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Wine Reviews

Sparkling wine is a hot category, with sales up 50% over the last decade.

There was a time when Washington state sparkling wine was hard to find, but now many tasting rooms are offering a form of sparkle and pizazz. A lot of this has to do with the shift in perspective that sparkling wine is not only for special occasions, but also for celebrating the everyday joy of life.

Whether you are celebrating a wedding this spring or celebrating the ability to move more freely in the world, I have listed some local choices worth considering.

All three of these local sparklers are produced by Méthode Champenoise. The only way a sparkling wine can be called Champagne is if it comes from that region in France and is made in this method. The process begins when yeast and sugar are added to a still bottle of wine. While the bottle is sealed, it creates a secondary fermentation that creates trapped CO2, resulting in bubbles. This is typically a one- to three-year process.

Silvara Cellars Blanc de Noirs, $48

Silvara used primarily Pinot Noir grapes, with a small percentage of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The wine was aged on its lees for two years. Brioche with butter and marmalade come to mind on the first sniff. The sip reveals a creamy, almost almond butter background with layers of orchard fruit. The finish is clean and crisp. This might sound crazy … but Blanc de Noirs goes well with fried and salty food. Steak and frites anyone?

Hard Row to Hoe 2016 Good in Bed Sparkling Rosé, $56

These Pinot Noir grapes are estate grown and handpicked specifically for this bottling. The color is an appealing light salmon and the scent of warm cherry pie a la mode is welcoming. Pretty florals bring complexity to the red-fruit flavors. The palate is velvety and full of a zip. Sushi would be a nice complement to this wine and should not be too messy while eating in bed.

Cave B 2018 Blanc de Blanc, $35

Cave B has been making a sparkler for 13 vintages. They were way ahead of the game in North Central Washington. Winemaker Freddy Arredondo makes a great, affordable tongue tickler from 100% Chardonnay grapes. Fresh baked bread, pear and apple aromas start off this sensory feast. These flavors are echoed on the palate with a rich and zesty mouthfeel. Fried oysters or clams, fruit and cheese plate, or maybe fettuccine Alfredo would make for a laid-back but festive evening.

Barb Robertson

City: Wenatchee

Credentials: Earned advanced certification through London-based Wine and Spirit Education Trust; currently working toward higher-level diploma through WSET. Earned degree in marketing from Central Washington University. Owned The Wine Bin retail shop in Wenatchee for five years, as well as the Mission Street Bistro Wine Bar for 14 years. Has worked in the Northwest wine industry for more than 15 years, including sales, production and marketing. She is currently a wine industry specialist for Saxco International packaging company. Was a judge for the 2011-18 North Central Washington Wine Awards competition, the 2017-20 Cascadia Wine Competition and Wine Press Northwest’s 2020 Platinum Judging.