Whether it’s a wedding, a birthday party or a New Year’s party, popping bottles of Champagne and sparkling wine has become pretty much synonymous with life’s biggest moments. The clinking of glasses and the fizzing of bubbles just give an extra special touch to the celebrations we have in our lives. But what if we told you that it’s becoming more and more common to have bubbly on the reg?
First, we need to look at the history of sparkling wine and its link to celebrations. Prior to the French Revolution, Champagne was a symbol of status and gained popularity in the Royal European Court, says certified sommelier Christine Riddell.
“European royalty were interested in this rare, bubbly wine and served it to their wealthy guests,” she says. “Sparkling wine was a novelty and luxury to flaunt because only the very wealthy would have access to these wines.”
As the Champagne industry evolved, prices eventually came down, but sparkling wine still became a symbol for celebrations. Riddell explains that — from athletes spraying each other after winning a game to the use of sparkling wine to christen a ship on its maiden voyage — it has become a ritual in our society to mark special moments.
“I think part of the appeal is that a bottle of sparkling wine can literally bubble over. There’s something really exciting and joyful about a bubbly product or a bubbly wine and that symbolic pop,” she explains. “[The cork leaving the bottle] has really been synonymous with celebration and good times, and it’s really a beverage that appeals to all the senses.”
So, despite this link between popping bottles and big events, enjoying sparkling wine – such as a delightful Italian wine like La Marca Prosecco – can be for any occasion. Now that bottles of sparkling are more affordable and accessible than ever before, you shouldn’t have to wait for an engagement party or a bachelorette bash to taste some bubbles. Whether you’re whipping up your fave meal or having a movie night with your besties, sparkling wine can be for any time.
Here are our suggestions on how to enjoy sparkling wine any time.
Related: A guide to classic cocktails — so you can order your next drink like a pro.
Switch things up with exciting cocktails at brunch
When it comes to brunch, the classic mimosa is usually a cocktail of choice — but sparkling wine is versatile, and you can enjoy many more delicious combinations with your eggs Benedict. Because sparkling wine is lighter, it’s perfect to drink early in the day, Riddell says.
“It’s best to serve egg dishes with a lighter, more delicate style of wine that won’t overwhelm the meal. So sparkling wine is really the ideal choice,” she explains.
As for cocktails to sip on, while there’s nothing wrong with a traditional mimosa if that’s your go-to, Riddell also says you can try swapping your orange juice for cranberry juice, lemonade or even grapefruit juice, as they all taste great with sparkling wine.
Related: 10 best wineries to visit in Prince Edward County.
Sip on our sparkling wine suggestions
If you’re not used to drinking sparkling, La Marca Prosecco is a great way to begin. “It’s kind of [a] gateway sparkling wine because it is very easy drinking and it’s a widely appealing style,” Riddell says. It has a crisp and refreshing flavour, filled with aromas of apple, peach and lemon.
La Marca Prosecco Rosé is another great option. It has the classic notes of freshly picked citrus along with hints of ripe red cherry, strawberry and raspberry. Riddell says it’s a crowd-pleasing wine, so you don’t even need food with it, but if you choose to pair it, try it with your favourite brunch bites.
Related: Quiz: Which Real Housewives’ signature cocktail is right for you?
Elevate dinnertime with meals that pair well with Prosecco
Dinner is the perfect time to enjoy a glass of wine – and because of the fruity and floral flavours of Prosecco, it pairs well with a ton of suppertime dishes. “It [works] well with a wide range of foods, but especially foods that exhibit saltiness, fattiness, spiciness or a touch of sweetness,” Riddell says.
And if you’re someone who loves seafood, this is probably great news: seafood and shellfish dishes are the perfect meals to complement your drink. Riddell’s personal fave cuisine to pair with it is sushi, so the next time you’re making or ordering some spicy salmon rolls, think about opening a bottle to make your dinner feel complete.
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Take your charcuterie board to the next level
Whether it’s just for you or you’re serving it to family and friends, you can’t go wrong with a charcuterie board. It’s easy to prepare at home and tastes as appetizing as it looks. Due to the saltiness of the crackers and the cured meats (think: pepperoni, salami, etc.), sparkling wine is a great match, as Riddell explains that the higher acidity of the wine helps to cut through any sort of grease or salt.
If you want to make your charcuterie board stand out, try making prosciutto-wrapped melon to create some sweetness to go with the saltiness. It’s a surprising twist to any board filled with Gouda and Gruyere and will make you feel bougie in the best way.
See also: This Canadian wine region is a must-visit, according to ‘Vogue.’
Enjoy a movie night with delicious snacks and drinks
Whether you’re into the Real Housewives or watching movies on Netflix, having a wine night with some snacks is the perfect opportunity to enjoy a bottle of sparkling. You can pair your wine with your favourite snacks (such as salty treats like popcorn and chips, which go really well with sparkling wine) to make your evening feel a bit more fun while you curl up on the couch. You can also try delicious comfort foods including pizza, flatbreads or fried appetizers like shrimp tempura, which all also pair well with sparkling wine, according to Riddell.
If you’re worried about opening a bottle during your TV or movie and having the bubbles go flat before finishing it, consider investing in a sparkling wine bottle stopper, which will help keep the sparkling wine carbonated for an extra day or two. That way, if you don’t finish the bottle, it will be ready for your next watch session.
Related: The best romantic comedies based on your zodiac sign.
Try sparkling wine on weeknights
Now that you know how to enjoy these wines, try them for yourself – and don’t be afraid to reach for a bottle of sparkling the next time you’re having a movie night or preparing a charcuterie board. The best part? All of the options are super affordable and work perfectly for a weeknight treat.