Your Last-Minute Buying Guide To 16 Champagnes And Sparkling Wines To Usher In The New Year
There’s still time to shop for a bottle or two of Champagne or sparkling wine to help make your New Year’s celebrations extra festive. Here’s a short list of good options readily available in the following wine stores that stay open on December 31.
ARTISAN CELLAR DOOR
2276 Chino Roces Avenue Extension, Makati City, (02) 880-0619
Cellar Door is open from 11 am to 2 pm on December 31. Aside from its extensive wine list, you may also want to check-out the prime meat selection, which includes Mayura Wagyu, Sher Wagyu, Brandt Beef, and Cinco Jotas Jamon Iberico.
Gosset “Excellence” Brut Champagne, P2,900
It’s one of the better non-vintaged Bruts from the oldest wine producer in the Champagne region. They have been making wines there since 1584. This is a crisp and food-friendly Champagne.
AWC PHILIPPINES / TXANTON
2/F Alegria Alta Building, 2294 Chino Roces Avenue Extension, Makati City, (02) 877-6928, www.txanton.com.ph
Most of AWC Philippines’ wines are available for retail in Txanton, which is open on December 31 from 9 am to 3 pm for dine-in and until 6 pm for take-out/retail.
Grand Codorniu Pinot Noir Cava Rosado 2012, P2,000
This lovely rosé cava, with lots of fresh, small bubbles, complements the intense notes of berries, and comes in a dark but elegant, medium tone salmon pink color.
Gramona Imperial Gran Reserva 2010, P2,495
This finely balanced cava is made by a small, family-owned winery in Penedes that reputedly makes some of Spain’s top cavas. This cava delivers outstanding value as it competes favorably in taste with a lot of Champagnes that sell for twice its price. My personal favorite cava in Manila, it scored 91 points on Wine Advocate.
Power Plant Mall, Rockwell Center, Makati City, (02) 896-5646, www.bacchusworld.com
This one-stop shop for anything gourmet also has branches in Ortigas Center and Alabang. All Bacchus stores are open on December 31 from 9 am to 6 pm.
Belstar Brut Prosecco, P795
This is an excellent Prosecco from the Bisol family that comes in an irresistible bottle, a perfect match to the elegant flavor of its contents.
Bisol Jeio Prosecco, P895
This is another delicious sparkling wine from Bisol made with the Glera grape variety (used to be called Prosecco) from the Veneto region in northeast Italy. It’s refreshingly fruity with pear and floral flavors and aromas.
Louis Roederer Brut Premier NV, P3,700
Cristal is the flagship cuvée of the Louis Roederer Champagne house, while this Brut Premier is its excellent flagship multi-vintage Champagne. Thanks to its more reasonable price, it is also its most popular and best-selling wine, scoring 92 points on Wine Spectator.
Bollinger Special Cuvée NV, P4,200
The House of Bollinger has been making this classic Pinot-dominated Champagne since 1829. A classic Champagne with notes of brioche and honey, it is currently James Bond’s favorite.
PREMIUM WINE EXCHANGE
G/F Alegria Alta Building, 2294 Chino Roces Avenue Extension, (02) 812-3823
Reputedly one of the wine suppliers with the biggest selection of grower Champagnes in the country. It remains open on December 31 from 10 am to 3 pm.
Aimery Grande Cuvée 1531 Crémant de Limoux Rose Brut, P850
This reasonably priced cousin to Champagne is one of the best rosé sparkling wines of France. It’s a rich and well-balanced crémant, with flavors of red fruit, that comes in an elegant bright salmon pink color.
Champagne Jean Vesselle Brut Reserve, P2,300
This elegantly structured Champagne is made with an 80% Pinot Noir and 20% Chardonnay blend from 30 plus-year-old vines. Domaine Jean Vesselle crafts “grower” Champagne, using its own grapes and making all of its wines on site. This Champagne scored 91 points on Wine Spectator.
Bruno Paillard Extra Brut Premiere Cuvée, P3,200
The Premiere Cuvée is a classic Bruno Paillard Champagne that puts emphasis on finesse over everything else, which shows in its fine bubbles and good balance.
RALPH’S WINES AND SPIRITS
Salcedo Village, Makati City, (02) 501-5168, FB: Ralph’s Wines and Spirits for other branches
This wine store has the most number of branches in Manila, most of which maintain regular opening hours on December 31. That means most branches remain open until 12 midnight, and until 2 am for select branches in Makati and Molito, Alabang.
Gancia Asti Spumante NV, P750
This sparkling comes from the cellars known as the “Underground Cathedrals” in Canelli, Piedmont in Italy. Gancia Winery is known as the first producer of Italian sparkling wine. It is made with Moscato Bianco grapes and time-honored artisanal production techniques that I was able to see when I visited the winery just this December. Gancia’s Asti Spumante has a little more dimension than most of its Asti peers that one can attribute to the winery’s passion for quality. Serve it well-chilled for the best experience.
Moët Imperial Brut NV, P3,500
Created in 1869, this is one of the most iconic non-vintage Champagnes, embodying the unique Moët & Chandon style. Consistently well-balanced, this Champagne boasts a fine bead and pleasant acidity. It’s a consistent favorite of the well-heeled Titas of Manila that drink this like it’s water.
This gourmet delicatessen with several branches all over the metropolis remains open on December 31 from 9 am to 2 pm only. It is currently running a sale on all Taittinger Champagne products with an 8% discount for volume buys (3 to 12 bottles) until January 05, 2019.
Taittinger Nocturne Sec NV, P2,295
This easy drinking Champagne comes in a stylish bottle. Not quite as dry as Brut, but it’s not off-dry either.
Taittinger Millesime Brut Champagne 2012, P2,750
This crisp and elegant Champagne is rich in the Taittinger style. Impressive at this price point, this Champagne is made from equal parts Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes. While it can further benefit from ageing, it is still ready to drink now.
Taittinger Comtes Blanc de Blancs 2006, P7,280
This is my personal favorite Taittinger. It was first produced in 1952 and is made from 100% Chardonnay grapes from six Grand Cru sites in the Côte de Blancs. This is a rich, yet well-balanced, creamy Blanc de Blancs that can compete with the best.
TERRY’S BISTRO & GOURMET STORE
Branches in The Podium, Chino Roces Avenue Extension, Legaspi Village, Salcedo Village, FB: Terry’s Bistro & Gourmet Store
One of the country’s top Spanish restaurants and gourmet stores specializing in Spanish products, it happens to offer a 15% discount on all its wines every Sunday. On December 31, several Terry’s branches are open until 2 pm.
Ondarre Cava Brut Millenium NV, P1,530
From one of the top bodegas in Spain, this easy to drink, extra dry, and crisp cava boasts a lighter pale yellow color than most cavas.
Photos by Cyrene de la Rosa
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