Pop open a sparkling wine and pop open a celebration

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Freixenet offers up a variety of Cavas, from the well-recognized Cordon Negro Brut to the Elyssia line made with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and available in Gran Cuvee Brut or Rosado (Rosé). The great thing about this Cava House is that all their sparkling wines are affordable; the Cordon Negro Brut runs about $12 a bottle while the Elyssia line is right around $20. But even better is the fun you can have serving and pairing these artfully crafted sparkling wines.

Want to have fun and break the ice? Make a sparkling wine cocktail like the Poinsettia Cocktail. Blend ½ oz of Cointreau or Grand Marnier with 3 oz of cranberry juice in a fluted glass and top off with the Freixenet Cordon Negro Brut. Everyone will stop in their tracks to ask “what is this lovely concoction?” This little recipe also adds flair to holiday brunches. Don’t forget you can make the quintessential brunch cocktail by just adding orange juice to your half-filled flute of Cordon Negro Brut.

In charge of appetizers for the family get-together? Get creative and serve a variety of sushi rolls. Pair this inspired plate of hors d'oeuvres with the Eylssia Gran Cuveé Brut. Not in charge of anything but don’t want to show up empty-handed?  Then put a bow on a bottle of the Elyssia Pinot Noir Brut. This sparkling wine is made with Pinot Noir as the label tells but also has a touch of Trepat. Trepat is a grape native to northeastern Spain that adds a tart finish while giving this sparkling wine food pairing muscle.

Create your own sparkling wine cocktails this holiday season; serve imaginative pairings and when the calendar once again turns to December, your family and friends will shout for joy.

Image: Martin Jansen via Flickr.

The question is whispered around in conversation as if the season had a scarlet letter on it:  “Can you believe it’s already the holiday season?”  No one wants to admit that they were once again caught off guard.  While they weren’t looking, the calendar jumped ahead leaving them agape and staring at the month of December in a nervous jitter.

Relax!  These are the times we gather for festive occasions, parties, and brunches – times to make memories that last a lifetime.  And adding sparkling wine to the merriment can make each event unique and unforgettable.

Sparkling wine is wine with high levels of carbon dioxide that makes it effervescent, bubbly, if you will.  The carbon dioxide can be created naturally in the bottle as in the Méthode Champenoise with champagne or naturally in a large vat as in the Charmat Method with prosecco. Although you get a wonderful bottle of sparkling wine with either method, the Méthode Champenoise offers up smaller bubbles that last a bit longer. Some of the best sparkling wines made in the Méthode Champenoise come from Spain. (No brow crinkling at this statement because it’s true.)

Spain’s sparkling wines are known as Cava and made in the Méthode Champenoise or “traditional method” as most of the labels will denote. Originally made with three indigenous grapes — Macabeu, Parellada and Xarel-lo — today, Cava can also include international grapes such as Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. One of the best examples of a Cava House is Freixenet located in Sant Sadurni d’Anoia in the Penedes region of Spain. Sant Sadurni d’Anoia is about 50 km or 31 miles west of Barcelona. This region is the heart of Cava country and celebrates the majesty of this sparkling wine every year with Cava week, which starts every October 12.

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