Second Glass


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Style: sparkling



2005 Westport Rivers Cuvée RJR

USA, Massachusetts, Southeastern New England

Made the same way as French Champagne, with the same grapes, this is an awesome alternative to fancy French bubbles. All the fruit is grown, bottled and aged in southeastern Mass. It’s affordable, so you get a whole lot of awesome wine for your money. This should be on every restaurant’s wine list in Boston.

he loved it!


2002 Gloria Ferrer Royal Cuvée

USA, California, Napa Valley, Carneros

A California bubbly with some age on it means you’ll get crisp apple, citrus and yeasty flavors. Celebrate in style and drink with some food like oysters, lobster or sushi.

he loved it!


2009 Dolce Casalone Mariposa Brachetto

Italy, Piedmont, Asti

It's red, bubbly, sweet and also happens to taste even better with chocolate. This stuff has "panty remover" written all over it! It's only 5% alcohol (about the same as beer) so you can pop a bottle after dinner, grub on some chocolate and not worry about getting too drunk. This plus chocolate is the best way to end any date!

he loved it!


Punkt Genau Gruner Veltliner

Austria, Niederosterreich

Bubbles are classy but this one has a cool bottle and is super fun to say! Made in Austria from the grape, Gruner Veltliner, this dry sparkling is a really cool bottle of wine. Literally translated to "on the dot" the Punkt Genau isn't something you see everyday. Impress your wino friends, or pour it instead of overpriced French Champagne. Either way you'll feel badass explaining, "yah, das ist GROO-ner VEHLT-ly-ner."

he loved it!


2009 La Corte Lunae Brachetto

Italy, Piedmont

Red, every so slightly sweet, bubbly and it's even better with chocolate! Yeah, this wine definitely has "panty remover" written all over it! Bright red fruit flavors dance through your mouth as you sip with with chocolates from a heart-shaped box. Plus, you can pop a bottle after dinner and not worry about getting too tipsy, as it's quite low in alcohol. There pretty much isn't a better way to end a date!

he loved it!


NV Cristalino Cava

Spain, Penedes

Hands down, one of the best, all around sparkling wines for your money. From Spain, this cava rocks a whole-lotta flavor for surprisingly little cash. Cristalino doesn’t cut corners when making this stuff, with quality grapes and bottle aging. A case of twelve will run you about $100, the same price of a single, mid-range bottle of the French stuff. Buy a lot of this stuff for NYE because it will go fast!

he loved it!


Segura Viudas Reserva

Spain, Penedes

A slammin' good deal for less than $10. It comes in a classy bottle, it's made the same way as Champagne and it tastes frickin' great, how could you go wrong? If you need a crap-ton of bubbles this holiday look no further than Segura Viudas. Dry and crisp, make sure you buy enough because everyone will want more.

he loved it!


NV Cristalino Rose Cava

Spain, Penedes

Jaume Serra was relaxing last Tuesday in his home 20 miles south of Barcelona when he heard a faint rumbling off in the distance. The noise troubled him. He held his hand up to his ear and cocked his head towards the west trying to make out the sound. It turned out the faint grumble he heard was half a million whining, heat-stroked, Bostonians from 3,639 miles away. He knew he had to do something, so Jaume, being the humanitarian he is, dredged up 2.5 million bottles of Cava from his caves 50 feet under ground and Fed-Exed them to the US. His Cristalino Rosé Cava is the perfect way to beat the heat. Served extra cold, you can enjoy this bottle’s vibrant raspberries, strawberries, and minerals alongside some fresh fruit or just hold the freezing bottle against your face.

he loved it!


NV 1+1=3 Cava

Spain, Penedes

If you're hosting Thanksgiving this year, you might be entering into panic mode about now. Is the turkey big enough? Do you have enough chairs? What the hell are you going to feed your brother's vegan girlfriend?

We have a solution to this and other Thanksgiving-related predicaments: sparkling wine and LOTS of it.

Cava comes from Spain and is an affordable, everyday drinking version of French Champagne. The 1+1=3 Cava Brut is dry with delicious citrus flavors and is packed with tons of bubbles.

Stock up on this wine if you're hosting. It will buy you time if dinner is running late and keep guests out of your hair while you do the last minute prep.

Cava also makes a great gift if you're an attendee. Bring a bottle or two and pop immediately upon entering. Pour into glasses and distribute at will. We promise, your host will thank you!

Drink liberally with a pre-dinner cheese plate, while watching football or directly from the bottle while hiding in the bathroom to calm nerves.

he loved it!


NV Castello Banfi Rosa Regale Brachetto

Italy, Piedmont, Acqui

The Banfi Rosa Regale Brachetto d'Acqui is pink, sparkling and sweet with flavors of raspberries and strawberries. On top of that, this fizzy Italian elixir pairs perfectly with chocolate and is readily available in full or half bottles at fine wine stores across Boston and the country.

he loved it!

NV Heidseick & Co. Monopole Blue Top Champagne

France, Champagne

What's popping open at midnight this year? If you just downed André last year, you need this more than you thought. Even though a $6 price tag can be attractive, you don't have to spend a lot more to turn drinking sparkling from a chore to an absolute utopia. A utopia with bubbles!The Heidsieck & Co Monopole Blue Top Champagne is without a doubt, my favorite inexpensive Champagne. Coming in at about $30 this sparkler has an incredibly creamy texture with citrus, honey, nutty, and buttery flavors. It isn't the driest Champagne out there, but the slight amount of sugar really brings out the fruit. It finishes with a touch of spice and honeyed peanuts.

Top 5 reasons why you shouldn't drink André:

1. It actually says Champagne on the label though the producer has probably never even been to Champagne
2. It is a chore to finish.
3. It will burn a hole in your stomach lining
4. There is no cork to pop, just a child safe, plastic screw top.
5. It's artificially carbonated. Each bubble is a lie!

Top 5 reasons why you should pick up a bottle of Heidsieck & Co Blue Top Champagne:

1. It's from Champagne (a lot cooler than something made in a bath tub and called champagne)
2. You can mimic the Christopher Walkin SNL sketch and go around asking if anyone would like some 'Cham-pon-yay'
3. Since there is an actual cork, you can hose down your friends.
4. You can perform sabrage with this bottle!
5. It is absolutely delicious and extremely well-priced for a Champagne of its quality!

Enjoy and Happy New Year

he loved it!


NV Lucien Albrecht, Crémant d'Alsace, Brut Rose

France, Alsace

Even though the trophy has been in The Bay State for close to a week now, the city has yet to recover. You can find remnants of the parades as traces of confetti are still blowing around Boston.

Keep the celebration going with a RED, or at least red-ish, sparkling wine, perfect for celebrating any time of the day or night. The Lucien Albrecht Brut Rosé Crémant d'Alsace is a great sparkler coming out of the Alsace region of France. This 100% Pinot Noir wine has flavors of cherry and strawberry. Pour it into a flute or drink it right out of the bottle.

Congrats to the 2007 Red Sox on a GREAT win and a FANTASTIC season.

he loved it!


2007 Casalone Mariposa Brachetto

Italy, Piedmont

Behold. The most ultimate, badass, mega, super, best in the history of the world, ultra perfect wine for Valentine’s Day; Brachetto. (Seriously, it’s that good.)

This sultry sweet wine from Piedmont, Italy is dark pink in color and is technically considered frizzante, or lightly sparkling. It looks fabulous in a Champagne flute, tastes of luscious raspberries and is even better with chocolate. In other words, it’s a gift directly from the sex Gods, themselves.

This year we chose the 2007 Casalone Mariposa Brachetto. We admit, this specific Brachetto is a bit obscure and somewhat difficult to track down, but for the money, this is a fantastic bottle of wine. It’s sweet, without being cloying and has wonderful aromas of raspberry and rose pedals. However, if you can’t find this one, there are other great Brachetto’s out there.

The thing that makes Brachetto so perfect for the big V, is that it has an alcohol content around 5%. This means that after drinking a bottle of wine with dinner and before you get to the nookie, you can sit down, sip a few glasses of Brachetto, chow on chocolate, stare deeply into each other’s eyes, do some more sappy crap like that and you won’t get super hammered and miss out on any late-night activities.

Drink with chocolate soufflé, chocolate truffles or some chocolate body paint.

he loved it!


2008 Elio Perrone Bigaro

Italy, Piedmont

We've been pretty vocal in the past about how much we love to drink Brachetto on Valentine's Day. To be precise, last year we referred to it as, "the most ultimate, badass, mega, super, best in the history of the world, ultra perfect wine for Valentine's Day" and we meant it. Oysters, chocolate-covered strawberries, Marvin Gaye, and a bottle of Brachetto are a surefire way to end your night with a bang (wink, wink). This year, however, our choice of love libation is the sexiest yet.

Hailing from the Piedmont in Northern Italy, the 2008 Elio Perrone "Bigaro" is a unique, sultry and sweet blend of Brachetto and Moscato. This wine is so full of seductive aromas and juicy, ripe fruit that your date will have his or her pants off before you've even had a chance to show them around your Mom's basement. This slightly sparkling wine is Victoria's Secret pink and overflows with flavors and aromas of strawberries, raspberries and peaches.

At $20, a bottle of Bigaro isn't dirt cheap, but V-Day is no time to skimp on your mate. So whether you spend Valentine's Day at a fancy restaurant or cook a romantic dinner for two, a bottle of this sinfully delicious sparkler will pair perfectly and help seal the deal.

Drink liberally out of a Champagne flute with white chocolate truffles, milk chocolate-covered hazelnuts and some fuzzy handcuffs.

he loved it!


2009 Saracco Moscato Asti

Italy, Piedmont, Asti

This is a slightly sweet, somewhat fizzy wine from Italy that is low in alcohol. In other words, this stuff has day-drinking written all over it.

Hailing from the Piedmont region in Northern Italy, this is a style of wine made from the Moscato Bianco grape grown in the Asti region. Hence, Moscato d'Asti = Moscato from Asti. While not completely sparkling this wine is an effervescent, ever so slightly fizzy style the Italians call Frizzante.

Consider this wine for Mother's Day Brunch because while in theory it sounds like fun to get Mom drunk before noon, it's usually not the best plan in the world (cue the water works and birth stories.) Pour this stuff instead of a mimosa and the whole table can drink away without a problem. This Moscato only has 5% alcohol compared to the 12% usually in Champagne.

The 2009 Saracco Moscato d'Asti has a beautiful floral aroma that begs you to take a sip. Then come the sweet flavors of fresh apples and pear. Even if you're not a fan of sweet wines you gotta give Moscato d'Asti a shot.

Drink liberally with spicy Thai food, white chocolate, and whatever lands in your pic-a-nic basket, Boo Boo.

he loved it!


NV Nicolas Feuillatte

France, Champagne

It's commencement time and Mother's Day on the same weekend. This means two things. One: If you want to eat out, you have to go all the way Maine to find a restaurant with an opening, and Two: It's Champagne time. That's right, not Cava, not Prosecco, not Cremant, Champagne ! Though it does come with a high price tag, graduation is worth it. To keep spending down (so you can begin making prompt student loan payments for the rest of your life) I suggest the Nicolas Feuillatte. At around $30 a bottle, you'll be hard pressed to find a better deal in Champagne.

This bottle is rich, creamy, fruity, and all in all, absolutely delicious. Its honeyed nose is backed up by green apple and orange rinds on the palate. This bottle will definitely make your graduation a day to remember. It will also ease your pain Sunday morning when you have a glass or two with Mom and try to piece together the previous evening's festivities.

he loved it!


NV Francis Coppola Sofia Mini

USA, California

Yeah, that's right. We're actually suggesting that you drink wine out of a can! Look, the whole smelling, sipping and discussing the flavor profiles is all fine and dandy, but most of the time you just want to drink the stuff.

Enter Francis Ford Coppola's bubbly, named after his footstep following daughter Sofia. With summer winding down it's essential to get in as much outdoor drinking as possible. Sofia Mini's are the perfect choice as they look like an energy drink so you can crack open this tasty, booze filled beverage anywhere.

Plus, the wine inside is pretty good! It's light, refreshing and screams of apples, pears and lemon flavors. It's great for keeping in the fridge when you just want one glass of sparkling or for lining your pockets and slurping at the beach or park.

Drink picnic-style with a wedge of brie, fresh fruit and the desire for a sunny, daytime buzz.

he loved it!


NV Poema Cava

Spain, Penedes

Summer is the only excuse you need to party. So what if the weather isn't ideal or if your bank account is running on fumes. Embrace the spirit of the season by blowing off responsibilities and consciously deciding to waste time, all while sipping a deliciously refreshing, high-class, beverage.

When it comes to ballerness-to-price ratio, you can't rate much higher than Spanish Cava. It was created as an affordable 'every day bubbly' in response to more expensive French Champagnes, and the

NV Poema Brut Cava is a perfect example of fantastic Spanish bubbles. We smell fresh peaches and pears, followed by dry bubbles with a rich and creamy texture.

Pop this bottle on a Sunday morning with brunch, drink a glass with a salad at lunch or just call in sick and spend the day drinking this at the beach.

he loved it!


NV Perrier-Jouet Grand Champagne

France, Champagne

A true celebration requires authentic, genuine Champagne hailing all the way from the Champagne region in France. Sparkling wines from the US, Spain and even Argentina are great and typically these are our beverages of choice for most situations. However, sometimes you just have to say, "Screw it!" and throw down for the real thing.

For times like these, we love the NV Perrier Jouët Grand Brut because it's light, delicate and a whole lotta fun. This is a wine that will dance across your palate with light citrus and toasty aromas. It's worldwide, which means you'll be able to find this where ever you live, but it is also a nice change from the ubiquitous Yellow Label.

Pairings: light brunch foods, smoked salmon, strawberries, or a beautiful woman in a smoking hot cocktail dress.

he loved it!


NV Nino Franco Rustico Prosecco

Italy, Veneto

It's New Year's Eve and there is only one acceptable beverage to have in your hand when the clock strikes midnight. Bubbly!

Let's get one thing straight; real, actual Champagne from the Champagne region of France, which starts around $35 per bottle, is encouraged, but not essential tonight. If you need proof, read about or latest blind bubbly tasting experiment.

The NV Nino Franco Rustico Prosecco is a classy and elegant bubbly from Italy. With a light, yeastiness, reminiscent of Champagnes this sparkling delivers crisp and clean fruit flavors. Plus, didn't the DOW drop like a million points this year? This bottle is the way to save some coin without sacrificing an ounce of quality.

Looking for other options? Consult our '100 Wines for the Holidays' guide where we've picked a dozen delicious bottles of bubbly for NYE.

he loved it!


NV Emeri Sauvignon Blanc


Bubbly is confusing. Here is a quick cheat sheet:

You can't call all bubbly Champagne because in order to don the prestigious (and more pricey) name the grapes have to come from the Champagne region of France.

Prosecco is a bubbly that comes from Northern Italy. Cava is the Spanish version and is made with indigenous grapes from Catalonia (near Barcelona). Bubbly from France, that isn't from Champagne, is called Cremant and all major wine regions make some form of it. Portugal even gets into the mix, look for wines labeled Espumante.

Here in the good ol' USA we make a ton of bubbly. From California, to New Mexico to Virginia to Massachusetts, there are American Sparkling Wines from sea to shining sea.

So what do you call a sparkling wine from Australia? Delicious, that's what!

While not exactly known for making bubbly (or even Sauvignon Blanc for that matter), the Aussie's are the new kids at the party but they're doing a bang up job. The NV Emeri Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc from De Bortoli Wines in New South Wales is bottled refreshment. This is wine for sipping on the hottest of summer days. It's super light-weight so you can knock back a couple glasses of crisp sparkling that has slight grassy and herbal flavors. The bubbles make it fun and will class up your afternoon of stoop sitting, lazy river inner-tubing, or hot, muggy day picnic-ing.

Drink liberally with a cheese plate, fresh strawberries and a big hunk of fresh bread.

he loved it!