Ah, the holiday’s circa 2009. B’ah humbug has been the consensus of the consumers due to lack of faith in just about everything from the world’s banks to the new version of facebook. But I have found reason to celebrate this holiday season. It’s almost 2010, which will most certainly be an improvement. So brush off that “let’s make today worse, so tomorrow seems better” attitude with pithy new year’s resolutions and these choices of sparkling wines and champagnes selected for not only the whimsy in us all, but also the budget conscious consumers.

2005 Saint Hilaire (Blanquette de Limoux) $14 750 ml. A delightful sparkling with hints of tangerine, green apple, pear and honeydew. A copious amount of mineral and a delightfully tickling bubble round out this brilliant wine.

2008 Banfi Rosa Regale Brachetto d’ Acqui $18 750 ml. Whore-house red in colour, this effervescent red should be served well chilled to allow its cherry, strawberry and orange peel qualities to burst forth from its frame that consists of nutmeg, clove and spice box. A top-notch choice for all things sweet during the holiday season.

MV Lucien Albrecht Crémant d’Alscace Brut Rosé $18 750 ml. This 100% pinot noir based wine is the essence of red fruit including strawberries, cherries and raspberries. An enchanting roundness complete this wine.

MV Louis Roederer Brut Premier Champagne $40 750 ml. Pears, apples and grapefruit dominate this champagne with subtle notes of toast and pastry. This is a rich-style multi vintage from the folks that bring us Cristal.

1996 Salon BLANC de BLANCS Champagne $600 750 ml. Hold on to your hoop skirts ladies, it has been a very good year indeed! This is the very first 100% chardonnay champagne ever made. Salon also uses only cuvée or hand-pressed grapes ensuring the highest quality of acidity, finesse, ripeness and quality. Consider this the Birkin bag of champagnes. There simply is no substitute in its class!

Darin Link is a Court of Master Sommelier’s Certified Sommelier. He has worked at the Mobile Four-Star restaurant, Tony’s. He also served as the sommelier in the over-the-top restaurant, Busch’s Grove, where he received Wine Spectator’s Best of Award of Excellence in just two years.

(image: ilikecool.com)