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Annual Sparkling Wine Sale!

by Jane Augustine

Champagne holder
Champagne holder

My gateway into sparkling wine was something bubbly from California that my friends and I used to pass around in a circle. It was low-priced and low in alcohol, high in both sugar and carbonation, but it made us feel alive with agency and sophistication. That’s the power of bubbles, I guess. Luckily for me, my palate evolved and was further awakened years later when Kermit offered me a position in our office in Burgundy. There, colleagues and I could order Champagne straight from the domaines of Lassalle, Fourny, and Bara, so often that their wines became our house apéritifs. Gone were the days of sweet swill, welcome were those of fine and balanced grower Champagne.
  There was one small drawback to living in Beaune: the selection of sparkling wines from regions outside of Champagne and Burgundy, let alone other countries, was limited. But the post also bestowed upon us the privileged generosity, especially around the holidays, of growers from every region in France and Italy who regaled us with end-of-year gifts—often, magnums of something home-grown and sparkling. How fortunate we were, in such a small town, to fill our cellars with artisanal frizzante like Davide Vignato’s Primo Incontro from the Veneto, or Moretto’s savory Pignoletto from Emilia-Romagna. We even earned a reputation among friends and locals for opening the most interesting apéritifs with aromatic appeal: exotic sparklers made from a cornucopia of grapes, like Boxler’s Crémant d’Alsace, and delicate Proseccos from Sommariva and Gregoletto. Racy Chenin beauties from the Loire like Thierry Germain’s Saumur “Bulles de Roche” and Champalou’s Vouvray Brut were the antidote to Burgundy’s jaded palates, welcome diversions from an abundance of Chardonnay-based sparklers.
   While we all have our own memories with sparkling wine––be it a coming-of-age tale, a life-changing bottle, or a festive celebration––there’s always something intriguing in our imports with which to create new ones. So without further ado, and with no shortage of expressions to describe these offerings: mousseux, pétillant, frizzante, or spumante . . . dive into our selections and discover what the many regions across France and Italy have to offer.

Now through November 30, take 20% sparkling wines from Champagne, Alsace, Liguria, the Loire, and more! Visit our Berkeley shop or CLICK HERE and use coupon code SPARKLING2023 at checkout.

More from the July 2024 Newsletter