If you’re unwilling to shell out the big bucks to get your hands on a bottle of authentic champagne this New Year’s, why not explore the sparklers being produced in your own backyard. Pockets of Canada are blessed with a terrain and a climate similar to the Champagne region in France. For this reason, it’s not surprising that over the last couple of decades, Canadian sparkling wine has been catching the interest of the international wine community. Ontario, BC, and Nova Scotia have emerged as the top contenders in an increasingly competitive field. To help you separate the good from the ugly, we’ve compiled a list of the best Canadian made sparkling wines you can get your hands on this holiday season.
BENJAMIN BRIDGE 2008 BRUT ($44.50)
Billed as “Nova Scotia’s ultra premium sparkling wine house”, Benjamin Bridge has made quite a name for itself in the Maritimes and beyond. Located in the heart of Gaspereau Valley, this relatively young winery produces a wide variety of world-class wines. Each of their sparklers is produced using the Traditional Method, including the 2008 Brut. Boasting a punchy aroma of fresh peaches and salty maritime air, this bubbly is a delicious (albeit somewhat pricey) addition to your New Year celebrations.
CAVE SPRING NV (non-vintage) BLANC DE BLANCS ($29.95)
This affordable, non-vintage stunner from Cave Spring is made entirely from Chardonnay grapes grown on the bench lands of the Niagara Escarpment. Produced using the Traditional Method, the Cave Spring NV Blanc de Blancs smells of golden delicious apples, pears, brioche, and wet stones. It has a mineral heavy taste punctuated with notes of apple and toast. This wine will grow in complexity well into 2015, if you can wait that long.
→ Looking for more holiday cocktail ideas? Check out our 8 Must Have Warm Cocktails for Winter Entertaining here!
L’ACADIE VINTAGE CUVEE ROSE ($25.99)
L’Acadie Vineyard is another award winning winery located in Gaspereau Valley in Nova Scotia. Just this year it’s 2011 Vintage Cuvee Rose received top marks at the Atlantic Canadian Wine Awards. Produced using the traditional method, the 2011 Vintage Cuvee Rose boasts “cheery” notes of strawberry and a mineral taste unique to Nova Scotian sparklers.
CIPES BRUT N/V ($26.95)
Hailing from Okanagan’s Summerhill Pyramid Winery, this stunner was awarded the title of Sparkling Wine of the Year at this year’s All Canadian Wine Championships. Made using Riesling and Chardonnay grapes, the Cipes Brut N/V was produced using the Traditional Method. This wine has aromas of apple, citrus, almonds and pear. It is crisp and slightly acidic and 100% delicious.
CUVEE CATHERINE ROSE BRUT ($29.95)
A favourite sparkler from the Niagara-based Henry of Pelham Family Estate Winery, this blushing beauty is made using handpicked Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes and produced using the Traditional method. Wine connoisseur David Lawrason likened this bubbly to “a delicate raspberry pastry.” While it has undeniably sweet undertones it still boasts a crisp, acidic finish as befitting its Brut status.
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