Champagne, Cava, Prosecco, oh my! To the dilettante, the choices of quality bubbly can seem endless, especially during holiday season. So, we consulted the experts––namely, Master of Wine Christy A. Canterbury of Canterbury Wine, a New York sommelier. "Prosecco frequently is the most crowd-pleasing bubbly as it is vivaciously aromatic," explains Canterbury about the difference between the three wines. "Cava is more rooted in bass notes of earth and straw. Still, neither touches Champagne’s majesty. Whether you prefer a fruitier or a more mineral style, Champagne delivers in its impact of flavor complexity. It does, however, pay to know what to buy as quality can differ wildly between houses." That said, here are her picks:
Prosecco: Drusian Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore D.O.C.G. Spumante Millesimato
"It’s rare to find a Prosecco that is vintage dated. Like most sparkling wines, including Champagne, it tends to be a blend of several years, so that each bottle resembles the one before and the one after. Drusian makes an excellent Millesimato, or vintage bottling, that I’ve been following for seven years now. Hands down, it’s my favorite Prosecco in the U.S. market.
Cava: Raventos i Blanc 2010 Cava Brut Rosé ‘de Nit’
"Most Cava is white, but this one is a head-turning rosado. It uses only five percent of a red grape called Monastrell, or Mourvèdre in France, to produce its dazzling color. All bubbly is festive, and rosé bubbly is always the most visually compelling."
Champagne: Charles Heidsieck NV Brut Réserve
"Established in 1851, Charles Heidsieck is an old-timer in Champagne. However long its lineage, Charles Heidsieck’s packaging has been completely refreshed recently. The wines haven’t changed though. They have been deeply delicious long before its new svelte bottle shape came cruising down the bottling line. The Brut Réserve continues to show all the dried red plum, yellow apple, toasted baguette and oyster shell flavors that typify fine Champagne."