Merry Spritzmas!!December 19, 2018
The holiday season is typically the time of year where we choose to offer thanks and praise to those who provide us with our year-round services. Whether it be a personal friendship, a business relationship, or someone you barely know but have a common bond together that you would like to acknowledge, a small gesture of thoughtfulness will go a long way and be greatly appreciated in the New Year to come. Remaining true to our gift giving philosophy that you should give gifts that you can be joyfully consumed, Advanced Sommelier Jenny Benzie offers a list of creative, spritzful suggestions that will not only make a splash with everyone on your list this year, but also not exceed your bubbly budget.
A CHRISTMAS COCKTAIL TO REMEMBER
Everything about Aperol is unique. Its vibrant color, the bright flavor, the festive spirit it evokes – especially this time of year. No wonder drinking an Aperol Spritz has been the rage this year! The ingredients couldn’t be any simpler. The method of preparation is easy. And the ritual of sharing it with friends will be your new holiday tradition. While Aperol isn’t full of spritz itself, it makes you feel spritzy inside and out with this simple recipe below.
What exactly is Aperol?
Aperol is an Italian apéritif made of gentian, rhubarb, and cinchona, among other ingredients. With only 11% alcohol by volume, this is less than half that of Campari (another Italian aperitif) and less bitter in taste. It hails from the Veneto region of Northeast Italy and is the perfect way to start any holiday brunch!
How do you make an Aperol Spritz?
Start by adding ice into your favorite wine glass. Pour in two parts Pasqua Prosecco, followed by two parts Aperol. Next, add a splash of Fever Tree Club Soda. Garnish with a slice of orange. Enjoy a toast with friends, one orange sip at a time!
Who should you gift this to?
The recent grad that just landed their first job, the person you sit beside every week at spin class, your favorite co-worker (hopefully they will share with you!)
It happens often when you want just one glass of bubbly, but don’t want to open (read: waste) a full bottle because you don’t know when you will drink the rest of it before it loses its flair. Enter Lamberti Prosecco Spumante Extra Dry single serving small size bottles with a convenient, twist to open cap. This 187ml power of Prosecco is just the right size for that one Mimosa, that one glass of bubbles when you are getting ready for a holiday soirée, that one serving of Aperol Spritz (do you see a theme here?).
What exactly is Prosecco?
Prosecco is a sparkling wine made in the Veneto region of Italy. It is typically made from the Glera grape, a white indigenous grape grown only in this area. One of the great benefits of using Prosecco when making cocktails is that it isn’t quite as bubbly as Champagne (about half the atmospheres of pressure in the bottle). It is made in a more affordable method to create the spritz, known as the tank method, where the bubbles are made in a larger format vessel and then transferred
Who needs to receive this gift?
The mom who always organizes the play dates, stocking stuffer for Grandma, your walking buddy who is also your pseudo-counselor
Choosing sparkling wine as a gift doesn’t have to be challenging, or expensive for that matter. If in doubt, be sure to stick with a selection that comes from France, but outside of the Champagne region. Château de Brézé Crémant de Loire Sparkling Wine is right up your chimney, so to speak, this holiday season. The castle and vineyards that produce this seasonal sensation are located in the Loire Valley of France. The wine is made from 100% Chenin Blanc, featuring flavors of lemon, quince, pear, honey, and chamomile.
What exactly is Crémant?
Crémant is a type of sparkling wine that is made in the same technique as Champagne, but it happens to be made elsewhere in France than this famous region. There are eight appellations within the country that are able to produce sparkling wine named as such. These are all excellent choices for someone who has Champagne taste, but a Miller High Life budget.
Who would appreciate this gift?
Your fabulous college roommate who knows your secrets, your Secret Santa who loves anything bubbly, your next door neighbor who probably wouldn’t buy sparkling wine for themselves.
Christmas Eve is the perfect time for anyone to open that special bottle of sparkling wine that they may have been holding on to for just the right occasion. Be the person that gifts such a present and become part of a holiday memory for someone special in your life. Raventós i Blanc, Cava Rosé de Nit is the way to enter someone’s heart during this time of year. This Certified Organic sparkling wine is made from a blend of traditional white Cava grapes with a splash of the red grape Monastrell added for a kiss of pink color. The receiver of this gift will spread holiday cheer by singing loud and clear when sipping on this beauty.
What exactly is Cava?
Cava is the premier sparkling wine from Spain. It is typically made from the grapes Macabeu (also known as Viura), Xarel-lo and Parellada. The majority of Cava is produced in the Penedés region, south of Barcelona along the coast. Similar to crémant, it is also made in the traditional method like Champagne in which the second fermentation that creates the bubbles occurs in the bottle. Cava most be aged in the bottle at least nine months before being released and is mostly brut in style.
Who must have this gift?
The massage therapist that alleviates unwanted kinks, your pet sitter who loves your critter as much as you do, the beautician that helps you maintain those gorgeous locks of hair.
Now you know Prosecco, Cava and Cremant.
Santa’s elves will be busy wrapping these gifts,
drink them they will not!
Gifts that will pop, sparkle and delight –
Merry Spritzmas to all, and to all a Good Night!