Pop! Fizz! Cheers to Sparkling Wines!

by Robin Barr Sussman on December 17, 2020 in Food+Drink, Drink, Gift Guides,

Few beverages provide the same excitement during the holidays as the pop of a cork and the fizz as bubbles settle, anticipating that first sip. Besides its gifting potential, sparkling wine easily mixes into cocktails for a festive twist. Try the elegant cocktail recipe below for a toast to 2021!


Photo courtesy Cremant De Bordeaux

Crémant de Bordeaux is made using the same technique as Champagne but with grapes from a different region. Rich with a lingering finish, this high quality, affordable find should be in your flute. Score Malean Crémant de Bordeaux Brut ($14.99); Calvet Crémant de Bordeaux Brut rosé ($17.99) and more.

Photo courtesy Bollinger Champagne

No matter where New Year’s Eve takes you, Bollinger Champagne, famous since 1829, will make it bright ($59 and up). James Bond fans would love the Special Cuvée Limited Edition 007 gift pack, celebrating its 40-year partnership as the official Champagne of 007.


Photo courtesy Conegliano Valdobbiadene DOCG

At the top of the quality pyramid in the Prosecco world, find Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG, a luxury everyone can afford.  Adami Col Credas Rive di Farra di Soligo Brut (about $20), and Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Extra Brut Rive di Guia ($14) are a few among many greats.

Enjoy Guinigi Prosecco with charcuterie this holiday. Photo courtesy Untapped Media

‘Tis the season for Guinigi Prosecco DOC Treviso from 3 Badge Beverage Corp. to settle in your fridge for spontaneous bottle popping and gifting (about $17).


Photo courtesy Benovia/Frank Gutierrez

Ring in the new year with Benovia Winery’s bubbly sunshine in a bottle, 2017 Russian River Valley Blanc de Blancs ($50) made using heirloom clones of estate chardonnay. Or ship the New Year’s party pack ($100).

This year in particular, the Flying by the Seat of Our Pants gift box from Bricoleur makes a great gift. Courtesy photo

Joseph Phelps Vineyards recently debuted its first sparkling wine, 2015 Ovation Freestone Vineyards, in honor of the late Joseph Phelps. The seamless blend of chardonnay and pinot noir makes for a keepsake bottle, gift, or very special occasion ($125). Also snag the silky 2018 Freestone pinot noir ($60).

If we need a motto for 2020, it’s Flying by the Seat of Our Pants by Bricoleur Vineyards, Sonoma County. Give this lip-smacking California sparkling wine gift pack for a fun conversation starter ($125)!

Photo courtesy MacRostieWinery

The MacRostie Winery Bubbles & Light is a thoughtful gift that adds to the ambiance of any occasion, especially New Year’s Eve. Included is the newest vintage of sparkling brut, signature wine candle, personalized gift card and an Estate Tasting for two ($70).


Vina Esmeralda lives up to its name. Courtesy photo

Bid adieu to a year we’d all like to forget with fashionably packaged, fruit-forward Vina Esmeralda ($20) Brut from Familia Torres, a historic brand with a global footprint.

BUY WINES: Online at each winery; Spec’s; Total Wine & More; Houston Wine Merchant (note: the latter will order wines if they don’t carry it and can locate it).

Guinigi Torre Frizzante Cocktail

(Yield: 1 serving)

Guinigi Cocktail. Photo courtesy Untapped Media

Salty, sweet and savory bites served on New Year’s Eve will get a lift with this freshly garnished cocktail recipe from 3 Badge Beverage Corp.


Guinigi Prosecco, chilled
5 ounces St. Germaine elderflower liqueur
Lemon twist
Rosemary sprig


Pour elderflower liqueur into the bottom of a Champagne flute and fill with prosecco.
Garnish with a lemon twist and rosemary sprig. Enjoy!

Cover photo courtesy Jeshoots on Unsplash

Robin Barr Sussman (rbs@pdq.net) is a freelance culinary and travel writer who studied at the Culinary Institute of America Greystone, Calif. As a chef for Sonoma County wineries, her specialty was food and wine pairing. Sussman is a columnist for Houston Modern Luxury Magazine, Prime Living and Houston House & Home. Her work also appears in Texas Monthly, Fodor’s and Private Clubs Magazine.