9 sparkling wine recommendations from Baton Rouge grocers to make your holidays pop

Champagne and sparkling wine are great any time of year (really), but there’s nothing like the holiday season for breaking out the bubbly.

Raising a glass and toasting to friends, family and the future is the ultimate expression of hope. And, Champagne and sparkling wines are incredibly food-friendly, pairing beautifully with dishes we love this time of year. Their acidity and effervescence make them perfect partners to charcuterie boards, shellfish, rich desserts and more.

There’s a lot out there to choose from, so we checked in with a few popular wine shops for recommendations on what to enjoy this year.

At Matherne’s Market downtown

Matherne’s downtown general manager Bill Hounshell reminds us that Champagne is only one option in the world of bubbly. Try French sparkling wines from regions beyond Champagne, or sparkling wines from other countries.

Monmousseau Brut Etoile ($11): Here’s a French sparkling wine from the Loire valley. Dry, with good minerality, try it with heavier appetizers like fruit-topped baked brie.

2019 Paringa Sparkling Shiraz ($17): Lively and refreshing, this Australian sparkling wine pairs well with dark chocolate.

JCB No. 21 Cremant de Bourgogne ($20): Try this non-vintage sparkling wine from Burgundy with fresh salad greens tossed in tangy vinaigrette or your favorite Gulf seafood.

At Martin Wine & Spirits

Martin’s new Moss Side Lane location features lots of sumptuous Champagne and sparkling wine options, including these recommended by manager Melissa Palfrey.

Angels and Cowboys Brut ($24): Produced in Northern California, this delicious brut is made from pinot noir and chardonnay grapes. Creamy and elegant with notes of golden apple, citrus blossom and toasted brioche, it’s a perfect crowd pleaser.

Laurent-Perrier La Cuvee Brut ($45): Mostly chardonnay, this Champagne is defined by its purity and freshness, with notes of peach, citrus and delicate florals. It’s a good alternative to Veuve Clicquot.

Bollinger Special Cuvee ($66): This Champagne is a beautiful blend of pinot noir, chardonnay and meunier grapes sourced from Grand Cru and Premier Cru vineyards. With notes of pear, brioche, walnut and delicate spices, it’s an excellent gift or party showstopper.

At Calandro’s

Calandro’s Mid City’s fine wine section is generously stocked with Champagne and sparkling wines year-round. This time of year, additional options abound in a range of price points. Here are a few to try.

Francesca Mara Prosecco ($15): From Italy’s Veneto region, this prosecco is a good deal. Light, with gentle bubbles, it’s great with vegetarian fare or a charcuterie board.

Ultraviolet Sparkling Rosé ($21): With notes of white flowers and citrus zest, this California sparkling rose pairs nicely with sushi, spicy crawfish dishes and Thai curry.

Roederer Estate Brut ($27): Bright and medium-bodied, this California dry sparkling wine is made with chardonnay and pinot noir grapes and presents complex notes of fruit and hazelnuts. Pair it with oysters baked with your favorite topping or on the half shell.

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