Bring on the Bubbly

Because every New Year should start with something sparkling.

You know the sound. The distinctive, and we think wonderful, ‘pop’ of a well-chilled and slightly sweating bottle of bubbly. Often served as a prelude, it sets the mood yes, but why not keep it coming all night long?

With New Year’s fêtes just days away, we propose a night off for Chardonnay and Merlot. Instead, we suggest an all-sparkling menu for your evening’s revelries. To get you started, we’ve compiled a list of five of the best sparkling wines Virginia wineries have to offer.

TRUMP WINERY — 2009 Sparkling Blanc de Blanc


Made from the winery’s best Chardonnay grapes, this brut employs the traditional French méthode champenoise—a process of in-bottle secondary fermentation crucial to producing top-tier sparkling wines. According to winemaker, Johnathan Wheeler, the “nose begins with green apple, brioche and a hint of pear… On the mouth, you get a crisp acidity with notes of citrus.” $45.

GREENHILL VINEYARDS — 2014 Blanc de Blancs


Offering aromas of crisp green-apple, pear and a tinge of lychee, Greenhill’s Blanc de Blancs flaunts its pure-Chardonnay roots. Beyond a lively and pinpoint-bubbled mousse—both indicators of a high-quality rendering—winemaker Sebastion Marquette describes the wine as having “a pleasant velvety and creamy texture with a harmonious, long and lightly tart finish.” $39.

VERITAS — Moussex Méthode Traditionnelle


A Chardonnay x Cabernet Franc combo, this extra-dry sparkler is pale pink in color with lovely salmon-hued highlights. Crafted using the traditional, secondary-fermentation technique pioneered by Champagne-patriarch Dom Pérignon, the Moussex features small, elegant bubbles and rich, fresh flavors winemaker Emily Pelton says are “reminiscent of cherry, raspberry and strawberry with a clean, long finish showing beautiful acidity and intensity of fruit.” $30.

Thibaut-Janisson Monticello Blanc de Chardonnay.

THIBAUT-JANISSON WINERY — Blanc de Chardonnay 


Hailing from the region that birthed bubbly, first-generation French transplants Claude Thibaut and Manuel Janisson crossed the pond bringing generations of Champagne tradition to the Commonwealth. “With this wine, we’ve captured the essence of the Virginia terroir,” says Thibaut. Crisp, fresh, astoundingly balanced, the Blanc de Chardonnay is made from a cuvée of 100 percent Chardonnay grapes, exuding delicate aromas of pear and ripe apples. $30. 



A bold sparkling wine composed of 100 percent Pinot Noir, this Brut Cuvée is the product of a collaboration between Barboursville winemaker Luca Paschina and founder Gianni Zonin’s Tenuta Il Bosco estate in Oltrepò Pavese, Italy. Implementing the metodo classic, the wine celebrates the date of Thomas Jefferson’s design for Virginia governor, James Barbour’s estate. $25.
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