Suns out, glasses up! I couldn’t think of a better time of year to break out the bubbles. There’s nothing like having a glass of crisp, sparkling wine on a warm summer day. And, not a bottle of Cook’s or Korbel. I’m talking about investing in the good stuff! I’ve discovered there’s a world of amazing wine producers that make all sorts of different types of premium sparkling wines at affordable prices that you aren’t going to find at your local grocery store. There’s nothing wrong with picking up a “cheapie” every once in a while, but trust once you’ve tried one of my recommendations you’ll think twice about the quality of sparkling wine you’re buying. Break out your pen and paper because you’ll want to take notes on this round-up of sparkling wines.
2019 Gallant Bubbly White Wine ($24)
Have you heard of Scout & Cellar? They’re known for making wine that is “clean crafted” meaning the grapes used are checked for pesticides and other chemicals before harvesting.The goal is to make a wine without those extra additives. Earlier this year, A friend of mine (who is a senior consultant for the brand) introduced me to Scout & Cellar as a cleaner option to your everyday conventional wines. They have a huge portfolio of white, red, and bubbles, but a couple weeks ago they launched their new 2019 Gallant Bubbly White Wine, which happens to be a (dun, dun, DUN) sparkling Sauvignon Blanc (SB). You already know this was an instant yes for me. This bubbly is 100% Sauvignon Blanc. It’s pretty light in frame because I don’t know about you, but I hate the fullness I feel after drinking anything that’s carbonated. This sparkling SB has notes of green apple, lemon and a little minerality followed by a crisp, refreshing finishing. Such a good summer quencher! You can only order Scout & Cellar online. Here’s a link to my friend’s page.
2018 Il Folicello Bianco Pét-Nat ($22)
Next we have this sparkling white Pét-Nat from Modena, Emilia-Romagna, Italy. Pét-Nat is short for Pétillant Naturel, which in short is a natural form of sparkling wine. You’ve probably noticed that I’ve been drinking a lot of the natural wines anyways. With Pét-Nats the wine is bottled prior to fully completing its first fermentation, allowing carbon dioxide to be produced by the natural sugars found in the grapes. This production method is contrary to the way in which Champagne is produced, where the base wine is fully fermented, then undergoes a secondary fermentation in bottle with the addition of yeast and sugar. Unlike Champagne, Pét-Nat is not disgorged, and may or may not be filtered on completion of fermentation. This Pét-Nat is a blend of Montuni (50%), Pinot (25%), and Trebbiano (25%) —all grown organically. It has this sweet aromatic floral smell. On the palate it’s very funky with a lot of minerality. I love a good dry white with character plus you add a light fizz to it and it’s pure heaven. This sparkling wine might be a little harder to find, but I’d start first with your local wine retailer.
2019 Lily’s Pét-Nat, Sparkling Chardonnay ($35)
And another one…
Yes, I’m still talking about Donkey & Goat! You know I’m crazy about their natural wines and had to try their latest Pét-Nat, which happens to be made of Chardonnay grapes. It’s pretty popular this summer. I’ve been seeing a lot of wine shops carry it. Warning: I’ve seen it marked up to anywhere from $45 to $56. So, if you’re in California, you just might want to purchase directly from the producer. Anyways, this Pét-Nat is another aromatic bomb. It has notes of floral and red apple that will definitely grab your attention. This Pét-Nat has a touch of sweetness that is complemented by a wave of acidity. The flavors are so on point that you’ll have no problems finishing the bottle.
2018 Peleokerisio Semi Sparkling Orange Wine ($15)
I’m absolutely a huge fan of this Greek sparkling orange wine. I recently tried it at Helen’s Food & Greek Wine in Houston. I was beyond excited when I discovered that you can find it at Total Wine for only $15. Helen sells it for like $40 something. Again with the mark-ups…smh. Anyways, Peleokerisio is a blend of 97% Debina (a white variety vinified with 12 days of skin contact) and 3% of the red grape Vlahiko. The finished wine is carbonated in tank. The result is an off-dry, semi-sparkling orange wine that is amazing when paired with food. I had it with these smothered greek fries. The fattiness from the fries paired perfectly with the acidity from the wine. Greek wines are so rare here. I love that I can experience a little taste (since international travel is prohibited) without having to leave my home!
Podere il Saliceto Albone Lambrusco di Modena Secco NV ($22)
Lambrusco is actually a family of very old grape varieties native to Italy. This is a sparking dry red wine with a light fizz to it. You get aromas of blackberries and violet on the nose. On the palate, i got tangy mouthfuls of more blackberry and black cherry with a hint of acidity on the finish. Lambrusco pairs really well with bbq in case you didn’t know. Again, the tannin structure and acidity complement the smokey and fatty flavors from a rib. This is another producer that you’d have to find at a speciality wine shop, but you can find Lambrusco just about anywhere. You don’t have to stick with this particular brand.
Vazart Coquart Brut Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Reserve ($42)
So, I’m finishing the round-up with a brut (dry) sparkling Chardonnay. It’s so light and good. It delivers aromas of lemon and grapefruit with mineral-laced fruit flavors that produce a soft aftertaste. This is one of my go-to sparkling wines that I use if I want to impress someone. And, it’s sold at a decent price point!
Alright, wine people….I hope you discovered some new sparkling wines that peeked your interest. There’s no time like the present to step up your sparkling wine game. What’s your favorite sparkling wine? Share in the comment section below. Until next time…glasses up!