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December 8, 2011

Holiday Bubble Guide

Pop the cork this holiday season with Grapefriend's suggestions for the best bubbly — and the holiday specials to watch while you sip!

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Celebration Champagne Flutes

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Zodax

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There may be no other TV characters who love the bubbles more than Ab Fab’s Edina and Patsy. In Edina’s remodeled kitchen, there’s even a champagne refrigerator full of Veuve Clicquot and Bollinger that mechanically replaces a bottle as soon as one’s taken out. I assume lots of champagne will be popping in the new three-part Ab Fab Christmas special, but tragically we can't see it until January 8th here in the US.

Since the BBC isn't fully letting us get our champagne on yet, we figured we'd give you a guide to what else you can drink with holiday specials we can see:

Watch: Frosty the Snowman
This doesn't have the emotional pull of some of the others (Frosty always came across as a little doofy for my taste), but it's light-hearted holiday fun.
Drink: Prosecco
This is made in a different method than champers (largely has to do with the fermentation process – for Champagne it takes place in the bottle and for Prosecco it's in a tank). The bubbles are generally bigger so it’s not really as elegant as Champagne, but the Prosecco grape makes a very peachy, light, fantasticly good time in a glass.

Watch: How the Grinch Stole Christmas
The Grinch is cheap and meager, but has some heart at the end.
Drink: Cava
This Spanish sparkler is made in the Champagne method, but with different grapes and aged for less time. It's not always as complex and vivacious as Champagne, but much cheaper.

Watch: The Year Without Santa Claus
I might still have nightmares from when I was little and thought there was a possibility Santa might not come, but who doesn't love those dueling Heat Meister & Cold Meister songs?
Drink: Sparkling Wine
The Meisters are at temperature extremes, and similarly the US produces a whoooooooole range of sparkling wines. Some made in the Champers method and others in the way Prosecco's made. Some are aged for a while, some aren't. Also, tons of different grapes are used. Still, there are lots of good ones: try Schramsburg, Iron Horse, and the affordable Domaine Chandon.

Watch: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
It's probably the heart-wrenching Island of Misfit Toys that's made this the longest-running Christmas special on TV. Despite its age, we’re going to suggest a sparkling wine you should drink young.
Drink: Lambrusco
A sparkling RED wine for Rudy, of course! Lambrusco hails from Italy, is less fizzy (call frizzante) and usually served chilled. It's not the most serious wine out there by far, but can be kind of refreshing and fun. And if you can't find Lambrusco, you can always go for some sparkling rosé.

Watch: A Charlie Brown Christmas
This one's the gold standard of Christmas specials. You laugh, you cry, you get your faith restored in humanity via a dog and a big-headed boy in a yellow and black shirt.
Drink: Crémant
It’s from France and made in the Champagne method, but can't use the name because it's outside of the Champagne region (and therefore costs way less). Some of the best is Crémant du Bourgogne (from Burgundy) which uses a blend of grapes similar to Champagne. Other regions use their own popular grapes which give Crémants a range of tastes - some thin like Charlie Brown's tree, others full like the Peanuts-decorated tree at the end.

For more fun wine advice, check out Grapefriend!


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