Recommendations + Tips from Napa’s Erin Riley, Owner of Be Bubbly

Whether it’s a fall feast on the dinner table, a holiday gathering with family and friends, or a celebration that 2021 is finally over, it’s due time to enjoy some bubbly.

When it comes to sparkling wine, there’s no shortage of options. From traditional French Champagne to Spanish Cava to local sparkling, just about every wine-growing region in the world produces its own version of bubbly. And with a vast range of sweetness levels, selecting the right style for the occasion can be a challenge. With that in mind, Erin Riley—local sparkling expert and owner of Be Bubbly, Napa’s premier sparkling lounge—has some tips and recommendations for selecting the right bubbles for every occasion throughout the holiday season and beyond.

It’s the most wonderful time of year for sparkling wine lovers because there’s an abundance of occasions for which to pop the cork and celebrate. Riley recommends deciding whether food pairing will be involved as you select a bottle. “For me, selecting a bubbly is decided by my mood, who I’m drinking with, and what I might be pairing it with,” said Riley. “I tend to gravitate toward Chardonnay-based Champagne and Sparkling since they are crisp and go well with savory, salty & rich foods—my favorites. Those with more Pinot noir, including some rosé, I prefer to enjoy by the glass even when I’m not dining.”

For holiday occasions, sparkling enthusiasts seem to prefer Champagne. “I find that people gravitate towards Grand Maisons during special holidays like Laurent Perrier, Billecart-Salmon, Dom Perignon, Ruinart & Louis Roederer, which we always have on hand,” said Riley. “But there are some amazing grower Champagnes, domestic and international bubbles that are equally spectacular and value-driven such as Pierre Gobilliard, Michel Gonet & Lombard, Clos Henri, Domaine Rolet, & Carboniste… we [also] offer local favorites Schramsberg and Paula Kornell Blanc de Noirs at Be Bubbly.”At Be Bubbly, sparkling lovers can enjoy two fantastic tasting flights that highlight the very best of Champagne and the incredible expressions produced here in Napa Valley. The Champagne flight comes with the option to add a glass of Piper Heidsieck Rare 2008, and the local Napa Valley flight highlights Domaine Chandon, Schramsberg, and Domaine Carneros. Closer to Christmas, Riley features her Around the World 12 Days of Christmas offering—a 12-bottle case of bubbles from producers around the globe so that sparkling lovers can explore more bubbly at home.

“I say ‘we only pour joy’ at Be Bubbly because no matter the occasion or day of the week, there’s nothing more celebratory than a glass of sparkling!” Riley said. Located at 1407 Second Street in downtown Napa, Be Bubbly is open Monday through Thursday from 12:30 pm to 10:00 pm, Friday and Saturday from 12:30 pm to midnight, and Sunday from 12:30 pm to 8:00 pm.

To join The Bubbly Club or to book a private celebration at the Be Bubbly lounge, email or call 707-637-4532.

Story By: Melissa Vogt // Photo By: Evan Roscoe