E. Spencer Toy
The West Coast's A-plus sparkling wine producers ― Domaine Carneros, Schramsberg, Gloria Ferrer, Roederer Estate ― are unmatched for quality. And for any (or every) old Friday night, tasty, inexpensive Korbel is a good bet. But we also have a number of less well-known sparklers that are delicious.
Domaine Ste. Michelle Extra Dry nonvintage (Columbia Valley; $12). It's hard to beat the price on this sipper―soft, with easy-to-like apple flavors.
Gruet Brut nonvintage (New Mexico; $14). One of the best-kept secrets in the West. A fantastic sparkler.
Scharffenberger Brut nonvintage (Anderson Valley; $19). John Scharffenberger, of chocolate fame, started ― then later sold ― this gem of a winery in California's cool Anderson Valley. This one is light, fresh, and frothy.
Beaulieu Vineyard Brut 2001 (Carneros; $40). Zesty, citrusy, and edgy. Waiting for seafood (Christmas Eve crab).
Soter "Beacon Hill" Brut Rosé (Oregon; $45). Faint crimson, with crisp, light berry flavors. An elegant wine to start an evening with.