Sparkling Options

Eastern France's answer to Champagne

The distinctive wines of France's Jura region have been quite the rage in wine drinkers' inner circles.

And with the holiday season here, now is the ideal time to explore Crémant du Jura, the sparkling side of the region's bottles.

Crémant du Jura tends toward dusky hazelnut and almond flavors because it's bottle-aged for at least a year before release. Prepared with the Méthode Champenoise, these wines have more in common with their high-class cousin Champagne than most other French sparkling wines.

The Slanted Door serves the elegant (and biodynamic) NV Tissot Chardonnay, made from 100 percent Chardonnay grapes ($13 by the glass; $52 for 750ml).

Daniel Patterson's Oakland restaurant, Plum, offers an even crisper bottle, the NV Domaine Berthet-Bondet ($10 by the glass; $38 for 750ml)–ideal with chickpea fritters and potato chicharrones.

Yountville's prix fixe Ad Hoc also pours the Berthet-Bondet ($11 by the glass; $44 for 750ml), taking the pairing in a California comfort food direction.

Want to take a bottle home? Arlequin Wine Merchant has a Tissot cuvée ($27 for 750ml), and K&L Wine Merchants stocks the light NV Domaine de Montbourgeau ($22 for 750ml).