Sparkling University from Whole Foods Markets
- Brut: The driest one, but not to be confused with “Extra Dry,” which, ironically, is not as dry as Brut. Brut is the most food-friendly of champagnes. The smoky, salty nature of caviar makes for a classic match. For everyday occasions, try potato latkes and sour cream or any number of salty tidbits.
- Extra Dry: A touch of fruity sweetness but finishes on a dry note. These are quite versatile and can be served as an apertif or after dinner. They’re more or less in the middle of the spectrum.
- Sec: Next in line for dryness, but you don’t see it very often.
- Demi-sec: The most residual sugar of the bunch (outside of Doux, which is rare). This is the ultimate dessert wine and, perhaps, the most romantic of the bunch. Never sweet in a cloying way, these have a caramelized quality that is absolutely delicious. Avoid pairing these with fare that is sweeter than the wine, as the bubbly will come off harsh and dry. Fresh fruit works best.
- Blanc de Blanc: This bubbly is made from 100% Chardonnay. The Chardonnay grape lends sparkling wine its toasty, nutty and rich quality.
- Blanc de Noir: This bubbly is made from mostly Pinot Noir. The Pinot Noir grape gives it the refreshing, fruit driven, citrus quality.
Once you’ve chosen your bottle, try a few of these add-ins for customized cocktails. Consider offering the entire selection at your party so guests can choose their favorite flavors.
- Candied ginger
- Currants soaked in bitters
- Pomegranate juice and seeds
- Berries, muddled with mint
- Pear juice and a rosemary sprig
- Orange or grapefruit juice with a twist
- Sugared cranberries with a sugar- and black-pepper rimmed glass
- Fresh pineapple and rosemary for our Pineapple Rosemary Crush Cocktail