June is here, and that means anniversary celebrations. Going to buy some nice Champagne? You may want to check out some less-pricey-but-not-less-tasty alternatives, like Proseccos, Cavas, Cremants de Bourgogne, Cremants de Loire, Cremants de Alsace, and U.S. sparkling wines from California, Washington, Oregon, and other states, including New York, Virginia, and – yes, indeed – New Mexico. Three hacks about serving sparkling wine:
Hack 1: Be safe! The cork can pop with explosive force. While removing the cork, hold the bottle so that a cork projectile will hit the ceiling, not your or someone else’s eye, face, or other painful point north or south. East or west, too, for that matter.
Hack 2: Add finesse to your safety: When removing the cork, hold the cork and turn the bottle, NOT the other way around. For stubborn closures, gently vibrating the cork back and forth can help.
Hack 3: Actually Taste the sparkler! Champagne flutes are such that you cannot really smell the wine, thus diminishing its taste. Pour your bubbly into white-wine glasses.
Two of my faves: Nonvintage Juve y Camps Brut Rose, a truly delish rose cava made from Pinot Noir grapes ($11.49/bottle, plus tax and shipping, from Wine Library) and Ruggeri Prosecco Di Valdobbiadene Extra Dry Giustino B. 2015 ($23.94/bottle, plus tax and shipping, from Saratoga Wine Exchange).