Top 3 Sparkling Wine Gifts

Gifting around the holidays can be tough, but wine is always a safe bet! Sparkling wine in particular is a versatile choice. It has a way of getting the party started like no other and it's also a wonderful way to show appreciation to all the special people in your life. Here are our top 3 picks to help with your selections. Interested in purchasing these wines? Send us a note and we're on it. 

champagne alternative

Best Value

2013 Naveran "Dama" Cava $25

Cava (sparkling wine from Spain) is usually a great bang for your buck. This one in particular has amazing finesse and a wonderful story as well. Michel Guilleron Parellada’s family, (the Naveran family) has a legacy dating back to 1901. The “Parellada” grape, one of the indigenous grapes used in traditional cava production, was named after his family as they kept the grape from extinction! This Cava is made in ‘Méthode Champenoise’ using grapes from organic vineyards dating back to the 1970’s. The “Dama” is a richer style of cava as the blend is 85% Chardonnay which gives it roundness and 15% Parellada grape, which imparts brightness to balance the resulting wine. With notes of apple skins, brioche, and pears, this lovely Cava offers all the toasty flavors of Champagne but at a fraction of the cost. 

best value champagne

Splurge Worthy

Tarlant Brut Nature Champagne $50

If you are set on Champagne, splurge a little with this elegant, clean style. This Champagne is composed of equal parts Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. Without added sugar, Zero (stands for zero dosage) is a frank fresh champagne that unveils all that the grapes and soil have to say. The family has a history dating back to 1687, and is now a 12th generation family run winery. It is vibrant with a fine mousse and shows scents of honey, lemon and mandarin. It is a perfect Champagne to serve at parties as it can easily be enjoyed on its own; however, it also works very well with a raw bar and sushi. 


brazilian sparkling wine

Champagne Alternative

2013 Vinicola Geisse, Cave Geisse Nature $28

Step outside the box and try a sparkling wine from an unexpected location, like Brazil! Mario Geisse (of Chile’s acclaimed Casa Silva) brought his family to Pinto Bandeira, Brazil 40 years ago upon being recruited to launch Chandon’s Brazilian operation. Realizing that the land could yield better wines than what was achieved through mass production methods, he left Chandon to focus on ultra-high quality wines made with traditional Champagne method. His diligent focus on understanding the terroir through many micro-terroir experiments turned him into the pioneer for the Brazilian wine industry. This is an elegant sparkler with an aromatic nose of flowers with a little toastiness. It serves well as an aperitif as well as with a variety of seafood dishes. 


wine gifting

Need help with holiday gifting this year? Our Wine Advisors can help find the perfect wine for your clients, partners, friends or family and add a personal touch! Learn more here or contact us to get started

4 WAYS TO avoid cliché on Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is one of those days that can bring a lot pressure regardless of your situation. Since we are constantly thinking about ways to elevate occasions with all things vinous, we thought to share a few ways to make this Valentine's Day a bit more special and memorable with wine, going beyond the typical red roses and chocolate theme.

1. vintage wine

Celebrate your relationship with a nice bottle of wine from the year that you met, began your relationship, or said "I do".  Take it further by choosing a region that you both love, took a trip together, or aspire to go together. The extra touch will make the occasion that much sweeter.

2. Blowout dinner party at home 

Enjoy a blowout dinner party at home with unique wine pairings by having a Personal Chef come and cook up a meal via Kitchit. They bring all of the ingredients and handle the clean up, but they don't bring the wine, so you'll need to have a game plan for vino. A thoughtful selection of both familiar and off the beaten path wines to pair with your meal will make the experience an approachable adventure. Staples to include are dry sparkling wines, versatile whites like gruner veltliner or chenin blanc, and a medium bodied, not so tannic red, like Burgundy.  If you need some help based on your menu, our Sommelier team is happy to help!

3. blind tasting game

For a group of friends, add a fun, competitive element to your gathering with a Blind Tasting Game. Ask each of your friends to bring a bottle of one of their favorite wines and pour them blind. Make sure to coordinate a bit in advance and assign styles so you don't end up with all red wines, for instance. Try to identify the grape variety, region, and price point as a starting point. You can make it as simple or complex as your group desires and add prizes for motivation. 


4. adult ice cream party

A grown up ice cream party featuring a range of exotic and gourmet flavors from Humphry Slocombe with wine pairings, of course. Chocolates are wonderful, but we love how ice cream can take on even more depth of flavors making it so fun to pair with wine. San Francisco favorite, Humphry Slocombe is a master of crafting ice cream with attitude. Below are some pairing ideas for you. We're looking forward to doing more "research" as they introduce new flavors. 

  • Champagne with Secret Breakfast (Bourbon ice cream with corn flakes)
  • Vouvray with Honey Thyme ice cream
  • Rosé with Strawberry Szechuan sorbet
  • Madeira with Beer Nut (Brown Butter & Guinness ice cream with housemade frosted peanuts)

Share with us what you're tasting this Valentine's Day with #whatareyoutasting. 

Domaine Somm Guide to Holiday Events

It's that time of year when the social calendars start filling up, and hostesses with the mostest begin dusting off the holiday-themed china and decor. With so many parties to go to, we know you want yours to stand out from the crowd. Lucky for you, our team of seasoned event professionals got together to put together some of our favorite ideas.

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