All I want for Christmas is Champagne!

By: Lauren Voigt

The perfect gift for any wine lover — or anyone, really.  When you give the gift of wine it’s always the right size!  I’ve narrowed down a number of selections at a variety of price points. Pick any of these up, and have your holiday shopping done in 5 minutes flat!

Twin Cities’ Top Shelf
I’m not affiliated with any wine shop so where you spend your dollars doesn’t make a difference to my pocket — but supporting a locally owned and operated business does make a difference to your community.  All the locations mentioned this piece are among the top shelf of Twin Cities wine shops from staff to selection.  This is not a sponsored post — all opinions are my own.  Samples of Terre Mata were provided at my request by Solo Vino, and  Dew Drop Limited Edition No. 1 was provided by Chankaska.  Plus, Solo Vino has 16% off all bubbly through December 31!


Every Day Bubbles

Three great options from around the world at reasonable price points.

Pere Mata Cava Cupada #18
Pere Mata is one of few grower/producers in Spain, a factoid any wineo will geek out about. Second fun-fact: Mata makes a number of blends in a production year, Cupada #18 signifies the 18th blend of that year. This cupada is fresh and fruit-forward.
$15.95 (reg $18.99)  at Solo Vino
May also be available at: France 44,  Stinson Wine Beer Spirits,  Zipps, Haskells Minnetonka, price varies.

N.V. Pascal Arnoux Cremant De Bourgogne Blanc de Blancs Brut
Hailing from Burgundy, this 100% Chardonnay is produced in the traditional Champagne method and almost indistinguishable from true blanc de blancs Champagne at an impressive price point — perfect for those with Champagne taste on a sparkling wine budget!
$25.19 (reg $29.99) at Solo Vino
May also be available at: South Lyndale, Stinson, & Zipp’s in Minneapolis, Kowalski’s Markets (all locations), price varies.

2014 Argyle Vintage Brut
A superb vintage in Willamette Valley Washington!  This blend features Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier for a strong backbone of acidity and minerality.
$22.67 (reg $26.99) at Solo Vino


For the More Adventurous

Unfiltered, organic, local fizz — this isn’t a one size fits all category that more adventurous wine aficionados will nerd out over!

Dew Drop Limited Edition No. 1

$34.00, available ONLY at Chankaska Winery in Kasota, MN

This 100% Minnesota blend of St Pepin and Frontenac Gris was crafted by Josie Boyle in the traditional method, riddling each bottle by hand.  This edition only 32 cases were produced (released Nov., 4 2017) Enjoy it while it lasts, my friend!

No. 1 exhibits aromas of toast and shortbread, hints of crunchy asian pear and ripe starfruit.  On the palate, creamy and refreshing with hints of sweet spice and a clean finish.

Terre di Marca

Bottled unfiltered and undergo a natural re-fermentation that produces a ‘frizzante’ — the wine is reminiscent of kombucha or sour beer for some people, making it a conversation opener for wine-adverse consumers. The style is harkening back to the original way Prosecco was produced, an also speaks to the winery’s dedication to respect for their land and their non-interventionist winemaking practices.

Unfiltered Frizzante Rosé
A very fresh, clean and zippy spumante. Very nice compliment to ahi tuna steaks cooked rare — producers tasting notes mentioned sashimi but without sushi grade on hand I had to cook mine a tad!

Unfiltered Prosecco DOC Millesimato, Organic
A pure, honest expressions of 100% Glera. With 0% residual sugar this one is bone dry — lemony acidity with soft bubbles, nice minerality.  I’d square this one into a ‘love it or hate it’ category (I liked it!), and would not recommend it for the sweet or fruity wine lovers on your list!

The “shake me” sticker on these bottle sold me.  Yup, bubbles you should  shake before opening and I just couldn’t resist.

$12.59 (reg $14.99)  at Solo Vino
Terre di Marca selections are also available at The Wine Thief, Henry & Son, Zipp’s, price varies. Also on the menu at select restaurants: Red Rabbit, Bardo, Northern Coffee Works, Heyday.


Classic Champagne

Two producers, 6 selections and several price points to delight any Champagne lover.

Mark Hébrart

A grower/producer with compelling selections that will not disappoint!

N.V. Blanc de Blancs Premier Cru Brut
*$46.19 (reg $54.99) at Solo Vino
May also be available at Zipp’s, France 44, South Lyndale, North Loop, and Sunfish Cellars, price varies.

N.V. Cuvee Reserve Premier Cru Brut
$46.19 (reg $54.99) at Solo Vino
May also be available at Zipp’s, France 44, South Lyndale, North Loop, and Sunfish Cellars, price varies.

Premier Cru Brut Rose Brut
*$53.75 (reg $63.99) at Solo Vino
May also be available at Zipp’s, France 44, South Lyndale, North Loop, and Sunfish Cellars, price varies.

Pierre Callot Champagne

First off, you can’t find this stuff just anywhere. Pierre Callot is only available in select markets, and in limited quantities. The good news is, the Twin Cities is one of those markets and Solo Vino has a bunch in stock — they are also the only twin cities location carrying all three selections, so if you plan to splurge on the trio for the wine-lover in your life, that’s where you’ll want to head.

N.V. Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Brut
$50.39 (reg $59.99) at Solo Vino

N.V. Blanc de Blancs Grande Réserve Premier Cru Brut
*$58.79 (reg $69.99) at Solo Vino

2007 Vintage “Les Avants” Grand Cru Brut
*$79.79 (reg $94.99) at Solo Vino

Pierre Callot Champagnes may also be available at South Lyndale, Thomas Liquors, and Hennepin-Lake. Price varies. Note that Solo Vino is the only location carrying all three!


Got a little leftover in your budget?

This beautiful boxed set comes with an incredible book and comprehensive maps of producers and terroirs of the Champagne region. Just released October, 2017 there’s a chance the wine-lover on your list hasn’t picked it up yet!


About Solo Vino

Faced with a dazzling selection of bubbles, huge thank you to Chuck Kanski at Solo Vino for his knowledge — and most of all, help with narrowing down an incredible selection.  Located in the Cathedral Hill neighborhood of Saint Paul, every member of Solo Vino’s staff is a bonafide wine professional — ensuring that they’re not only immensely knowledgeable but have an incredibly curated selection as well. New to Solo Vino, they recently doubled their stock in sparkling wine and Champagne and added the ability to sample any bubbly just in time for their 16% off bubbly sale (thru Dec 31). Perfect for making your holiday picks!

*Best values at Solo Vino.  How is this calculated?  By price-checking.

If price isn’t an obstacle… ask the staff at Solo Vino what’s in the basement. Here’s a sneak peek. And to my husband — if you are reading along, my Christmas shopping list is complete right here!

What wine is on your list this year? Let me know in comments, below!!


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