December 31, 2008

Bubbly, Bubbly, Bubbly... and More Bubbly

This year I couldn't decide on one celebratory sparkler so I rounded up six popular standards and decided that I would pair them up and pit them against each other in a bubbly New Year's throwdown: two Spanish cavas, two California sparklers and two real-deal French Champagnes. As I am house-bound with a sick three-year-old this evening, this tasting comprises the the exciting entertainment for me and the dashing Mr. CheapFunWInes. Here is the line-up:

freixenetbrut.jpgFreixenet Sparkling Cordon Negro Brut $11
35% Macabeo, 25% Xarel·lo, 40% Parellada. A Cava with an exceptional, fresh, fruity style and a lingering aroma. It is the perfect partner for the finest food and excellent at any time. (via


segura-viudas-brut-reserva.jpgSegura Viudas Brut Reserva $11
50% Macabeo, 35% Parellada, 15% Xarel lo. Segura Viudas Brut Reserva, created from a blend of reserve and non-vintage wines, is clean and delicate, yet rich in flavor. The wine is vinified according to méthode champenoise technique and is aged in the bottle for up to 2 years. This fine cuvée is fairly crisp with an interesting floral note and mouth-pleasing sensation of creaminess. (via

mumm_napa_brut.jpgMumm Napa Brut Prestige $17
This hugely popular, award winning wine offers touches of vanilla and melon, with firm acid and crisp structure. Medium bodied, with excellent mousse and a rich lingering finish, it is equally at home with a plate of iced oysters, fried calamari, chicken or a favorite pasta with a mild sauce. (via


chandonbrut.gifChandon Brut Classic $20
51% Pinot Noir 43% Chardonnay 4% Pinot Meunier 2% Pinot Blanc Classic balance typifies this refreshingly soft, yet dry wine. The wine delivers complex apple and pear characteristics accented by citrus spice over notes of almond and caramel in the bouquet. When you taste Brut Classic, look for nutty flavors with hints of brioche that build to a refreshingly dry finish. (via

pommeryPOP.jpgPommery POP $10 (187ml)
Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier Impertinent and deliberately out of step, POP is a champagne with a determined commitment to the future - designed for lovers of beauty and non-conformity who are looking for new sensations. POP, is the sound of the cork leaving the bottle, conjuring up the spontaneous high spirits of party-time. (via


piperheidsieck.jpgPiper Heidsieck Brut NV $10 (187ml)
55% Pinot Noir, 30% Meunier and 15% Chardonnay Piper-Heidsieck cuvée Brut combines 50 rigorously selected growths. Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes create a more rounded blend and ensure the originality of the Piper-Heidsieck style. The wine's harmony develops over the course of slow ageing in Piper-Heidsieck's chalk cellars. (via

Obviously the French champagnes are a touch outside the $20 provenance of CheapFunWines, but I made it work by splurging on a split of each. I found all of these at Cost Plus World Market, but as you may have noticed above, they are also available on

Throughout the evening, we will be checking in and reporting our tasting notes and thoughts and declaring a winner in each category.


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Posted by Noël Wallace at December 31, 2008 3:02 PM
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