Showcasing the best of
northwest wines and
the awareness of pacific
northwest wine regions.
Showcasing the best of northwest
wines and the awareness of pacific
northwest wine regions.
Put a Little Northwest Sparkle in Your Holidays

Put a Little Northwest Sparkle in Your Holidays

It's the time of year to celebrate and there's no better way to raise a toast to family and friends than with a sparkling wine. You don't have to settle for a French Champagne, a Spanish Cava or an Italian Prosecco, you'll find a great selection of sparkling wines from Northwest producers to match your local feast with a regional wine.

Six sparkling wines from the Northwest claimed Gold Medals at the 2017 SavorNW Wine Awards competition ranging from traditional Champagne-style wines to sparkling cranberry and other surprises from Washington, Oregon and British Columbia. We asked wine writer, judge and sparkling wine connoisseur Ken Robertson to review these selections and he tasted each of the wines with Rich Larsen, a wine researcher at Washington State University Tri-Cities and sparkling wine reviewer. Here are their tasting notes on these wines:

14 Hands Brut NV ($15)
The sparkling wines made by the folks who work for Chateau Ste. Michelle often are exceptional. And this one is simply a stunning wine from Washington's Columbia Valley at a bargain price of $15. It sports plenty of bubbles in the glass, a whiff of citrus and sweet rosemary in the aromas and then a creamy mid-palate with apple and citrus flavors. There's bit of minerality that pops out toward the finish with its crisp acidity. At conclusion, there's just a touch of fruity sweetness with a hint of tangerine.

Serendipity Winery 2014 Sparkling Truth ($50)
British Columbia shows its Okanagan region has microclimates perfect for producing bright sparklers. This example impresses at first sniff with its aromatics of crushed rock, honeycrisp apple and lemon. Made from Chardonnay grapes, it's very French in style. On the palate, there's a touch of tropical pineapple and slightly green papaya and mango. It ends with crisp acidity, leaving a delightful and delicious impression.

Kramer Vineyards 2014 Brut ($30)
This longtime Oregon sparkling wine producer followed a very French recipe in concocting this lovely wine, which is made from 65% Chardonnay, 20% Pinot Noir and 15% Pinot Meunier. It opens with toast, tropical pineapple and granny smith apple aromas, then produces a fine mousse of tiny bubbles. It parades green apple flavors across the palate, then finishes with very dry, crisp acidity. The lasting impression: It's full, mouth filling and would be a perfect accompaniment to seafood.

Westport Winery Rapture of the Deep NV ($28)
Wondering what wine to trot out with the holiday turkey? Western Washington's Westport Winery has crafted the perfect cranberry accompaniment, a sparkling cranberry wine. Strawberry, raspberry and cranberry aromas lead into a palate that's 100% cranberry – like Ocean Spray cranberry juice without a hint of bitterness, but it still captures the flavors of canned cranberry jelly.

Westport Winery Maritime NV ($28)
This is, plain and simple, a carbonated Riesling wine from Yakima Valley's Red Willow Vineyard that is finished with ample retained sugar. It opens with Riesling's typical orange, peach and apricot aromas, plus a touch of white florals. On the palate, it's gobs of honey. Folks who like sweet wine will fall for this sparkler. Sip it alone or with fruit pie, cheesecake or perhaps baked brie dabbed with apricot jam and topped with lemon zest.

Wooden Shoe Vineyards 2015 Sparkling Blush Moscato ($25)
This distinctive and surprising sparkler from Oregon's Willamette Valley opens with aromas of eucalyptus and Texas pink grapefruit zest. And the palate brings even more surprises: honey on the mid-palate to soften the Texas pink acidity, a long finish and a sprinkle of cardamom and basil in its farewell. Want to try to wean your Moscato-loving friends into a more serious wine? Offer them an unforgettable glass of this with a rosemary cracker topped with a soft, spreadable mild cheese.