People can’t wait to toast to the end of 2020 and the start of 2021. Good riddance to COVID-19, job losses, social disruption! Bring on vaccines, a resurgent economy, and social comity! Fortunately, there’s plenty of local bubbly available to fete the New Year – there’s nothing like the pop of a sparkling wine cork to get the party started. In recent years, Northwest sparkling wines have exploded in kind and quality, offering an abundance of delicious options in a range of prices and styles. Here are five Northwest sparkling wines that will give you comfort and joy as you ring out 2020 and ring in 2021. 

Chateau Ste. Michelle Sparkling Rose, Non Vintage, Columbia Valley – This affordable, widely available crowd pleaser will light up your New Year’s Eve festivities. A spicy nose leads to a rich, creamy core of strawberries, apples and citrus, followed by a crisp finish. Pair with artichoke dip and spicy chili sauce or a red pepper bisque. Affordable luxury at its best. Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery, $14.

Treveri Cellars Blanc de Noir, Non Vintage, Yakima Valley – This gorgeous sparkler displays a pale pink color, a lively palate of apple, berry and brioche flavors, balanced with a crisp lean, lingering finish. It pairs perfectly with everything from seared scallops to raspberry tart. Treveri Cellars, $20.

Scintillation 2016 Blanc de Blanc, Columbia Gorge – According to the dictionary, scintillation means animated, vivacious, effervescent. This sparkling wine lives up to the definition, tasting of fresh bread, pears, lemons, balanced with lively acidity, and a lovely, effervescent finish, pairing nicely with halibut or smoked salmon. Syncline Winery, $50.

Argyle 2016 Knudsen Vineyard Blanc de Blancs, Dundee Hills – Most sparkling wines and champagnes are blends, sourced from a mix of vineyards, varietals and vintages, but this distinguished sparkler comes from one block, one vineyard, one vintage. This chardonnay-based classic reveals flavors of apricot and cardamom followed by a long, lean finish, making a divine pairing with blinis and caviar for a stunning New Year’s Eve celebration. Argyle Winery, $50.

Karma Blanc de Noir 2016, Lake Chelan – Yeasty, floral notes rise like a genie from this stylish sparkling wine. Gold in color, this Blanc de Noir made largely from Pinot Noir, is redolent of raspberries, strawberries and cherries, with a satisfying minerality in the finish promising good tidings in the New Year. Pair with duck breast or grilled salmon. Karma Vineyards, $70

Wishing you all a very happy & healthy New Year!

Contributor Bio – Nicholas O’Connell, MFA, Ph.D. is the author of the forthcoming Crush: An Apprenticeship as a Wine Maker and the founder of www.thewritersworkshop.net