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Bring on the Bubbly

Before you pop the bottle on the big day, brush up on your sparkling wine skills.

Bring on the Bubbly

Given the inherent opportunity to celebrate growing inside of you, there is no better time to explore the wonderful world of sparkling wines. If you’re up for “just one glass” of something new and tasty on Valentine’s Day (or any day!), why not dive into some glorious bubbles? And since growing a human being is one of the most empowering life events you’ll ever experience, I say: exploit that sense of “I am creating life, and I can do ANYTHING,” and become a mini-expert on sparkling wines. (Don’t worry, there are more than enough moments in the days to come that will keep you humble.)

Just because you can’t drink as often as you used to, or as often as you’d like, don’t let it stop you from upping your wine knowledge game. And when your bundle of joy arrives, you won’t have to think twice when you are asked what you want to drink to celebrate his/her arrival.

All That Sparkles

Not all bubbles are created equal, just as all sparkling wine is not Champagne. After all, Champagne is a region in France, not a type of wine. It’s like calling all the white wine in the world ‘Napa Valley.’ There are tons of options, so let’s break down the important differences.

Every still wine has the potential to become sparkling wine. As yeast consumes sugar to create alcohol it produces carbon dioxide. With regular still wines, the gas escapes. In sparking wines, the CO2 is captured and then kept in the bottle (by adding more sugar and yeast to the still wine) creating all those beautiful bubbles.

Compared to Champagne, sparkling wine can be and is made from any grape from anywhere in the world. In the U.S. and Australia, you’ll find producers experimenting with lots of interesting varietals and styles. From northern Italy, there is Prosecco, which is slightly lower in alcohol and acidity, making it fresh and accessible. If you love a little sweetness, try Moscato D’Asti, it’s the perfect aperitif or brunch wine. If you want bigger bubbles and full-bodied flavor that tends to be drier than Prosecco, order Cava from Spain. And German sekt is more likely to be sweeter than it is dry.

If you like your sparkling wine under $25 (who wouldn’t?), France produces another sparkling wine called Crémant. Crémants can be made from any grape grown in the region where it’s produced. So, it can be a Crémant de Bourgogne (or Burgundy), made from Chardonnay, or Crémant de Samur, made from Chenin Blanc.

Champagne Central

Champagnes are generally acidic, nutty, and bready. Producers work hard to create wines with a signature or “house” specific flavor profile. This takes a lot of work, as most Champagnes are a blend of different grapes (Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier) and from different years (hence the term Non-Vintage or ‘NV’). Single vintage Champagnes are made only in exceptional years and carry an exceptional price tag to boot.

If you want something a little extra special for Valentine’s Day, find yourself a “grower” Champagne. The Champagne region is filled with big names and labels, and big prices to boot. What some folks don’t know is that there are independent producers that make brilliant Champagnes in much smaller quantities, and at prices that are more affordable. The best part: your pregnant brain need not retain too much information to still hit a home run -- all you need to remember is “grower Champagne.” Ask the clerk at any wine store worth its salt for a grower Champagne, or even type it in to the search field at your favorite online wine retailer, and you should find at least one bottle. You’ll impress your partner, and maybe even alter the course of your own understanding and appreciation of sparkling wine with one of these bottles.

Cheers!

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We're so glad to live in a time when modern baby gear exists. Sure, no one is going to argue that having a baby is easy—but it can be easier with support from some gadgets designed to help your baby and put your mind at ease.

As you build your baby registry, look for products that go the extra mile to make your life a whole lot easier. For example, what's better than a bassinet? A bassinet that can rock by itself. And what's better than a traditional baby monitor? One that allows you to actually take a peek at your baby. Believe us when we say these upgrades can make all the difference.

Here are 10 baby gadgets that will make your life so much easier… relatively speaking, of course!


A bassinet to promote safe + sound sleep

HALO Innovations Bassinest Swivel Sleeper Essenta Series Nautical Net

The safest place for your newborn to sleep is in your room, but not in your bed. Thanks to the swivel function of the Halo Bassinest, you can easily tend to your baby during the night—which means more sleep for you, too. Trust us when we say that is the best gift you can give a new parent.

$239.99

A smart swing for your baby

4moms mamaRoo 4 Bluetooth Enabled High-Tech Baby Swing - Classic

Believe it or not, many babies are born with strong opinions about how they want to be rocked, swung or shushed to calm down. With the mamaRoo's various motions and reclining positions, you'll be able to find a setting your baby loves when you need to free up your hands for a bit.

$219.99

A complete travel system for car + sidewalk

Chicco Bravo Travel System - Indigo

No matter where the day takes you—or what mode of transportation you need to get there—getting a complete travel system for your baby will equip you for anything.

$379.99

A swaddle you don’t have to wrestle

Love To Dream Swaddle UP Original

What do babies and Harry Houdini have in common? A knack for breaking out of tight constraints—which can be a headache when swaddling is the best way to help promote good sleep. Thanks to a breakout-proof swaddle that allows your baby to sleep with their hands up, you don't have to work up a sweat just to get your baby comfortably swaddled.

$29.99

A nursery wherever you need it

Baby Trend Lil Snooze Deluxe II Nursery Center

During the early days of parenting (when you are feeding and changing your baby around the clock), having convenient access to everything you need with a go-anywhere nursery station can save you serious time and energy.

$99.99

A little help for stuffy noses

Fridababy NoseFrida Nasal Aspirator

Up until the point years down the road when your child is able to blow their own nose, the sniffles can be a real struggle—but not with a nasal aspirator that makes it easy for you to get that snot out of their nose.

$15.99

A way to keep an eye on your baby

VTech 5" Digital Video Baby Monitor - VM5251

Trust us when we say you'll sleep better when you know your baby is also sleeping soundly. That's why we're so thankful for modern-day video monitors, which allow you to check in on your sleeping baby without running the risk of waking them up when you sneak in for a peek.

$79.99

A bassinet for hands-free rocking

Simmons Kids Silent Auto Gliding Elite Bassinet - Odyssey

Babies are soothed by rocking motions. But what does that mean for you if you can't rock them throughout the night? With an auto-gliding bassinet, they can comfortably drift off to sleep... and continue snoozing.

$99.99

An easy way to contain diaper smells

Diaper Genie Expressions Pail

Sometimes it's the little conveniences that make a big difference in the quality of your day-to-day life. That's why a great diaper pail should not be undervalued: By containing the smell, you will save yourself dozens upon dozens of trips to the garbage can.

$24.99

A white noise machine that pulls double duty

Hatch Rest Sound Machine, Night Light & Time-to-Rise

A phone-controlled sound machine may be something you never considered until now, but it will be a major lifesaver for years to come, especially as it can also function as a time-to-rise clock that promotes good sleep habits for your child.

$59.99

And as for securing all these awesome products? Well, a Target baby registry is the way to do it. By creating your baby registry with Target, you will also enjoy their Year of Benefits registry program, which includes perks like a welcome kit with more than $100 in savings and samples, two 15% off coupons to complete your registry, and a full year of returns. The benefits are better than ever right now: Target just launched the Year of Exclusive Deals perk as one of its registry benefits, and this includes a year's worth of discounts on baby essentials (think diapers and formula) and comes complementary when you sign up for Target Circle.

Because while parenting may not be "easy," deciding to register with Target definitely is an easy decision. Start your Target baby registry now and enjoy shopping with a Year of Benefits featuring a Year of Exclusive Deals available via Target Circle, two 15% off coupons, a year of hassle-free returns, a free welcome kit and more!

This article was sponsored by Target. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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