What's the best way to toast mom? Many Americans will raise a glass over brunch. To do it in style, consider these 10 wine picks. With its effervescence and subtle touches of tart and sweet, sparkling wine belongs at the top of the list. Several tantalizing possibilities offer a twist on the traditional choice of champagne.
In Depth - 10 Perfect Brunch Wines Take prosecco, the soft, bubbly wine made in the Veneto region of Italy. Named for the prosecco grape, this wine has exploded in popularity in the last five years. One of its major selling points: price. La Tordera Prosecco, produced by a hillside family winery near Venice, retails for just $19. Trace amounts of chardonnay give this pick a creamy finish and notes of peach and honeysuckle.
Or consider a sparkling rosé made by a champagne producer, like Ayala Majeur Rosé. Owned by Bollinger, an esteemed champagne house with roots dating back to 1585, the Ayala label is priced at $62, a good deal less than Bollinger's own Brut Rosé, which sells for $100.
The Ayala Majeur Rosé is a beautiful pink color and offers up flavors and aromas of red fruits like strawberry and raspberry, balanced by the wine's effervescence. Located in Aÿ, in the heart of champagne, Ayala was bought by Bollinger in 2005.
Bollinger's Brut Rosé also makes for a delicious choice. Though the legendary grande dame of the house, Mme. Lily Bollinger, may not have approved of this wine. She apparently had misgivings about putting the family name on a pink champagne, which in the early 20th century was associated with houses of ill repute. Banish the thought. Bollinger's first-ever non-vintage rosé is sexy but high class.
As champagne aficionados know, "Brut" signals the bubbly is dry rather than sweet. For those who enjoy champagne on the sweet side, consider Castello Banfi Rosa Regale Brachetto d'Aqui, at $23. A deep rose color, from the Castello Banfi vineyard in Tuscany, this wine is sweet without being cloying, and tinged with raspberry and strawberry flavors.
Still Rosé - For those who prefer still wine to bubbly, a straight still rosé makes an elegant brunch wine. Some of the world's best comes from the Bandol region of Provence. These wines are often cantaloupe or light pink in color, lean and well-balanced. Domaine Tempier makes one of the most renowned rosés from the region.
Similar in style to a Bandol rosé is Napa Valley's Sullivan Vineyards' "Pink Ink." This wine, which sells for $18, offers notes of strawberry with hints of pear and Meyer lemon. For a rosé made from the cabernet grape, consider Pretty Sally's Rosé of Cabernet. Juicy, hearty, with wild strawberry flavors, this wine works well with a range of brunch foods, from eggs Benedict to bacon.
In Depth - 10 Perfect Brunch Wines Alyssa J. Rapp, is the founder and CEO of Bottlenotes.com, the premier online wine community where wine enthusiasts come to learn about wine, share tasting notes and buy wine. Rapp is also the author of Bottlenotes Guide to Wine: Around the World in 80 Sips.