20 Nov Tiny Bubbles for All–A Guide to Sparkling Wines for the Holidays, or Any Day!
Everyone wants to feel a bit more bubbly sometimes.
That’s why sipping them (the sparkling wine kind) is so much fun — especially this time of year. No, you don’t need a ball gown and diamonds to indulge in a delicious sparkler. Think denim and “champs”, puffies and prosecco, ski boots and lambrusco. Sparkling wines are delicious, and that’s why people are popping the corks on them more and more.
So, forget about only associating these lovely libations, especially Champagne (yes the real stuff from that region of France), with formal occasions, luxury, and high prices. Lower-priced sparkling wines, namely cava and prosecco, (Champagne’s Spanish and Italian cousins, respectively) helped change that. Now, other sparklers including American — and especially Oregon — sparkling wines are showing up in all the right places, which is to say, everywhere!
No matter how you are celebrating the winter holidays, bubbles fit right in, as effervescent as fluffy Central Oregon snowflakes landing on your tongue. Without a doubt, parties simply sparkle more when your wine does, too. That’s where Newport Avenue Market, particularly our wine experts, comes in. So, let’s start sipping!
Taste Our Sparkling Wines, Meet Our Expert Wine Team, & Get Cork “Popping” Tips
Come to our annual Bubble Extravaganza Dec. 9, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., We’ll have seven of our grape-tastic representatives pouring all kinds of sparkling wines. There’ll be a lot of Champagne and fantastic selections from around Europe. This bubbly event will give you a chance to decide what you like best and what you’d like to order for your holiday parties.
Whether you’re planning a shindig, bringing bubbly to parties, giving sparkling wine as gifts, or stocking up for New Year’s, we’re here to help. How about some eye-popping, uber-large bottles for your soirée? We can get you anything your heart desires. And, when you use your FoodeFlash Card, you’ll earn “MOOLAH” (our in-store cash) that you can use on your next purchase!
Our team at Newport Avenue Market are experts at helping you find what suits your palate, and your wallet. Just talk to our wine manager Suzi, aka Wine Wench. Suzi and team can steer you toward a fruitier prosecco or a drier cava, with terrific choices starting as low as $8. We love cava because, like Champagne, its secondary fermentation takes place right in the bottle, creating lots of effervescence that lasts.
We’ll even show you the best way to pop the cork. (Hint: don’t let it pop!) Open gently, firmly gripping the cork with one hand, turning the bottom of the bottle, while tilting it away from people and fragile objects. The cork should emit a small “poof” sound and move just out of the mouth of the bottle — not fly out — with a delicate white wisp of vapor emerging. The goal is to keep as much of the wine and bubbles in the bottle so you can enjoy it fully.
If you miss our tasting event, never fear. Suzi and team are always on hand to guide you to find what suits you best. This is our style, and what makes us the best place to find sparkling wines in Bend.
Take Your Sparkling Wine Up a Notch—Garnish!
One of the reasons that sparkling wines are most popular during the holidays is because they pair so well with all the delicious types of foods served at this celebratory time of year. The bubbles create a cleansing feeling on the palate, which complements rich, creamy cheeses, savory meats, and viscous sauces — all the luscious cuisine that is so warming in winter.
This season is also the time to bring out some lively flavors of fruit, and a great way to spark up a sparkler is to add garnishes, syrups, sugar, and spice. Here are a few fabulous ways to do it:
Add fruit, such as berries, pomegranate seeds, peaches, oranges and frozen grapes—or fruit nectars (hint: we have a great selection!).
We Be Jammin’
Thin peach, cherry, orange, or raspberry jam with a bit of water then stir 1–2 teaspoons into each glass.
Just Add Syrup
Splash a dash of cranberry, pomegranate, or rhubarb syrup for a spark of color and flavor. Check out the recipes below! Or try Wild Hibiscus Flowers in Syrup sold in the store.
Sprinkle Some Sweet
Dampen glass rims and add festive sprinkles like red or gold sugar.
If you’re more into savory than sweet, add herbs like rosemary and thyme to spice things up and crank up the freshness.
Ring in the New Year and Good Fortune
Make a resolution to make your New Year’s party unforgettable. Add a fortune cookie to the rim of each glass to toast a year of good fortune.
Our Fave Homemade Fruit Syrup Recipes
Homemade fruit syrups are a decadent way to holiday-ize cocktails, punch, tea, pancakes, waffles, cheesecakes, pound cakes, or ice cream. They are merely a flavored simple syrup.
Makes: 1 1/2 cup syrup
6 oz. Rhubarb, washed and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
2 cups water
2 cups granulated sugar
Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan and stir. Place over high heat and bring to a boil. Once the mixture boils, reduce the heat to low and simmer until the rhubarb is falling apart and the color has bled into the syrup, about 20 to 25 minutes. Skim any foam that rises to the top. Remove from the heat and, using a fine-mesh strainer, strain and discard the rhubarb solids. Let the syrup cool to room temperature, then transfer it to a glass container, seal and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.
Tip: If you prefer a thicker syrup, you can simmer it for several minutes longer until the liquid reduces and thickens more.
Makes 3 cups
2 pounds fresh or frozen cranberries (8 cups), chopped
2 3/4 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups water
In a large saucepan, combine the cranberries, sugar, and water, and bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat, stirring frequently, until the sugar dissolves, the cranberries have completely softened, and the mixture is bright red, about 20 minutes. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve over a heatproof bowl, pressing to extract all the syrup; discard the solids. Let the syrup cool completely, then funnel it into glass bottles and refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour. Shake before serving.
Make 1 cup
2 cups pomegranate juice (or juice of 4-6 pomegranates)
1 cup sugar
Prepare fresh pomegranate juice. For 2 cups of juice, cut 4–6 large pomegranates in half and juice them with a citrus juicer. Pour mixture through a cheesecloth-lined strainer or sieve. Set the juice aside. Combine juice and 1 cup of sugar in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer about 20 minutes until reduced to 1 cup, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and cool. Store in a tightly closed jar or container in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.
Finally, we raise a glass to you, our local loyals. Cheers to you for joining us in our quest to enjoy food and drink to its fullest — Bend style. Whether you’re around a fire pit under a starry sky, at a glittering party, or indulging in a night of Netflix, you do it well — here’s to adding bubbles to the fun, no matter where or when. Come by — we want to make a toast, to you!