In Food + Drink

Five Sparkling Wines To Try (And Learn About) While Inside

Although sparkling wine is synonymous with parties, holidays, and festive gatherings, we believe there’s no time like the present to celebrate the small things in life. We may be stuck inside for the foreseeable future, but that doesn’t mean that the bubbles should stop flowing.

In honor of love, life and the company we find ourselves with, here are five sparkling wines and regions that should absolutely be on your radar while stuck inside. Simply pop, clink and get to celebrating the little things in life.

Nothing adds a little pizzazz to life indoors like glasses of sparkling wines.

Crémant 

Image: Cody Chan / Unsplash

French crémants are the answer to French sparkling on a budget. While Champagne can only be produced in its eponymous region, crémant style sparklers are made all over France using the same production method and can be crafted from an array of grape varieties.

The Loire Valley, Jura and Burgundy (Bourgogne) are some of the country’s more popular crémant producing regions, though Bordeaux and the Languedoc are also a hotbed for delicious affordable sparklers. Simply pop and sip on their own or mix in with some juice for the perfect early evening apéritif. 

Producer recommendations: Domaine de Mouscaillo (Limoux, Languedoc), Benedicte & Stéphane Tissot (Jura), Clotilde Davenne (Burgundy/Bourgogne), Francois Chidaine (Montlouis, Loire) 

Cava

Image: Friederike Paetzold / Vinimenta

Produced via the same method that makes Champagne, these méthode traditionelle style bubbles are Spain’s answer to sparkling wine on a budget.

Produced in the Catalonia region from the Xarel-lo, Macabeo, and Parellada varieties, these textured and tasty bubbles are the perfect solution for those looking to pop affordable sparkling without sacrificing quality. Simply sip on their own on weeknights after working from home, simply because you deserve it.

Even better, prep yourself an at-home style tapas spread including tinned fish, sliced Manchego, and a curated charcuterie board for a transportive voyage to the sunny coasts of seaside Spain. 

Producer recommendations: Suriol, Bodegas Naveran, Bohigas, Cava Mestres

New World Pét-Nats 

Image: J Withers / BK Wines

Unlike méthode traditionelle/champenoise sparklers, these fun, fizzy, and super easy to drink bubbles are made via the méthode ancéstrale, meaning that only one fermentation takes place in bottle. Because of the way in which they are made, pét-nats are generally lower in alcohol, boast a bit of residual sugar, and are insanely easy to drink, especially on warm weather afternoons beneath the sun.

Pét-nats are also produced from a diverse array of grape varieties across a slew of appellations, so basically the sky’s the limit with these luscious and laid-back bubbles.

As much as we love pét-nats from Old World regions (think France, Italy, and beyond), seeking out their New World counterparts always promises a good time. Look to California, New York and Australia for some of the most exciting New World pét-nats on the market. 

Producer recommendations: Donkey & Goat (California), Cruse Wine Co. (California), Day Wines (Oregon), Jamesport Vineyards (New York), Brave New Wines (Australia), BK Wines (Australia) 

English sparkling wine 

Image: Nyetimber / supplied

Although relatively new to the viticultural scene, England’s sparkling wine production is not to be missed. These méthode traditionelle bubbles are produced using the same method as Champagne and are thought-provoking and terroir-driven in their own right.

England’s cool climate growing regions help preserve natural acidity in grapes, which is essential for crafting thirst-quenching sparkling wines.

Similar to the Champagne region of France, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir thrive in England’s viticultural zones, and although they can be a bit pricey, we definitely recommend diving into a bottle of these unique and mouthwatering bubbles. 

Producer recommendations: Nyetimber, Hattingley Valley Wines

Champagne

sparkling wine

Image: A.R. Lenoble / supplied

And when all else fails, there’s always Champagne. Seriously, there’s a reason why this region has been the monarch of the sparkling wine kingdom since basically the beginning of time. These world-class wines exude a luxury, prestige and deliciousness that set them apart from the rest.

Produced from Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and/or Pinot Meunier, these sophisticated French sparkles scream self-care, which is really what we all need at this moment in time. We know that being stuck inside can truly be a bummer, though when you hear the cork popping off a bottle of Champagne, we assure you that the burden is instantly lightened. 

Producer recommendations: Champagne Dhondt-Grellet, Maison Bérêche Champagne, A.R. Lenoble, Chartogne-Taillet, Pierre Peters

(Lead image: Nyetimber / supplied

Published 02 April, 2020