For Lovers of Sparkling Wine, Be Bubbly is the Place to Be
Sipping a glass of bubbly is so much more than drinking wine. Sparkling wine is an almost magical elixir with the power to inspire joy. And that’s just what the three women behind the new champagne and sparkling bar called Be Bubbly want to do every time people drop by. Partners Erin Riley, Alison Barstad and Sarah DelCampo can’t wait to uncork their new concept. “We want to create an experience, so people are always going to leave happy,” Riley said.
Seeing the success of other champagne and sparkling bars in the region, such as Sigh in Sonoma, The Riddler in San Francisco, and Fizz in Sacramento, Riley decided to bring the concept to Napa. Besides a tasting bar, Be Bubbly features a retail area and a two-tier wine club that gives members early access to rare sparkling wines and champagnes.
Barstad, who has an extensive background in high-end restaurants in Southern California, said she loves bubbly because of the memories it holds. One of her favorites was being at actor Jamie Foxx’s pre-Grammy party at the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills. “He jumped on the mic and said, ‘We have 150 bottles of Cristal, and everyone needs to start drinking!” Barstad said. “To me, champagne means unique celebrations no matter how large or small, with friends or people you don’t know. It’s just one big celebration.”
Besides Champagnes like Dom Perignon by the glass, Be Bubbly will offer discovery wines. “What excites me is being able to offer global bubbles,” Riley said. “I want to share incredible cavas and Proseccos in addition to amazing Champagnes.” They will be pouring wines such as A. Margaine and Loriot Pagel, both from France; Clos Henri from New Zealand; Gruet from New Mexico; and Grenachista, a Grenache Blanc pétillant naturel made in Sonoma.
The cocktail menu includes the Foxy Cleopatra with rosé, rose and gold dust, or the Second Street Spritz with Moet Ice, mint, cucumber and amaro. Pair them with nibbles such as Regiis Ova Caviar, crudités with hummus, and truffle popcorn.
The third member of the Be Bubbly trio, DelCampo, will oversee member events and winemaker tastings, once COVID safety guidelines are relaxed. She loves bubbly for “the way the mood in a room instantly changes when you hear the ‘pop of a bottle of bubbles,” DelCampo said. “Creating special experiences, programs, and events has always been a joy more than a job.” DelCampo and her husband also have a vineyard management company.
The coronavirus pandemic put a damper on their planned Spring opening, but it gave them some wiggle-room to fine-tune the decor and make sure every aspect of the menu and their offerings were just right. Riley is eager to welcome the people who shared their vision and decided to join their pre-opening loyalty club. “We have 150 Bubblehead members who literally bought into this with a smile and our word,” Riley said. That initial club is full, but people who join other tiers will enjoy perks like a free glass of sparkling wine when they visit and first access to new releases.
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Article By: Maria C. Hunt