BUBBLES! BUBBLES!! BUBBLES!!! 202 718 Frank Shobe for W4F

Sparkling wines aren’t just for the holidays or special occasions. You can enjoy them as an everyday pleasure. One of my fondest memories is enjoying a glass of Cristal with my two great friends Fausto Maculan and Leonardo LoCascio at Fausto’s winery outside of Verona Italy. It was like drinking a glass of air…light, bubbly and oh so delicious!  Now most of us, including this guy, won’t be drinking Cristal every day but there are a multitude of sparkling wine options including champagne, cremant and prosecco to name a few. Here’s a few suggestions  – two from France and two from Italy



Champagne Christian Busin Brut Rose – A traditional Brut (60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay), blended with 7% Coteaux Champenois de Bouzy before bottling. Clay-limestone soil exposed to the northeast, northern climate. This is one of my favorites for everyday consumption. Keeps its bubbles and it has the perfect blend of body from the pinot noir and acid from the chardonnay.  This is my go-to when the wife and I are just grabbing a glass to sit and catch up on the day. You can enjoy this wine for under $30…a steal for a true champagne. 

CAVE DE RIBEAUVILLE Cremant d’Alsace Pinot Noir – 100% Pinot Noir gives this crémant a nice salmon color, thanks to a short maceration. The aromas of little red fruits (strawberry) are delicate. Serve for aperitif or a dessert with red fruits.  For a more affordable option from France, I would suggest you go with a cremant. This one of the great value wines from France. Whereas wines from the champagne region can be pricey, the sparklers from Alsace are definitely pocketbook friendly.  You should be able to find this for under $20.


Castello di Meleto Colle alle Bolle – “caught at the bubbles” – A blend of 50% Sangiovese and 50% Pinot Nero. he second fermentation takes place following the Martinotti method (Charmat lungo), with slow refermentation for at least 45 days at low temperature and subsequent stasis on the lees for at least 2-3 months. A fine sparkler from Toscana, in the glass it comes in a wonderfully bright pink and with a lively and continuous perlage. In the mouth the slight pungency of the bubbles goes well with the pleasant freshness that makes it an extremely pleasant and drinkable wine. Excellent as an aperitif, this bubble is perfect to accompany appetizers and delicate dishes based on fish and shellfish. This fine sparkler retails for about $20.


Fabiano, Prosecco Brut Sestiere Castello 4357 – Light yellow with greenish reflections. Delicately fruity and floral bouquet with hints of apple, pear and delicate notes of citrus. Fresh, lively and velvety!  Now I know what you’re thinking – PROSECCO? Yes! Yes!! Yessss!!! When properly vinted this is a versatile and option for sparkling wine. Now don’t be confused by wines that SAY they’re prosecco. Prosecco only comes from ITALY and the viticultural region so identified. The imposters are plentiful and will be labeled things such as spumante or brut. But if you don’t see the word PROSECCO on the label…its NOT PROSECCO!  Fabiano is from the Veneto, the primary vineyard area of the Prosecco region.  You should be able to find it or a comparable wine for $12-$13. On sale you might find it for $10.99…our family regularly enjoys this wine as an aperitif before family get-togethers.



Frank Shobe

Frank Shobe joined Golden Ram Imports in July 2015 as Chief Executive Officer.

Prior to joining GRI, Mr. Shobe began his career in the wine industry as financial controller with Winebow, Inc, in 1983. He held a variety of positions in the industry, ranging from Chief Marketing Officer to Chief Operating Officer while overseeing and participating in the growth and development of Winebow to what was then a $250M wine company.

Today with nearly 35 years of experience in marketing, sales, finance, operations, IT, and HR, he provides a guiding hand to Golden Ram Imports and Wine4Food.com.

Mr. Shobe earned his bachelor of science degree in accounting from the University of Missouri in 1981 and CPA in 1987. He will earn his Master’s in Business Administration from Columbia College in 2017.