There is nothing quite like a great bottle of bubbly. Whether it is to ring in an occasion or for a lazy Thursday, there’s just nothing that compares. Now—and probably more than ever—navigating the holiday era during Covid means less in-person gathering, elevated virtual exchanges and a little bit of wallet Tetris. So if that means you’ll have a smaller squad at your home or are opting to be behind the computer screen altogether, either course involves finding ways to keep the holiday spirit alive, on a much smaller scale.
Having bubbles on hand is one way to preserve the festive spirits. With plenty of sparkling wine categories to choose from, there is bound to be something to fit the bill! Today we spotlight two sparkling choices for you: one Brut and one Brut Rosé to fit your needs.
Roederer Estate Brut – A crisp bubbly, shaped by pome fruit elegance and toasty restraint, this has enough zest to keep up with that holiday energy. Roederer Estate is the California counterpart of Champagne Louis Roederer and brings the elegance of Champagne to Mendocino. 100% estate grown.
Gran Moraine Brut Rosé Think pink. From Oregon’s Willamette Valley Yamhill-Carlton AVA, this Rosé offers a focal point of luscious apple notes and soft petals, with an accent of stone minerality. It’s only released once a year!
So as we near the close of 2020, here is an A-Z list of how to hack your holiday sparkling style in the age of pandemic life—from fun bubbly insight, to safety measures, to staying power tips for any wine leftovers:
Always chill before popping that cork! Warm bubbles are no fun.
Be understanding. It’s been a rough year for many. Holiday style might look a little different this year, but your bubbly at least can remain chic.
Care about quality sparkling wine stoppers. Fizz isn’t something that sticks around for long, no matter the mode of re-storage. To keep whatever’s left intact, using a stopper similar to this one or this one should do just fine.
Don’t get caught up on the pseudo ideal that you must have Champagne. The majority of the sparkling wine available for purchase isn’t even Champagne—that is only one of the many options you have as a consumer! I adore Champagne as any other, but if you simply can’t swing Champagne this year there is no shame in opting for alternatives which are a fraction of the cost.
Effective storage choices. If you plan on grabbing something to store (in addition to what you’ll already be drinking) consider if your current storage allows for sparkling wine sized bottles and their weight. Not all wine racks are created equal, and many are flimsy and are made to fit only standard sizes.
Flexibility. Be ready for workarounds during any holiday arrangements (even if it’s virtual) and don’t get your tinsel in a tangle.
Gift bubbly. It’s yummy. Aesthetically pleasing. Screams fancy. Perfect 🍾
Help one another. Sparkle with kindness!
If the neck of the bottle is much warmer than the bottom, be ready for a bit of a blowout. Neck check is key. To avoid, try to get an even chill around the bottle.
Jars. Mason and pickling jars particularly. These are the closest to airtight you’re going to get. Pick a size closest to the amount you have leftover, the less of a gap between the cap and the liquid the better. With many of us opting for smaller or virtual celebrations, the reality is there might be leftover booze, even if we intend that we’ll finish.
Keep stored wines away from direct light and heat like any wine bottle.
Leave the wire cage on when opening a bottle. Safety first!
Make it personal. Add small holiday touches wherever you can. Even create a special background for your video calls. Whatever works for you!
NV (Non-Vintage) options can offer tremendous value. While Vintage expressions are a luxurious treat, what’s great about NV selections is you’re often able to get a feel for a consistent house style.
Offer pink! Serving sparkling Rosé is a great way to put a stylish twist on your selections without straying too far away from the fundamentals.
Point importance is key. Point away from people, cherished objects and those video calls. Even the most seasoned sparkling wine pro can slip up sometime.
Quick on your feet. Having a bottle of bubbles on hand is great for last minute or unexpected plans.
Remember: the pressure in a bottle of sparkling wine is more than a car’s tire.
Say no to Coravin. While the Coravin is the ultimate no-wine-waste gadget, perfect for many other wines in your stash, DO NOT attempt on any sparkling wine.
To-do list: Toast to holiday cheer and the forthcoming new year 🥂
Virtual is the MVP of quarantine! Responsible social distancing has been made possible with virtual wine and cocktail sessions. Shall We Wine continues to bring you amazing virtual events into the new year. Check out our event calendar for what’s next and become a Shall We Wine member to get the most exclusive experiences there are to offer!
Wandering around while a bottle is only partially open is a no-go. Don’t get distracted and walk away with the wire cage, letting the bottle sit there even with the cork in place. There are instances where it can wiggle out on its own.
XOXO. From social distanced hugs, to e-mailed holiday greetings, to shipping bottles of bubbles… there are still ways to create that holiday atmosphere and send love from afar if you are unable to physically be with loved ones.
Your holiday party, your rules. If you have set guidelines, especially in an in-person situation during this time, address them with your guests. It doesn’t make you a Scrooge.
Et voilà! Keep dull, one-dimensional festivities a thing of the past and hack holiday sparkling like a boss.
Happy holidays from Shall We Wine! For more baller to budget type tips, tricks and the inside scoop on what else Shall We Wine is drinking, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter at www.shallwewine.com!
Disclosure: Sample bottles of Roederer Estate and Gran Moraine were received. Samples submitted to Shall We Wine are for review and thoroughly assessed before posting.