Food & Drink

Sparkling wines go well with food year-round

Tomorrow night is New Year’s Eve, and if you’re like most wine drinkers, you’ll be celebrating the occasion with something bubbly in your glass.

As we close out 2014, keep in mind that Champagne and sparkling wines are something that should be enjoyed throughout the year, not just on Dec. 31.

The beverages are delicious on their own when well-chilled, and many of them are made in a dry or off-dry style with high acidity, which makes them excellent food-pairing partners. Fresh shellfish, sushi, eggs Benedict and deep-fried foods are just a few of the many possibilities.

Resolve to make next year one in which you discover the virtues of sparkling wines by serving them more often. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by their broad range of flavors and styles as well as their overall versatility.

For today, let me offer a few suggestions to get you started:

Riondo Non-Vintage Prosecco Spago Nero (about $11) – This nicely priced sparkler is made in a lighter, almost delicate frizzante style with ultra-fine bubbles. Fuji apple and bright pear flavors shine through along with a kiss of vibrant acidity on an off-dry finish.

Berlucchi ’61 Franciacorta Non-Vintage Rosé (about $35) – This Italian sparkling wine is comprised of 60 percent pinot noir and 40 percent chardonnay, and its pale peach/coral color looks exquisite in the glass. Aromas of freshly baked bread and crisp flavors of red apple, ruby grapefruit and green pear predominate, while the finish is refreshingly abrupt and clean with a trace of minerality.

If you’d like to try a sparkling wine made in Washington be sure to put Yakima’s Treveri Cellars on your must-try list. Every one of the winery’s current releases is highly recommended and their entire portfolio is amazingly well-priced at $19-a-bottle or less.

Mountain Dome Winery in Spokane is another Washington-produced choice for good sparklers. This long-standing winery celebrated its 30th anniversary earlier this year.

Closer to home, consider sparkling wines from Masquerade Wine Company in Bellingham or GLM Wine Co. in Blaine. According to GLM owner and winemaker Tom Davis, the winery will be featuring its first limited release (just 40 cases total) of two sparkling wines sourced from Oregon grapes.

The 2011 La Reine Brut Sparkling Wine is a white wine made from chardonnay and gamay noir juice, while the 2011 La Robe Brut Red Sparkling Wine is made from chardonnay juice and the skins of the gamay noir grape, which give it its red color.

Each wine retails for $45, but will be available to wine club members for only $36. For additional information, go to

Cheers and Happy New Year!