Champagne and Cookies: a Sparkling Party Idea

It’s that party time of year, but who has the time to prepare for a really fancy event?  For my holiday celebration, I did a really simple party:  cookies and champagne.   The French producers of “real”  champagne will not be pleased to see me extending the term to include sparkling wine of all kinds and from non-French regions.  Pardon me, but budgets prevail!

Most of the sparklers below you can get at Costco or supermarkets, and the standard is 1 bottle per 2 guests.  And the cookies?   Do a cookie swap type of party where everyone brings two dozen cookies and is thus entitled to take some others’ home.   Keep cookies-and-champagne in mind for Valentine’s Day parties too.

The California Brut Classic Chandon.  This is a soft yet dry and refreshing wine,  made in the traditional champagne style,  with a second fermentation in the bottle.   Grapes are the traditional Champagne varieties, and in this bottle I served,  the blend was 55% Pinot Noir, 33% Chardonnay, 3% Pinot Meunier and a nice 9% Pinot Blanc joined in the crowd. Taste and aroma of apple and pear, with citrus, spice, almond and caramel in the bouquet.  12 percent alcohol.  Around $20/bottle.

Someone gifted me a Zonin Spumante Brut Prosecco DOC.  This Italian sparkler is intense and fruity, nicely aromatic with hints of white flower and green apples.  Made completely from Glera grapes, it has a delicate almond note.  This well-balanced and appealing sparkler has 11 percent alcohol.   Average price on the internet is $11/bottle.

The Lamarca Prosecco DOC  is a sparkler from the Veneto region of Italy,  available at Costco for about $12.  The bottle notes that it has fresh and vibrant bouquet of golden apple, white peach and honeysuckle are correct!   Yummy, and only 11 percent alcohol. 

You’ll have to go to a well-rounded wine shop for this one, but I suggest you try a sparkler from South Africa, the Graham Beck Brut, “method cap classique”.  The blend is 58% Chardonnay and 42% pinot.  It is a crisp, light, tasty, dry sparkling wine.   11.5 percent alcohol, $17/bottle internet price.

The Chandon California Blanc De Noirs from Carneros has a taste of berries and spice, and is a full- bodied  medium-dry sparkler.  I always read the back labels, and Chandon’s has a graph that shows you where the wine is in terms of the dry-to-sweet spectrum.  Nice touch.  13 percent  alcohol,   $14-$16/bottle

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