It’s no mistake that consumption of sparkling wines has more than doubled in the last fifty years due to an extensive advertising campaign. American bubbly is produced from “sea to shining sea”- California, Oregon, Washington, Virginia, New York, New Mexico and Massachusetts wineries are all producing domestic sparkling wines. This is the perfect time of year to enjoy this crisp and refreshing beverage. In my home, I always have a bottle on hand as you never know when the right occasion might occur…
American Sparkling Wines vs. Champagne
The majority of American sparkling wines are not allowed to use the term “champagne.” As true champagne is only produced in the Champagne region of France, the French wanted to protect their name. So much so that in 2005, the United States and the European Union signed a wine-trade agreement preventing American producers from calling their sparkling wines “champagne.” However, there are a few vineyards in California that were “grandfathered” in, most notably Korbel and Andre. Even Miller High Life, “The Champagne of Beers”, is allowed to keep that slogan!
Production of Sparkling Wines
The bubbles in sparkling wine are products of carbon dioxide. Most sparkling wines involve a second fermentation process, which is when yeast and sugar are added to a still base wine. The bubbles are created in this process and the end result is a sparkling wine.
Classification of Sparkling Wines
⚓️ Extra Brut (extra dry)
⚓️ Brut (most popular)
⚓️ Extra Dry (in the middle, not dry, not sweet)
⚓️ Sec and Demi (both of which are fairly sweet and pairs well with fruit and dessert, depending on the sugar level)
Sparkling wines are also categorized as “vintage”, which means the grapes came from a single season, or “non-vintage” (NV on the label), which means it is a blend of grapes from several different seasons. The “vintage” can be a bit more expensive. The non-vintage sparkling wines make up the majority of the market.
Delicious bubbles don’t have to cost a fortune. American sparkling wines range in price from $10 a bottle to $50 or more. One of the highest rated bottles of bubbly is Schramsberg Blanc de Noirs Brut for $35.
Some of my favorites include:
⚓️ Gruet Brut, New Mexico- $15
⚓️ Roederer Estate, Anderson Valley, California- $22
⚓️ Mumm Napa Cuvee, Napa Valley- $21.99
⚓️ Gloria Ferrer, Sonoma- $22
Don’t forget your accessories! Here are some beautiful and affordable items to complement your bubbly…
And, always remember, keep a bottle on ice… just in case!