Looking for everyday bubbles that pair well with food? While Champagne may produce coveted wines, many other regions of the world offer comparable quality and value. These lesser-known sparklers will add a little glitz to your dinner table.
Recommended Sparkling Wine Regions and Pairings
Crémant d’Alsace, France
Jean-Baptiste Adam NV Brut Rosé, $25. About 200 miles east of Champagne, Alsace uses similar standards to make crémants from mostly Pinot Blanc, though Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are allowed. The drier, warmer and sunnier climate produces round wines that are generous in flavor. This one—as with all rosé Crémant d’Alsace—is 100% Pinot Noir.
“It’s hard to beat tomato and basil panzanella with this when tomatoes are in peak season.” —Andy Chabot, director of food and beverage, Blackberry Farm, Walland, Tennessee.
Gusbourne 2011 Brut Reserve, $60. Though wine has been produced in England for centuries, it’s only during the past decade that production has ascended to international standards. Southern England boasts nearly 500 vineyards and about 135 wineries. With similar climate and soils to Champagne, it’s no surprise that sparkling wine has been the focus.
“With a distinctive oceanic influence, this wine has expressive mineral and floral characters that are perfect for fried chicken.”—Paula Rester, wine director, Mattie’s, Austin, Texas.
Stellenbosch, South Africa
Saltare NV Méthode Cap Classique Brut Reserve, $17. A premium wine category for South Africa, Méthode Cap Classique uses the traditional-method process introduced to the Cape by French Huguenots in the 17th century. As South Africa only produces about 2.5 million bottles, it’s well worth the find to enjoy a unique wine.
“A perfect fit for roasted pork tenderloin with lightly spiced apple and quince relish.” —James Tidwell, MS, beverage director, Four Seasons Resort and Club, Dallas, Texas.
Contadi Castaldi NV Brut Rosé, $25. Similar to Champagne in terms of production, grape selection and aging requirements, the warmer climate and unique soils in Franciacorta make for wines with notes of green apple, pear and quince, as well as floral elements and perceptible minerality.
“There’s nothing more Italian than eating cured meat and drinking sparkling wine.”—Geoff Kruth, MS, president, Guild of Sommeliers.
Published: July 26, 2017