Whether the fizz is flowing for breakfast or helping ring in another spin around the sun, life is simply better with Northern Michigan bubbly. The cool coastal microclimates of the North’s peninsular vineyards produce chardonnay, pinot noir, riesling and American hybrid varietals with bright fruit flavors and zippy acidities that become even more delicious when expressed effervescently.

Traditional method—a.k.a. Champagne method—sparkling wines undergo their second fermentation in bottle, and the resultant yeast contact adds fine bubble structure and complex layers of texture and flavor to the fruit core. Charmat method, or tank-fermented wines (think Prosecco), more directly express the flavors and aromas of the grapes themselves.

Our local Leelanau and Old Mission fizz wizards excel in both disciplines, as you’ll see in this month’s bill of bubblies to celebrate the new year and every day thereafter!

L. Mawby Blanc de Blancs Brut NV
Mawby’s mainstay, this perennial favorite harnesses the apple soul of chardonnay and ages en tirage to accumulate rich, biscuity yeast tones that percolate across the palate.

2Lads Sparkling Riesling 2014
The Lads bring bubbles to the North’s beloved riesling in this bright, bottle-fermented flavor circus of Granny Smith apple, ripe pear and citrus peel. A dose of sweetness makes it dangerously delicious with spicy Asian fare.

Bowers Harbor 2896 Rose Brut 2011
Pink and dignified, the 2896 Rose Brut uses pinot noir from Bowers Harbor’s lauded Langley Vineyard to craft a sublime sparkling mouthful of strawberry, red apple and spice. Dry, classy and texturally divine.

bigLITTLE C-3 Pinot
The flavor force of all three pinots (gris, blanc and noir) commingle en tirage for 25 months and re-emerge in dry, persistent bubbles that invoke yellow fruits and freshly baked bread.

Good Harbor Sleeping Bare Blanc de Blanc NV
Good Harbor’s extra-dry tank-fermented rendering of chardonnay brings bright apple and lemon fruit to the forefront in this playfully tasty bubbly. Perfect for sparkling wine cocktails or solo as a Sunday morning restorative.

Find more festive food and drink recommendations in the January 2016 issue of Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine. Get your copy here!.

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