Sparkling Wines

All that glitters is not Champagne


There is good bubbly made in many parts of the world, and although I usually prefer Champagne, I enjoy many sparkling wines as do most people. Now Champagne is sparkling wine, but only sparkling wine grown in the Champagne region of France and made by the méthode champenoise is Champagne. Even sparkling made from the same grapes and same method tastes different due to the soil and environment, or terroir as the French say.

That said, there are other excellent sparkling wines available, including Spanish Cava which I love, from other parts of France, Spumante and Prosecco from Italy, Australian and Californian Sparkling Wines, and I even found one grown in Massachusetts I think kicks butt! Here is some info on other sparkling wines. Experiment and let your palate be your guide. It's what you enjoy that matters.

Argentina & Sparkling Wine - Argentina actually produces a lot of Sparkling Wine (Vinos Espumante), and based on what we've tried it's very good!.

Argyle Brut - Argyle Winery, in the Willamette Valley of Oregon, known for its Pinot Noirs, makes several lovely sparkling wines by the traditional Méthode Champenoise.

Australian Sparkling Wines - Australia makes some very nice sparklers from the cooler regions, including Tasmania. They also make sparkling reds from Shiraz, Cabernet, and more - I have been horrified by some in the past but am keeping an open mind!

Barefoot Bubbly and Barefoot Champagne - Now owned by Gallo, Barefoot produces an OK budget Brut and Extra Brut, and their Sparkling Pinot Grigio is OK too. The rest of the sparkling wines (incorrectly labeled "Champagne") are basically undrinkable plonk to any half serious wine lover.

Blanquette de Limoux - A sparkling wine from the South of France that predates Champagne by about 100 years, and at least one, Saint-Hilaire, is widely available, inexpensive and delicious.

Cava Wine - Delicious and well priced Spanish Sparkling wines.

Codorníu Cava - The biggest producer of all sparkling wines made by the traditional method worldwide and where Cava was first made! 

Cremant D'Alsace - Sparkling Wine from the Alsace Region of France, which can be very good!

Crémant de Bourgogne - Burgundy makes some of the best wines on the planet, period! It makes sense their sparkling wines would be good too, and they are. Less expensive than Champagne, and although not mind-blowing, damn good and damn good values!

Crémant de Limoux - A modern styled sparkling wine from the Languedoc in southwestern France.

Crémant de Loire - Sparkling wine from the Loire Valley made by traditional Champagne methods.

English Champagne? English Sparkling Wine - Are you serious? Well, it does have a terroir strikingly similar to the Champagne Region.

Freixenet - One of the most widespread and available Spanish Sparkling Wines (Cava), especially their Cordon Negro in the black bottle.

Gamay - Sparkling Gamay - Not so hot, but I may someday try another one.

Gruet Winery - Damn Good Sparkling Wines and more from New Mexico.

Iron Horse Winery - A Plethora of Sparkling and Still Wines from the Green Valley in the Russian River Valley. I like these!

Montlouis Sparkling Wine - An up and coming wine area across the river from better known Vouvray. 100% Chinon Blanc and lovely.

Naveran Cavas -6 Cavas, 250,000 bottles a year, as well as some non sparkling wines.

Parxet Cava - Making Spanish Sparkling wines since 1920.

Roederer - Californian sparking wines from the famed Louis Roederer in France who brings us Cristal and more.

Sparkling Sake? - A pleasant surprise! I like and am buying more.

Scarffenberger Brut - Nice and elegant sparklers that are great values and very tasty.

Schramsberg - Making elegant California sparkling wines since 1965.

Saumur Brut - From the Loire. If the kick ass Chateau Tour Grise is indicative, there is plenty of promise here!

South African Sparkling Wine - Both some good wines cheap and some damn good wines rather inexpensively. The quality and prices were a real surprise on a recent trip to South Africa!

Vouvray - Sparkling Vouvray - Chenin Blanc based Vouvray makes some awfully nice sparklers.

Westport Rivers Brut - A surprisingly nice sparkler from Massachusetts that always shows well, even in blind tastings.