Over the past several weeks, I've poured 40 or so sparkling wines and Champagnes down my gullet (and I'm not done yet), attempting to uncover the best deals for the holiday season. Although that may sound like nirvana, I can say that, like the jitters commencing after that third cup of Jamaican Blue or the last gluttonous bite of an overly rich chocolate cake, too much of a good thing can be painful. But, despite my initial doubts, I've discovered some pretty damn good bubbly values out there so far:
*Fantinel Prosecco, $11. Light, a tiny bit sweet, pear and lemon.
*Domaine Ste. Michelle Blanc de Blancs, $12. Clean, refreshing tangerine and lime with a ginger spiciness.
*Domaine Ste. Michelle Blanc de Noirs, $12. Mildly sweet on the tongue, earthier than the BdB with light n' fruity raspberry and strawberry.
*Zardetto Prosecco Brut, $15. Delicate, crisp, lemony, tangerine with an enticing baked bread aroma.
*Gruet Brut Rose, $19. Slightly off-dry and heavier bodied with pomegranate, strawberry and a minerally, slate finish.