bottle barn sparkling

Bottle Barn Sparkling Wines with Barry Herbst

2023 harvest fair

Dan Berger and Barry Herbst.

Barry Herbst has brought Bottle Barn sparkling wines to California Wine Country with Steve Jaxon and Dan Berger today. Barry was on CWC on this episode last July 5, with Rosé wines available at Bottle Barn. He was also on last January 12 for this episode about low-alcohol wines at Bottle Barn.

Dan Berger declares that Bottle Barn has a bigger selection at better prices than any store in the country and maybe the world.


Champagne, as we know, is a protected name for French sparkling wine produced in that region. But great sparkling wines come from lots of other places and we will taste several today. Champagne is getting expensive compared to the others and there are great values from Spain, Italy and California.

The first tasting is a Cava from Catalunya, the region around Barcelona, Spain. It is a very cool region that helps the wine maintain acidity. About 50% of the blend is a rare grape called Xarello. The brand name is Mercat and it is at Bottle Barn for $13.99. Dan says that he has tasted over 30 years of sparkling wines production from this region and they have consistently improved.

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Next, we go to Sharffenberger, located in Mendocino County, California. This is a sparkling Rosé that is a blend of different vintages. Dan says that kind of blending explains why a lot of champagne is not vintage dated. A lot of sparkling wines and Champagnes that are not vintage dated will be blends of more than one vintage. The word Cuvée just means a blend. The single-vintage sparkling wines are a lot more expensive. For example, Dom Perignon sells for $259 at Bottle Barn.


Then they taste a wine from Franciacorta, in the province of Brescia, east of Milan in Lombardy. The ground it white and reflects light, so they grow the grapes up high where the reflections of light are not so strong. Franciacorta makes great sparkling wines, especially for the price.

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After that, they taste a French Champagne, La Salle. It is from a small family producer that is as good as the more expensive brands. Dan says that this one could benefit from 6 to 12 months in the bottle. In England they like to age their sparkling wines, where American people tend to drink theirs right away. $33.99 at Bottle Barn, and $50 at least anywhere else.

The Schramsberg Blanc de Noirs is the next tasting. It is a 2020, but since you harvest grapes for sparkling wine in August, that was before the fires that year. That is how this wine avoided fire damage. Dan Berger says it has Dom Perignon quality at a price you can afford.

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