As holiday gift-giving reaches fever pitch over the next couple weeks, why guess at your friends or family’s sizes to ensure that new sweater will fit, or wonder if they really need a new cutting board? Not only is a great bottle of wine always appreciated this time of year (or really, any time of year), but sometimes a fun bonus with gifting a stellar bottle is that your recipient just may be inclined to share it with you down the road! And, of course, who doesn’t love bubbles? Here are three top Canadian sparkling wines perfect for gift-giving (but you can always feel free to treat yourself to ‘em, as well)! And if you act fast, you can get Lang Vineyards' Sparkling Rosé with free shipping.
Benjamin Bridge 2008 Brut, Nova Scotia ($49.95)
Benjamin Bridge is one of Canada’s most iconic crafters of sparkling wine, and their Nova Scotian provenance along with their use of indigenous grape varieties guarantees a terroir-driven style unlikely to be duplicated or mimicked anywhere else in the world. Winemaker Jean-Benoit Deslauriers has made this 2008 Brut from Chardonnay, L’Acadie Blanc, Pinot Noir and Seyval Blanc. With its quality amount of time spent on the lees before disgorgement, there’s a refined elegance here, with aromatics of salty sea air and fresh lemon zest, leading to a palate of peaches and nectarines rounded out with a touch of toasty character. A “when in Rome” philosophy will serve well here; this wine is tailor-made for enjoying with seafood.
Summerhill Pyramid Winery 1998 Cipes Ariel Brut, British Columbia ($88)
Made from 59 percent Pinot Noir, 40 percent Chardonnay and just a splash of Pinot Meunier, this traditional-method, organic sparkling wine is arguably the jewel in the crown of Canadian sparkling wines. Toasty and rich from the better part of two decades spent on the lees, there’s stylish charm here, creamy with well-woven lemon, apricot, nougat and nutmeg. I’ve participated in blind tastings where this wine has been put along side Champagne royalty like Krug, and while there’s a slightly different style with this wine, it has shown time and time again that it doesn’t have to be shy about enjoying a spot at the table, standing tall with some of the world’s best bubble. Bonus: the packaging is gorgeous!
Lang Vineyards 2015 Sparkling Rosé, British Columbia ($24.50)
This cheery, fizzy blend of Pinot Meunier & Pinot Noir will not only make a great gift, but it also makes a perfect wine for Christmas dinner! Pink wine in the winter? Yes, sir! Ultra food-friendly with red berry fruit and a touch of earthiness, Lang’s rosy outing will provide a great contrast for the salty notes of your gravy-smothered turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes, washing ‘em all down with glee! So, yes, nab a few bottles for Christmas gifts, but ensure to get a couple for yourself, too! This is the week to do it, as Lang is offering free shipping when you order six or more of their wines, and you can feel free to mix and match!
Kurtis Kolt is a Vancouver-based wine consultant, writer, competition judge and enthusiast. Track him down at KurtisKolt.com, or on Twitter and Instagram @KurtisKolt.