There’s no denying that Champagne reigns king of the sparkling wine world — and is hands down, one of the most delicious regions to drink from. However, drinking Champs on the reg can do some serious damage to your wallet. So what’s a bubble-lover to do? Scope out other sparkling wine regions, of course. Check out these global bottles of bubbly to discover the world of sparkling wine beyond Champagne that won’t break the bank. Trust us — your wallets, and palate, will thank you.
When we think of sparkling wine, the first country that generally comes to mind is France. However, French bubbles go far beyond just Champagne. Nearly every wine producing region in France produces some sort of sparkling wine; when produced in the méthode champenoise (outside of Champagne), these wines go by the title Crémant. Wines can also be produced in a pétillant naturel style, otherwise known as the méthode ancestrale, meaning the wine is bottled prior the completion of fermentation, leaving a spritzy flow of bubbles (as well as some harmless sediment) inside the final wines.
Suggested bottle(s): For fun pét-nats and méthode ancestrale style wines, your best bet is to look to Limoux (Languedoc Roussillon) or the Loire Valley. We recommend Les Capriades ‘Piege a Filles’ Pét-Nat Rosé (Loire) or Sieur d’Arques ‘Toques et Clochers’ Crémant de Limoux NV.
Italian bubbles go much further than Prosecco. In Lombardy, there’s Franciacorta, a high-quality, sparkling wine producing region that uses the méthode champenoise, creating bubbles of similar caliber to France’s king of fizz. Méthode champenoise wines can also be found in the northeastern region of Trentino Alto Adige; known for cool climates, steep hills and influence from the Dolomite Mountains, the wines are equally refreshing and thirst-quenching.
Suggested bottle(s): Barone Pizzini Franciacorta Brut Rosé 2012 or Rotari Brut Trento DOC Blanc de Blancs 2013.
Cava, Cava, Cava. Produced in the Penedes region of Catalonia, Cava is hands down one of the best quality to price ratios for sparkling wines in the world. Produced mainly from Macabeo, Xarel-lo, and Parellada (via the méthode champenoise) the wines are textured and energetic with equally refreshing price tags to go along with it.
Suggested bottle: Anna de Codorniu Blanc de Blancs Brut Cava NV
Though Georgian bottles may be harder to find than other regions/countries, if you do indeed come across one, don’t let it pass you by. Home to frothy pét-nats and a plethora of indigenous varieties, tasting the wines of Georgia is absolutely essential for any sparkling wine lover – it is, after all, where viticulture originally began.
Suggested bottle(s): Pheasant’s Tears Chinuri Pét-Nat 2016
Ever since a little old thing called Prohibition, the American wine scene has greatly expanded; what started with aspirational gold seekers in California has now branched across the West Coast to Oregon and Washington, with equally thriving, up-and-coming markets in New York, Virginia and Texas. Fruit destined for sparkling wine loves cooler climates, making the Finger Lakes and various parts of Oregon ideal for production.
Suggested bottle(s): For domestic, bone dry bubbles, check-out Brooks Sparkling Riesling 2015 or Chepika Pét-Nat ‘Delaware’ Finger Lakes 2016, a joint venture between Pascaline Lepeltier, MS and Nathan Keller.
Sparkling wine from Mexico? You bet. Viticulture is booming across the country, especially in the Baja region, just south of California. For fun, funky pét-nats crafted from indigenous varieties, be sure to taste the wines of Bichi, artisanally produced by the Téllez family.
Suggested bottle(s): Bichi Pét Mex NV
Though widely known for medium to full-bodied reds, the rare occurrence of a Chilean sparkling wine is always a treat. When produced from Chardonnay, the wines are generally pale and plush, perfect for weekend brunches or late afternoon aperitifs. If you happen to come across a méthode champenoise bottle from the Casablanca Valley, definitely scoop it up!
Suggested bottle(s): TerraNoble Chardonnay Extra Brut NV
Designated Méthode Cap Classique, or MCC for short, these South African bubbles are produced in the méthode champenoise, generally from Sauvignon Blanc or Chenin Blanc. However, traditional Champagne varieties (Chardonnay and Pinot Noir) are on the rise, too. Fruit-forward and bright, the wines are excellently affordable and ideal for serving as an aperitif.
Suggested bottle(s): Backsberg Sparkling Brut MCC 2015
Australia’s unique diversity of regions and weather climates allows for a variety of sparkling wines to be produced; however, when we think Australia, our minds immediately head to Shiraz — so why not make it sparkling? Plus, fun, frothy reds are appropriate for just about every situation.
Suggested Bottle(s): The Chook Sparkling Shiraz NV