Ryan Tatsumoto
Hawai‘i Herald Columnist

Photo of “Naked” lemons with the membrane intact. (Photos courtesy Ryan Tatsumoto)
“Naked” lemons with the membrane intact. (Photos courtesy Ryan Tatsumoto)

I’m not sure where the year went, but the holiday season is upon us once again. Maybe it’s part of the theory of relativity — you know, where the closer you get to the end of your personal movie, the faster time flies — or maybe I’m just a Grinch who doesn’t like making merry. But I’m all for spreading cheer, as in the Japanese “Kanpai!,” Hawaiian “‘Ökole Maluna!,” Italian

Photo of zest and alcohol
The zest and alcohol

Chin Chin!” or the Irish Gaelic “Slainte!” — all expressions for “Cheers!” In my book, nothing like a cocktail can bring out good cheer during the holidays.

Bubbly Perhaps?

Nothing says celebration like a chilled bottle of sparkling wine, or more specifically, Champagne. That naturally produced Pinot Noir-, Chardonnay- and Pinot Meunier-based wine, which retains carbon dioxide via secondary bottle fermentation, sings “celebration” whether you just won the World Series, just recited your nuptial vows or are simply ringing in a new year. And, depending on how “fat” your holiday wallet is, you can find a nice bottle of “real” Champagne starting at $25 and going all the way up to . . . well, the sky’s the limit. While most of us think we are splurging on a $49 bottle of Veuve Cliquot with that classic orange label, I’m sure Jay Z doesn’t think twice about spending $300 for a bottle of Ace of Spades whenever Beyonce sneezes. Whether you liberate your wallet of $49, or $300 for a special bottle of bubbly, it ultimately might be worth it if you’re with your special someone.

Photo of a barrel-aged Manhattan.
A barrel-aged Manhattan.

But what if your whole posse is in attendance? Even a $25 bottle can be expensive if you’re popping a case of bubbly.

That’s where my favorite effervescent Italian bubbly comes to the rescue. Think Prosecco, my friends. Named after both the grape variety (also known as the Glera grape) and the village of origin, this lighter-bodied sparkling wine, usually with a hint of sweetness, is very cost-effective at about $11 a bottle on sale. So it’s great on its own as an aperitif before meals, paired with a lighter cuisine.

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Photo of grain alcohol
The grain alcohol


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