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Sommelier Picks: Splurge & Save Sparkling Wines

Sommelier Picks: Splurge & Save Sparkling Wines

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Nothing says “holiday festivities” like bubbly, but with so many options available, what’s the right bottle to choose? We turned to the experts: some of America’s top sommeliers, who not only recommend, but drink sparkling wine on a regular basis. Check out their selections below for sparklers both over and under $20, and you’ll be poppin’ bottles all season long, regardless of budget.

“The François Chidaine Montlouis Sur Loire Brut ($20) is made of 100 percent chenin blanc, a grape often thought of as the less-popular stepsister to queen riesling. This complicated grape is strong enough to show off its intensity through these bubbles with fierce minerality, organic sunflower honey, and citrus peel. My ultimate splurge is the Vouette et Sorbée ‘Saignee de Sorbée’ Extra Brut ($110), which is as unique and exceptional in the glass as the veracity of the vineyard work. Not a frilly, fruity sparkling rosé, but an impressive ten top finisher; powerful and complex, brilliant biodynamic farming shows through deep earthy complexity with earthy aromatics, charming cherry fruit and tremendous minerality.” — Isabella Fitzgerald (Gramercy Tavern)

“I would suggest the Gruet Brut ($15) as a save option because it’s intriguing and the winery is based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, which is interesting since it’s crafted in the U.S. For a splurge option, I would select the Billecart Salmon Brut Rosé Champagne ($80) since it comes from a family-owned winery. It’s very elegant and great for any palate.” — Silvestre Fernandes (Patina)

“For a save option, the Val de Mer Cremant de Bourgogne Rosé ($20) is made by, in my opinion, the most promising new Chablis producer in Burgundy. This is produced under his second label, which affords the consumer the ability to taste his wines at a reasonable price. The wine has notes of wild strawberry and some great earthiness coming from the pinot noir. As a splurge, Chartogne-Taillet Brut ($38) is a fascinating and severely underpriced Champagne. The complexity found in this grower Champagne is both fantastic and incomparable. You will find notes of raw honey, wild flowers, and toasted brioche in the wine, and the mouthfeel will have you tipping the glass to your lips time and time again.” — John Dal Canton (Hibiscus)

“The M Côté Mas Crémant de Limoux Rosé ($14) from the Languedoc is an excellent ‘save’ sparkler, tasting of crisp strawberry, peach, and blood orange, with a hint of honeysuckle. For a splurge, go for the Ruinart Blanc de Blancs Champagne ($69); you’ll taste white peaches, citrus fruits, white flowers, and hints of toasty brioche.” — Kristin Irwin (Max’s Wine Dive)

“The Nino Franco Prosecco ($20) is very well-balanced considering the value, with notes of Honeycrisp apple and Bosc pear, and a lively acidity that makes it great as a pre-meal drink to whet the palate. While it's always tempting to go with Champagne for a "splurge," I have to go with a magnum of Bründlmayer Brut Rosé ($98) made from pinot noir, St. Laurent, and Zweigelt. First off, it's a beautiful food wine made dry with aromas of dark cherry, strawberry, hints of lime and wet stone. Second, it's a magnum, which will make it great for a holiday party.” — Christian Groon (Soif Restaurant & Wine Merchant)

“A fine option for an inexpensive sparkling wine is Avinyo ($14-18), a terrific family-owned producer of Cava. The flavors are crisp and clean and chock full of ripe tree fruits and white flowers. Avinyo packs amazing quality for the price, so it's easy to load up the cellar for an impromptu party with friends. If you want to really wow the guests at your house this year, grab yourself a bottle of Movia Puro Rosé ($43), a brilliant wine from Slovenia. Puro is not disgorged, meaning the yeast that makes the wine bubbly remains in the bottle, giving the wine the ability to develop for years in your cellar (if you can leave it that long).” Aaron Sherman (Niche Food Group)

15 Sommelier-Level Moves for Learning About Wine

Just getting started with wine? Here are 15 things you can do to increase your wine literacy.

Learning about wine can seem like a daunting task. While mastering it is a lifelong journey, the good news is that starting out can be really fun—I mean, it involves drinking wine, after all. If you’re trying to become more wine literate but not sure where to begin, here are 15 tips provided by some of the country’s top sommeliers.

Steal or splurge? KLG and Hoda see if they can sniff out expensive wines

In a perfect world, I would have a bottle of sparkling wine every night. With Prosecco, that is possible. It's not only one of the top places to snag affordable bubbly the northern Italian region is home to world-class sparkling worthy of hefty price tags.

2017 Bisol 'Cartizze' Prosecco, Valdobbiadene Superiore di Cartizze DOCG, Italy, $45, Bisol

2017 Bisol 'Cartizze' Prosecco, Valdobbiadene Superiore di Cartizze DOCG, Italy, $45, Bisol

Bisol is history in a glass. A producer with more than a 500-year history, they know how to craft sparkling wine. Prosecco is made with a grape named Glera and most of it is easy-drinking and enjoyable bubbly. Some, however, carrying the Superiore DOCG designation are worthy of sitting with the best in the world. This wine is made with grapes grown on the coveted hill of Cartizze and is a classy and classic sparkler.

Riondo 'Spago Nero' Extra Dry Prosecco DOC, Italy, $15, Riondo

Riondo 'Spago Nero' Extra Dry Prosecco DOC, Italy, $15, Riondo

One of Italy's top-selling Proseccos has made it to America. I have to say, I have tasted a slew of affordable Prosecco, and it ranks as one of my favorites. Light and lively with a whisper of sweetness, it's a wine to have on hand for everyday (and every night) drinking. I highly recommend buying it by the case.

France is known as the premier producer of dry pink wines, but these two bottles show top-notch roses are made all over the globe.

2017 Gran Moraine Rosé of Pinot Noir, Yamhill-Carlton, Oregon, $28, Gran Moraine

2017 Gran Moraine Rosé of Pinot Noir, Yamhill-Carlton, Oregon, $28, Gran Moraine

Oregon's Willamette Valley — and the Yamhill-Carlton area within it — is home to world-class Pinot Noir. This expressive pink captures an ethereal lightness and delicate floral spiciness that could only come from Pinot Noir. Gran Moraine refers to the landscape carved by devastating floods that took place in the region during the last Ice Age. In its wake was left a place that would ultimately be ideal for growing grapes. After I tasted Gran Moraine's roster of wines, I knew this one was special.

2017 Planeta Rosé, Sicila DOC, $15, Planeta

2017 Planeta Rosé, Sicila DOC, $15, Planeta

Sicily is magical. Ancient, modern, rugged and chic are all words I use to describe this remarkable island. Wines from Sicily can be thought of in the same way. They are a juxtaposition of light and dark, savory and sweet, spicy and fruity. The famous red grape hailing from Sicily is Nero d'Avola, which produces hearty reds. But in this dry, dark-cherry scented pink, Nero d'Avola's lighter side shines through. Paired with Syrah, it becomes a zesty, mouth-watering rosé that makes summer come alive, Sicilian-style.

These two wines go head-to-head for a battle of the best barbecue reds from Golden State. One is a coveted favorite and the other from a favored and famed California family.

2016 The Prisoner red blend, Napa Valley, California, $45, The Prisoner Wine Company

2016 The Prisoner red blend, Napa Valley, California, $45, The Prisoner Wine Company

With a unique label inspired by the Spanish artist Goya, this big, bold red ranks among cult favorites of California. Blending grapes from Cabernet Sauvignon to Charbono and Zinfandel to Petite Sirah, this is a fruit-driven powerhouse ideal with spicy and sweet barbecue ribs. Their newly built tasting room, The Tasting Lounge and The Makery, is sure to become a Napa destination.

2016 J. Lohr Estates 'Los Osos' Merlot, Paso Robles, California, $15, J. Lohr

2016 J. Lohr Estates 'Los Osos' Merlot, Paso Robles, California, $15, J. Lohr

With more than five decades of grape growing on the Central Coast and wine-making from Napa Valley to Paso Robles, the Lohr family is iconic in California. They boast a wide portfolio of wines from pricey to value-driven. This structured yet plush Merlot captures their expertise in making affordable wines taste like they cost twice the price. Delicious alongside sizzling steak, it's a steal worth stocking up on for summer (and fall) sipping.

A Brazilian Sommelier Wants You to Know His Country Is Making Excellent Wine

The wine industry in Brazil is still young, but a São Paulo somm already has some favorite producers you've probably never heard of.

When it comes to South American wines, most drinkers think of Chile, Argentina, maybe even Uruguay. Typically absent from that list is the continent&aposs biggest and most populous country. However, Brazil’s young wine industry is trying to mount a challenge to their more experienced neighbors, specifically with sparkling wines, both whites and rosés.

Wine production in Brazil&aposs major growing region, Rio Grande do Sul, dates back to the 1600s, but for the first 300 years Brazilian producers focused on quantity rather than quality. However, in the 1970s French wine companies like Moet & Chandon arrived in Brazil bringing with them both equipment and centuries of experience.

While there are now a number of quality producers crafting great wines in Brazil, the majority of the wine is still consumed within the country itself and it is rarely exported to North America or Europe. But as the labels continue to succeed locally, though, both production and export are expected to grow and soon, Brazilian wines will almost certainly be available in US wine shops. We spoke with Cassiano Borges, sommelier at the recently opened Palผio Tangará Hotel and Tangará Jean-Georges Restaurante in São Paulo, to get his picks on bottles and producers to be on the look out for at a wine shop near you.

9 of the Most Splurge-Worthy Wines for 2021

Our social media feeds and news channels are filling up with people getting vaccinated as of late. And while we may not be having rooftop or poolside ragers right off the bat, we will be gathering in groups — vaxxed and unmasked — sometime soon. And for wine lovers, it’ll be a great time to pop a splurgy bottle of wine. Usually, purchasing bottles that cost the price of a smartphone or a modest designer bag are reserved for special occasions, and are hopefully shared with an intimate group of like-minded besties.

Emerging from a national nightmare and breathing in front of people again sounds like a special occasion to this wine lover. The idea of popping off on random conversations while popping bottles and taking normal life for granted again is both exciting and sorely missed. And if you have the means, or want to throw down because our world is healing and you just need a special occasion, it’s time to splurge.

When you buy an expensive appliance, I’m sure you do a lot of research — reading tons of reviews and trying to find the right one that will last. Spending the same amount of money on a bottle of wine can require an entirely different galaxy of research, including vintage reports and reviews like mine that you may not want to read. You just want a baller bottle, and you want it to be good.

The good news is that bottles in higher price ranges are all good, mostly great, and often mind-blowing. These wines are built layer by layer with precision and almost unimaginable skill — reflecting a sense of place from the swath of earth that bore the fruit and the light the sun reserves for that location. So, since almost all pricey wines are good, the decision of which to spend on comes down to your personal preference.

Below are some wines that made me sit down and grab a fan and a drool cup. When it comes to this category of price and quality, yields are lower, less of the wine is available, and vintage variation is real. This means availability can be iffy.

I tried to spread the love and show you wines that are not all the first baller bottles that would pop into your mind. There is Burgundy and Champagne, of course, but also some varietals that may be unfamiliar. You are in good hands. These wines are a great starting point, and once you’ve had the best of a region, it’s fun to explore the more everyday styles and get a sense of what you like about wine from that part of the world.

Delectus Estate Merlot $70

This wine comes from one of the warmest regions in Sonoma County: Knights Valley AVA. This is a testament to how a good wine with a high alcohol content can age and evolve.This rich and earthy Merlot has settled into a comfy aroma of blueberry liqueur. The fruit core has reduced to a nice medium weight, allowing some savory wafts of pepper on the peripherals of your senses. The wine is ready now.

Tenuta San Leonardo ‘San Leonardo’ Red Wine $80

Northern Italian wine from the Dolomites is something that dreams are made of. Grapes grow at high altitudes — retaining their natural acidity and enjoying more sun hours than the vineyards below. The result is wines that have curved angles, arresting aromas, and meaty fruit cores. This blend of Bordeaux varieties will command your attention until the bottle is empty. Aromas of cooking herbs like tarragon and oregano dance in unison with smells of cherry liquor. The tannins are folded into the body of the wine, giving it depth and complexity. You’ll need a special kind of generosity to share this wine.

Domaine Lavantureux Bougros Chablis Grand Cru $100

In Burgundy, the Chardonnay-based white wines stand out from their counterparts. They have a crisp, lean focus to them, not leaning too heavily into oak. The use of wood in the area is sparse, and when it is used, there is a reason. This extremely focused and succulent wine does just that. It sees a little bit of oak just to bring the depth from the center of the wine a bit. Lightly toasted country bread with a plume of flinty smoke wafts up into your senses with a hint of buttered popcorn. The structure is defined, yet weakens in pockets to reveal the amazing fruit depth. This Chardonnay will never leave your memory banks.

Paul Jaboulet Ainé Hermitage ‘La Chapelle’ $143

Real talk: This wine blows my mind. Smelling this wine, I lose time. I never want to stop breathing it in. This is what the mighty Syrah is like in its purest, most expressive form. Some think (including myself) that this is the grape’s apogee of character. In the hamlet of Hermitage in France’s Northern Rhone comes wines like this one. Smoked bacon sits in the center of this wine, as tarragon and oregano aromas filter your senses. As it opens, these culminate into herbed raw meat with a savory fruit core that rests on your palate like crushed velvet. The aromas and mouthfeel of this wine makes it the standard from which you’ll judge every other Syrah you come across.

Giuseppe Mascarello e Figlio Monprivato Barolo DOCG $186

If the zombies are at the gate, and I have just enough time to run down to my baller-ass cellar (that I don’t really have) and grab a bottle of wine to use as a cudgel and sip when safe, it’s a Barolo. Some of the most age-worthy wines in the world come from the Langhe hills in southern Piedmont made from the Nebbiolo grape. This gem comes from a single vineyard called Monprivato, owned solely by the Mascarello family. It expresses power and complexity wrapped up in elegance. The smells are reminiscent of leather shops, forest walks, and savory cherry tarts dusted with cinnamon. The natural acidity holds up the depth of the wine as your senses take in the fruit and the tannin structure melts around the edges.

Comando G El Tamboril Tinto $190

Grown on the massive plateau in the western region of Castilla y Leon, Spain, this wine is made from 70-year-old vines of Garnacha. It’s always nice to splurge on old-vine wine, especially when it’s from a vineyard (called Tamboril) that is less than three acres. Dark chocolate and cherry liqueur drift into your face, along with subtle smells of Mediterranean herbs. The tannins are just beginning to soften — gradually breaking the structure of the wine down into a delicious, chewy fruit. This is rustic elegance.

Cedric Bouchard Roses de Jeanne ‘Les Ursules’ Blanc de Noirs $200

Grower Champagne is a term flying all over the wine world. It just means that vineyard owners and growers who would usually sell their fruit to larger Champagne houses opt to make their own wine exclusively from their own fruit. It makes for some interesting examples that stand apart from the norm. This is one of them, and it’s stunning. You’ll be welcomed by smells of strawberries and cream. As the bubbles settle into calm DNA strands, sliced pear pops up on the nose. The palate is angular, with mineral edges cutting through the fruit and then fattening up a bit as the wine comes to room temperature. Whether on its own or with caviar and potato chips, this is a different kind of Champers.

Domaine Michel Noellat et Fils Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru $213

Clos de Vougeot is one of the most famous vineyards in the wine world. It was developed by monks in the Burgundy region called Côtes de Nuits, and has been maintained ever since. These days, it consists of 100 different parcels of Pinot Noir owned by around 80 different producers — some of whom own only one row. This is the height of small production, quality wine. I figure if you’re going to splurge on a Burgundy, why not make it a history lesson as well? This bottle comes from one of those 100 parcels. And wow, is it unique. Aromas of jerk sauce and even the char of grilled meat fold into the smells of aged balsamic and cherries. The mouthfeel defines delicate with plentiful natural acidity — lifting the core of fruit and carefully into playful elegance.

Schramsberg Reserve Magnum (1.5L) $260

Yeah, you read that right. A magnum. Schramsberg is America’s sparkling fine wine. These bubbles from one of Napa Valley’s most historic wineries have graced White House wine cellars of presidents from Nixon to Obama. There’s no better way to celebrate the return of normalcy than with two bottles’ worth of an amazing American Sparkler (still working on making this term a thing, DMs are always open). Pop that big ol’ bottle and breathe in the dizzying effervescence of orange peel and a dose of ginger. Revel in the layers of sliced pears, lightly toasted pastry, and a squeeze of peach. It’s balanced, harmonious, and, dammit, you’re worth it.

4 Tools to Properly Preserve Your Finest Wines

A “splurge-worthy” wine is hard to define. At times, it can be a stretch to spend $25 on a wine, and sometimes even cheaper, sentimental vinos deserve some extra care. No matter how much you paid for a wine, it makes sense to preserve it — especially when you really, really splurge.

For these situations, make sure you’re prepared to preserve your wines and have the tools you need to keep any wine from spoiling. We’ve compiled our favorite gear below so you can quickly fill your toolbox, relax, and say glou glou.

The Classic Wine Saver

It’s not enough to simply shove the same cork back into a wine bottle — and sometimes it’s frankly impossible. Leave ill-fitting corks behind with this miracle stopper that not only preserves but also pumps excess oxygen out of your wine. This will help keep your bottle from spoiling (which will be marked by a sharp, vinegar smell and taste in your wine) and ensure your wine is safe the next day — or hour — you return to it.

Mid-Century Modern Gold and Wood Wine Bottle Stopper

If wine tech doesn’t get your heart racing, this midcentury stopper will. Close your bottle in style with this acacia paneled stopper that will protect your bottle from excess oxygen, but also ensure you can still show it off half full — or half empty. The design also features gold plated, stainless steel accents and a food safe silicone base so your wine will stay safe until you’re ready to come back to it.

Heavyweight Champagne Stopper

The last few years have seen a rise in fizzy pet-nats and mineral-driven sparkling wines, but before you start imbibing, it’s important to make sure you have the right stopper. This stopper is great for Champagne, and can also preserve any other sparkling wine. Made from stainless steel with a tight, inner silicone seal, this stopper is heavyweight enough to keep your bubbly from going flat. It’s also restaurant-grade, so you can sleep easy knowing your Prosecco will be mimosa-ready in the morning.

The Grand Reserve Dual-Zone Wine Fridge (94 Bottle)

Finally, if you’re looking to preserve your wine before you even open it, you need to get a wine fridge. Refrigerating open bottles will slow oxygen’s ability to disrupt their taste and structure and ensure the safe storage of your finest wines.

Even your weeknight, impulse bottles will be grateful for the upgrade because this model can store up to 94 bottles at a time. With a sleek, stainless steel frame it’ll fit into any kitchen corner and keep your bottles at an optimal temperature 24/7. Best of all, it comes with a full year’s warranty on parts and labor, and five years of coverage on the compressor, so you’ll never have to worry about your wine tech again.

Sommelier Roundtable: Valentine’s Day–Worthy Wines

Especially for couples celebrating this year’s Valentine’s Day at home, a memorable wine can make the evening. While it can be tempting to reach for that go-to bottle of bubbly, there are benefits to branching out, like the shared experience of discovering a new wine together.

So what to pull for your sweetheart? Seven sommeliers from Wine Spectator Restaurant Award winners are here to offer some expert advice. Their picks do include some stellar Champagnes, but the pros also point to sweet dessert-wine stunners, lesser-known favorites, charming on-theme bottles and more.

Wine Spectator: What’s a special wine you’d recommend for Valentine’s Day?

Sanae Halprin, sommelier at the Bellagio in Las Vegas

Saint-Amour Beaujolais because of its romantic name. Contrary to the perception of simple wine, Beaujolais wines from this cru are serious, which is very suggestive for the occasion. Also, Château Calon-Ségur St.-Estèphe. Not only for its heart-shaped label, but the wine also reminds me of bitter chocolate.

Justin Chin, beverage director at Hina Yakitori in San Francisco

Not to be too Hallmark-y or cliché, but I pick Champagne for sure. Brut rosé, more specifically. If I had to pick a producer, it would be André Clouet, hands down. It’s very sentimental to me.

I had a personal experience three years ago with my wife. We went there the first week of March—we missed out on Valentine’s Day with my schedule at the restaurant, so that was the only time I could get out. We actually got invited by Jean-François Clouet himself. He’s been the winemaker for a long time now, and it was just so intimate. The guy picked us up in his Range Rover, took us up to the vineyards in Bouzy, gave his whole family history for, like, half an hour, and I learned everything about him and his family … then we hung out in his 18th-century cottage in the town of Champagne and we had lunch. It was just so memorable, and romantic as well.

Jessica Altieri, director of beverage for Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts in Palm Beach, Fla.

I fell in love with Donnafugata's Ben Ryé Passito di Pantelleria the first time I visited Sicily. Made from 100 percent dried Zibibbo grapes, this Sicilian wine is sweet, heaven in a glass. Filled with delicious honey, dried apricot and tangerine notes and a silky, yet bright lingering finish.

If sweet isn’t your thing and you’re looking to splurge with that steak dinner, then try to get your hands on Penfolds’ g3, a wine blended from three Grange vintages spanning seven years: 2008, 2012 and 2014. This will forever be a very special wine in my sipping Rolodex, as I first shared a bottle with their winemaker, Peter Gago, while in Hong Kong for its launch.

Eric Perejda, sommelier at Beano's Cabin in Beaver Creek, Colo.

I can think of a few fun ways to tie in wine for this special occasion: Change up your Champagne habit and splurge on a rosé from your favorite Champagne house or grower Champagne. Consider treating yourself and your soulmate to a French Pinot Noir from Chambolle-Musigny. Arguably the best of the premiers crus in this commune come from Les Amoureuses (“the lovers”) vineyard.

Or, if Cabernet [Sauvignon]–based wines are more your speed, a third-growth Bordeaux estate, Calon-Ségur, adorns a heart on its label—we have listed the the 2009 at Beano’s Cabin, and it is a personal favorite from St.-Estèphe commune. Craggy Range winery in New Zealand produces a Martinborough Pinot by the name Aroha, Māori for “love.” Valentine’s dinner would also be the perfect opportunity to reconnect memories of that great trip you took together to a wine-producing region.

Whatever you choose, you can make it your own with a touch of extra thinking and preparation.

Shanning Newell, head sommelier at Bourbon Steak in Nashville

One my favorite wines that we’ll be offering at Bourbon Steak Nashville for Valentine’s Day is the Coup de Foudre line. Coup de Foudre, meaning a flash of lightning [in French], refers more specifically to the moment when “lightning strikes,” or a special moment that you want to capture forever. The wine’s origin has a very romantic story behind it, and one of my favorite aspects of this wine is that the label peels off to reveal a section for notes so one can inscribe who the wine was shared with, where the wine was enjoyed, and why. So romantic!

Ryan McLoughlin, head sommelier at Georgian Room in Sea Island, Ga.

There’s nothing better than to share a bottle of rosé Champagne. I like more of the saignée style of rosés: a little bit richer, darker fruit and darker quality of a rosé. René Geoffroy’s Rosé de Saignée, in a half-bottle, is a perfect suggestion for a couple starting their Valentine’s meal off.

But also, if you don’t want to go and spend your dollar on a really expensive rosé Champagne, finish the meal with chocolate and a glass of Brachetto d'Acqui, from either Banfi’s Rosa Regale, or Demarie wines makes a beautiful Brachetto called Birbet. I think a Northern Italian, sweeter red sparkling is a fun, fun finish to a Valentine’s meal.

Hannah Barton, assistant sommelier at Herons in Cary, N.C.

Anne-Sophie Dubois Les Cocottes Fleurie, a delicious and well-made wine that I would describe as being “pretty.” It's intensely floral, bursting with red fruits like strawberry and cherry, and very bright in flavor and color. Flowers, strawberries, bright red—does it get any more Valentine's than that?

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Best Italian: Ferrari Perlé Trentodoc

While you might think of Italy as being synonymous with Prosecco (which isn’t wrong), there’s much more of the country’s sparkling wine scene just waiting to be discovered. Miguel Martinez, a sommelier at Vino Veritas Wine Bar and Bottle Shop in Portland, Oregon, is partial to this lovely bottle of bubbles from Trentino, a mountainous winemaking region in northern Italy that uses the Traditional Method to make its namesake wines. Iconic Trentodoc producer Ferrari and its beloved vintage Blanc de Blancs, Perlé, is Martinez’s go-to, thanks to its golden-yellow color, elegant richness (though make no mistake, this is a dry wine), and notes of almonds, apple skin, and subtle spice.

Best Non-Alcoholic: Freixenet Sparkling Alcohol-Removed Wine

  • Region: Catalonia, Spain
  • ABV: 0 - 0.5%
  • Tasting Notes: Citrus, Pineapple, Underripe Peach

Sometimes a booze-free brunch is just what the doctor ordered. In this case, looking to Freixenet’s new line of alcohol-removed sparkling wines is key. Produced in both white and rosé formats, these alcohol-free bubbles are perfect for enjoying the taste of true sparkling wine without experiencing the after-effects of booze. Expect fruit-forward flavors of citrus, pineapple, and underripe peach.

Why Trust Liquor?

Vicki Denig is a wine and travel journalist based between New York and Paris. She is a Certified Specialist of Wine through the Society of Wine Educators. Her work regularly appears on Wine-Searcher, VinePair and more. Denig is also the Content Manager for Verve Wine, a bi-coastal retail operation (New York & San Francisco).

How We Chose the Best Online Sommelier Classes

While the world of wine requires all senses, the industry has adapted favorably to moving online. Now, you can traverse the world of wine from your couch—regardless of budget.

The above classes range from quick blanket guides on all things wine to more extensive deep dives into varieties and terroir. There are some that are highly regarded and require time and monetary commitment, and others are more fit to quickly brushing up on skills. We also included free and cost-friendly courses that narrow in on specific grape-growing regions and styles like Champagne and Loire.