Zuccolo Brut Rosé, $12.99 

It’s the holidays. I love Champagne. When it comes to sparkling wine, probably five times out of eight, people come into our shop asking for Champagne, but gulp and blink at the price. Champagne is actually a decent deal for the cost. It is the most regulated wine anywhere, and goes through more processes than any other wine. 

Champagne is labor intensive and labor ain't cheap, but there is an alternative: Prosecco from Italy. Like Champagne, Prosecco goes through a secondary fermentation to capture the CO2 bubbles that are a natural by-product. 

Unlike Champagne, Prosecco's second fermentation is through the Charmat method: not individually in each bottle, but in a pressurized wine tank. More mass produced, and therefore less expensive, but still really good. This one from Zuccolo is dry, crisp, and refreshing, with just a piece of tart cherry, and a bit of tea in the finish. While I wouldn't call it an intellectual wine, it's simple and fun. It's clean and refreshing, and the bubbles are a necessary part of any holiday spiriting. Since it is a rosé, the rules say it can’t be labeled Prosecco, but a rose by any other name . . .  Enjoy!