Brilliant Sparklers tasting report in the Dec. 15 issue on Champagne and the Bargain Bubbly global list in our Dec. 31 issue.
December 18, 2013