It’s that time of year to splurge on the bubbles, and the Champagne Taittinger Brut Millésimé 2012 is a fine way to do so ($97), from one of France’s most revered Champagne houses, where consistency and deliciousness are guaranteed. The Brut Millésimé is made only in vintages worthy of it, and this 50 percent chardonnay/50 percent pinot noir stunner is just that, a lively, lovely blast of citrus floated upon the finest of bubbles (it’s aged in bottle five years on its lees, growing in character and finesse). See taittinger.com.
Farther south, in Italy, the Mionetto Prosecco Treviso Brut NV ($23) floats rounded and ripe Asian pear, cherimoya, and honeydew across a clean, crisp palate with bracing acidity. It hails from the heart of the Prosecco region north of Venice, as does the slightly more frothy, full, and sleekly designed Mionetto Luxury Cartizze DOCG ($45), which is grown in a micro-zone of the Conegliano-Valdobbiadene appellation. Both, which are extremely crowd-pleasing and easy to quaff, are made from the glera grape, the traditional source of these Italian bubbles. See mionettousa.com.
Closer to home, there are plenty of Santa Barbara–made bubbles to explore. The easiest to get your hands on would be Riverbench’s wide range of sparklers, most of which can be explored and even bejeweled at its Funk Zone tasting room ($40-$50, 137 Anacapa St., riverbench.com). And for something a bit different, opt for The Fizz, a “Sparkling Shiraz” from Santa Barbara County grapes made by Municipal Winemakers ($47, 22 Anacapa St., municipalwinemakers.com).