Washington State University (WSU) researcher Byron Marlowe wants you to look at sparkling wines to drink beyond just the holiday season and major celebrations. Marlowe recently conducted research suggesting consumers are willing to pay more for a wine based on where it’s from more so than its taste.
That said, with his background in wine beverage management and as part of the faculty at WSU’s Carson College of Business, School of Hospitality Business Management, Marlowe shares some of his sparkling wine picks if you’re looking for local that won’t require you to shell out any extra bucks.
Treveri Cellars Gewürztraminer Demi-Sec | $17
This Columbia Valley sparkling wine is made with German grapes and is “a dry or off-dry sparkling wine and has a terroir statement to it,” says Marlowe. He also points out that a trip to Treveri Cellars in the Yakima Valley would let you try the winery’s other sparkling wines to see which you prefer but that the Gewürztraminer is a solid pick to switch things up for the holidays.
Domaine Ste. Michelle Extra Dry | $13
Marlowe introduces this wine as being one that is “highly accessible” due to both its taste and affordability. “The style is a little bit different than some of the others I’m suggesting,” he adds. “It’s an extra-dry style so on the palate [it is] less sweet, really focusing in on perhaps the acidities.” Easy enough to find in your local store it’s a good choice that will please any New Year’s Eve crowd.
14 Hands Brut | $15
One of the more popular styles of sparkling wine, Marlowe put this one on his list as another choice that is accessible to everyone. Marlowe explains “This one would be considered probably more neutral as really this 14 Hands Brut can be served with appetizers as a great pairing but could hold up with entrees if need be,” Marlowe said.
Washington State University’s Blended Learning Brut & Brut Rosé | $21
Both of these Bruts come from Washington State University’s Viticulture & Enology program where students have the chance to make wine with grapes donated by partner wineries, like Karma Vineyards in the Chelan Valley in this case. These two Bruts are the only sparkling wines in the Blended Learning series and can be bought online or by calling the program’s office besides being offered at a few retail locations in Washington state.
Gruet Winery Brut | $15
This winery out of the New Mexico town of Truth or Consequences may not be local but it does often use grapes from Washington State in its blends and Marlowe couldn’t help but praise its sparkling wines. “[They’re a] real testimony to traditional methodology when it comes to production,” Marlowe adds. “It’s a very recognized sparkling wine in the Americas and perhaps internationally as well, which is a big statement.” For a bottle of internationally recognized sparkling wine under $20, who can blame him for breaking the rules a little bit?