KENNEWICK — Sparkling wine, or if you prefer Champagne, is the classic holiday wine.
Gratefully, we have an excellent selection of Northwest sparkling wines available at our local wine outlets.
Some of the best are made right here in the Mid-Columbia and are on sale at bargain prices. Order online from the wineries or check out stores that have a good wine selection.
Stock up for Christmas and New Year’s.
I had a Wine Press Northwest tasting panel blind-taste 10 Pacific Northwest sparklers. Three were judged “outstanding,” four “excellent” and the other three were rated “recommended.”
Domaine Ste. Michelle nonvintage Brut, $8 — This Paterson sparkling wine giant is a consistent producer of quality sparkling wines at affordable prices. Bubbly, creamy with citrus and apple flavors.
Domaine Ste. Michelle nonvintage Extra Dry, $8 — A nicely balanced fizzy drink showing off Fuji apples, lemon curd and holiday spices.
Domaine Ste. Michelle nonvintage Blanc de Noir, $8 — See a pattern here? Strawberries come to mind along with cranberries and a long bubbly finish.
Ste. Chapelle nonvintage sparkling Brut, $8-$9 — Made in California for this Idaho winery from Idaho Chardonnay grapes. Toasted nuts greet you followed by a slightly sweet citrus flavor and finish.
Domaine Ste. Michelle 2003 Luxe, $23 — This is winemaker Rick Casqueiro’s vintage sparkler that’s made to taste rich, and it does. It also improves with age. Coconut aromas and citrus flavors hallmark this wine.
Argyle 2007 Rose Brut, $45 — An Oregon sparkler highly rated by Wine Advocate, this is a true party wine and sometimes available locally. Think strawberries and cream with a cherry cola kick.
Domaine Ste. Michelle nonvintage Blanc de Blanc, $8 — Made from chardonnay offering a hint of caramel-coated apples with a crisp, refreshing finish.
Moonlight Cellars nonvintage Blanc de Blanc, $20 — Made in Kennewick by Alan Pangborn. Nice toasty beginning with a hint of lemon peel and orange.
Argyle 2006 Brut, $28 — Made from chardonnay and pinot noir offering creamy bubbles with a rich, wonderful lemon-lime flavor.
Pacific Rim nonvintage White Flowers, $14 — This sparkler from the West Richland winery that specializes in Riesling was made in California from Washington grapes. It is zesty and delicious with tastes of pineapple upside-down cake.
* Bob Woehler has been writing about Pacific Northwest wines since 1978. E-mail him at email@example.com or check out his past columns at www.winepressnw.com.Photo Caption: Sparkling wine, or if you prefer Champagne, is the classic holiday wine.