Find an Excuse to Celebrate, Because These Sparkling Wines Are the Best in the Fizz

New job? Anniversary? Tuesday? We're sure you come up with a reason to pop one of these bodacious bottles of bubbs.

For more than a decade now, the B.C. wine industry has been engaged in an ongoing exercise of hand-wringing over what our “signature grape” should be.  New Zealand has sauvignon blanc, Argentina has malbec and we have… exceptional syrah, uber-serious riesling, elegant pinot and the list goes on.

The reality is that the intersection of diverse soils and wildly different climatic regions in B.C. means we can be really good at a lot of different wines. But if you asked me about our future, I’d say that in a world where the appetite for even middling prosecco seems rampant and where people have very quickly agreed that paying $80-plus for a bottle of English sparkling wine is entirely reasonable (it is, BTW), I look at what we can deliver and say yes, please. We’re headed into the holidays now, so here’s your chance to test my premise that we have the potential to be one of the world’s great-value sparkling producers. Let’s pop some corks and find out.

Blue Mountain Gold Label Brut

Blue Mountain Gold Label Brut, $32

I love the legendary Steller’s Jay, but for me, this is the wine that started the revolution: traditional method (like they do in Champagne), traditional grapes (chardonnay and pinot noir) and B.C. terroir coupled with the insane quality control of the Mavety family. The result is a revelation year after year: think fine bubbles and a toasty, complete mouthfeel that will go with almost any dish you serve. It’s a $32 bottle of wine that I get excited about every time.

Lightning Rock Canyonview Blanc de Noirs

Lightning Rock Canyonview Blanc de Noirs 2021, $40

Let’s categorize this as second-wave bubble greatness: it’s been around less than a decade, but it’s putting a lower-intervention spin on the classics. The departure  of founding winemaker Jordan Kubek (she moved to  Pamplemousse Jus, where she makes excellent natty wine) could have been a problem, but the wine here is  still vibrant and electric. This bottle of 100-percent  pinot explodes in the glass with restrained energy.

Fitz Blanc de Blancs 2018

Fitz Blanc de Blancs 2018, $45

The Fitzpatrick family’s sale of CedarCreek to Anthony von Mandl was one of those rare win-win deals. CedarCreek has moved to a new plateau of quality and the Fitzpatricks have used their money to develop one of the great sparkling-wine houses of Canada. You could close your eyes, randomly choose a bottle and be happy— they make five different types—but let’s go with this  100-percent chardonnay option and revel in its ethereal, linear elegance. Cheers to that.

Riedel’s entry-level Ouverture line

One More Thing: Here Are the Best Glasses for Bubbly

Flutes are for flautists. Can we all agree to kibosh the shape, which is happy to sacrifice aroma and  usability in the name of preserving bubbles? Those bubbles are only one element of sparkling wine’s appeal (Pepsi has bubbles): I’d much rather you use a normal white wine glass, but if you like that special sense of occasion, then Riedel’s entry-level Ouverture line will do the trick for less than $25 a stem.