Beer & Wine Wine

The 20 Best Sparkling Wines to Drink in 2021

Everything from pét-nats to Champagnes, crémants to American sparkling.

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From weekend brunches to housewarming parties to casual happy hours at home, popping a bottle of bubbles generally promises a good time. However, knowing what you’re drinking—and which bottles to seek out—is key. 

 There are three methods used to create sparkling wine: the traditional method (méthode traditionelle or méthode champenoise), the Martinotti (or Charmat) method, and the ancestral method (méthode ancestrale). The traditional method is used to make Champagne, cava and crémants, and involves reigniting still wine with a secondary fermentation (executed in the bottle) using a mixture of yeast and sugar. These wines age on their lees in bottle and are then disgorged, dosed (if desired), and then recorked prior to selling.

The Martinotti / Charmat method is used to make most lambruscos and proseccos. This process also involves a secondary fermentation, though unlike the traditional method, this style is executed in pressurized tanks. Charmat method wines are generally fresher, less complex, and are meant to be consumed in their youth. Ancestral method wines (pét-nats, for example), only undergo one fermentation, which completes itself in the bottle. Because of this, these sparklers often have bits of leftover sediment and/or residual sugar in them—though fear not, these elements are totally harmless. 

“One of the many great things about sparkling wine is the ever-increasing diversity of styles. From Champagne to crémant, Asti to American sparkling; there is one question I always ask. Is it delicious?” says Sam Stoppelmoor, wine director & general manager at La Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels in New York. “I want my sparkling wines to be clean, refreshing, and easy to drink. They can be straightforward or extraordinarily complex.” 

Clean, refreshing, and easy to drink? Noted. We’ve compiled a list of the best sparkling wines to drink under the sun, featuring various styles, categories, grape varieties and regions. Get ready to pop some corks. 

Best Overall: Laherte Frères ‘Ultradition’ Brut Champagne

Laherte Frères ‘Ultradition’ Brut NV

Courtesy of Vivino

  • Region: Champagne, France
  • ABV: 12.5%
  • Tasting Notes: Brioche, Baked Apple, Citrus

This delicious, full-bodied Champagne is as good as it gets. Now headed by Aurélien Laherte, this family-owned estate has been producing wines in the village of Chavot since 1889. Today, all fruit is farmed organically and biodynamically, and Aurélien puts a strong emphasis on single-vineyard bottlings to highlight his unique vineyard site. ‘Ultradition’ bursts with flavors of baked apples, citrus, brioche and minerals. 

“When I’m looking for sparkling wine, I typically look for that classic rich and nutty brioche flavor profile that also has a little bit of green apple zip to it,” says Lexi Jones, Co-founder & Director of Imports + Distribution at Amlière Imports LLC & Argaux LLC. Jones notes that she particularly enjoys these flavors with fried chicken, dim sum and oysters. 

Best Budget: Gruet Brut NV

Gruet Brut

Courtesy of Wine.com 

  • Region: New Mexico, U.S.
  • ABV: 12%
  • Tasting Notes: Green Apple, Orange Rind, Toast

Bubbles from New Mexico? You bet. This shockingly affordable sparkling wine is produced by the Gruet family (originally from Champagne) in Albuquerque. Their Champenoise roots bring an Old World touch to these méthode traditionelle sparklers, which are produced from classic Champagne varieties. This lively bottle of bubbles jumps with flavors of green apple, orange rind and toast. Making weeknight bubbles a thing has never been easier (or economical). 

Best for Mimosas: Alberto Nani Organic Prosecco Extra Dry

Alberto Nani Prosecco

 Courtesy of Drizly

  • Region: Veneto, Italy
  • ABV: 11%
  • Tasting Notes: Grapefruit, Tart Pears, Honey

Here at Liquor.com, we believe that quality should never be sacrificed, even in the realm of wine mixers. When searching for the perfect bottle of bubbles to mix with orange juice, finding something responsibly-made (and equally delicious) is key. This crisp and zesty prosecco is loaded with flavors of tart pears, orchard fruit, grapefruit and a touch of honey. Mix with your favorite fresh-squeezed juice for a delicious at-home brunch cocktail.

“Some of my favorite sparkling wine pairings are those in which many other wines fall short,” explains Stoppelmoor. “Egg dishes are notoriously hard to pair with, they often clash with reds and whites, but sparkling wines lift the fat right off your palate and accentuate the nuanced flavors while cleansing your palate of any lingering egg-y flavors.” 

Best Sparkling Red: Lini ‘910’ Labrusca Lambrusco Rosso

Lini 910 Labrusca Lambrusco Rosso

 Courtesy of Wine.com

  • Region: Emilia-Romagna, Italy
  • ABV: 11%
  • Tasting Notes: Ripe Red Fruit, Dark Berries, Balsamic

There’s a reason why Italians drink lambrusco all day long—it’s fruity, it’s relatively low alcohol and it’s seriously tasty. Lini ‘910’ is produced from sustainably-farmed fruit via the Martinotti (Charmat) method. Flavors of ripe red fruit and forest berries jump from the wine’s juicy palate – think of this stuff like grape juice for adults. Sip with Asian takeout favorites, pizza or barbecue dishes. 

Read Next: The Best Champagne Glasses, According to Experts

Best Sparkling Rosé: Jansz Tasmania Brut Rosé

Jansz Tasmania Brut Rosé NV

 Courtesy of Wine.com

  • Region: Tasmania, Australia
  • ABV: 12.5%
  • Tasting Notes: Candied Fruit, Cream, Rose Petals

This pinot noir-dominant rosé from the Land Down Under oozes with flavors of candied red fruit, rhubarb, cream and rose petals. The wine undergoes secondary fermentation in bottle and is aged on the lees for three years prior to release. Jansz has been pioneering high-quality sparkling wines from Tasmania since 1975. All fruit is responsibly farmed and is cultivated in cool-climate areas in Pipers River.

“I'm from the south. I love pairing things like fried shrimp po'boys, crawfish jambalaya, french fries and lots of plain Lay's or Kettle chips,” says wine and travel consultant Julia Coney. “I also love rosé sparkling wine with steak, specifically flank or filet mignon.” 

“When I think about my favorite sparkling wine producers and which cuvée I truly enjoy drinking the most, it tends to be their rosé,” reveals Stoppelmoor. “If we are talking about which style to drink with certain foods, I look to rosé for dishes that need a little more body, but can also marry with the red fruit characteristics of the wine.” Stoppelmoor notes that sparkling rosé works particularly well with pork dishes, Thanksgiving turkey, and savory dishes that incorporate red fruits (such as spinach salad with goat cheese and strawberries).

Best Sweet: Patrick Bottex Bugey-Cerdon ‘La Cueille’

Patrick Bottex Bugey-Cerdon ‘La Cueille’ NV

Courtesy of Wine.com

  • Region: Savoie, France
  • ABV: 8%
  • Tasting Notes: Berry Compote, White Cherries, Strawberries and Cream

This sweet-yet-balanced fizzy wine from eastern France jumps with flavors of white cherries, raspberry compote and strawberries. Produced via the méthode ancestrale, this gamay/poulsard blend is bottled with a noticeable amount of residual sugar, which is kept in check by truckloads of natural acidity. Fair warning—this stuff may just become your new obsession (and at just 8% ABV, this wine is almost too easy to drink). 

Best Crémant: Domaine de Montbourgeau Crémant du Jura Brut

Domaine de Montbourgeau Crémant du Jura Brut NV

 Courtesy of Minibar

  • Region: Jura, France
  • ABV: 12%
  • Tasting Notes: Yellow Apples, Lemon Zest, Chalk

Well-made crémants are some of the sparkling wine world’s best-kept secrets. These bubbles are produced all over France via the same vinification techniques as Champagne (secondary fermentation and lees aging in bottle), though generally cost a fraction of the price. This zippy crémant from the Jura is produced from chardonnay grown in clay/limestone soils and is loaded with flavors of yellow apples, pear skin, lemon zest and chalk. Sip before, during, or after a lengthy meal—you really can’t go wrong here. 

Best Cava: Bodegas Naveran Brut

Bodegas Naveran Brut

 Courtesy of Wine.com

  • Region: Penedès, Spain
  • ABV: 11.5%
  • Tasting Notes: Apple Skin, Roasted Almonds, Yeast

This estate-bottled vintage cava is one of the best quality-to-price-ratio bubbly options on the market. Produced from the region’s classic trio of grapes (xarel-lo, macabeo and parellada), this organic wine jumps with notes of apple skin, grilled almonds, yeast and grapefruit rind. Naveran has been producing méthode traditionelle sparkling wines that rival some of France’s best since 1901—stand this bottle up against one of Champagne’s bigger-brand names and see where the value lies!   

Read Next: The Best Cheap Wines

Best Skin-Contact Sparkling: Domaine Glinavos 'Paleokerisio'

Domaine Glinavos 'Paleokerisio' Semi-Sparkling Orange Wine

Courtesy of Vivino

  • Region: Ioannina, Greece
  • ABV: 10.5%
  • Tasting Notes: Apple Cider, Peach Skin, Citrus

This unique, semi-sparkling orange wine from Greece is perfect for skin-contact wine lovers looking for something different. Produced exclusively from local grape varieties (debina, vlahiko and bekari), this partially sweet wine is marked by notes of apple cider, peach skin and tangy citrus. ‘Paleokerisio’ means ‘old fashioned,’ which pays homage to this revived style of semi-sparkling winemaking. 

Best Blanc de Blancs: Pierre Peters ‘Cuvée de Réserve’ Blanc de Blancs Brut

Pierre Peters ‘Cuvée de Réserve’ Blanc de Blancs Brut NV

 Courtesy of Wine.com

  • Region: Champagne, France
  • ABV: 12%
  • Tasting Notes: Marzipan, Apricots, White Flowers

This world-class Blanc de Blancs is loaded with flavors of apricots, marzipan, white flowers and grilled nuts. The wine’s creamy, full-bodied palate and persistent mousse lead to a lasting, palate-coating finish. Given the prestige of this producer, this bottle is a steal for the price. (Note: Blanc de Blancs simply means that only white grape varieties are used in the blend. Most Blanc de Blancs tend to be crafted from 100% chardonnay, like the expression here.) 

“I like Blanc de Blancs to get my mouth watering and ready to eat,” says Coney. “If I'm opening more than one wine for dinner I tend to go for a BdB often because I love chardonnay.” Jones suggests sipping rich Blanc de Blancs wines with shellfish or scallops. 

Best Blanc de Noirs: Schramsberg Blanc de Noirs

Schramsberg Blanc de Noirs NV

 Courtesy of Wine.com

  • Region: Napa, California
  • ABV: 13%
  • Tasting Notes: Strawberries, Brioche, Citrus

And on the contrary, Blanc de Noirs indicates that only red-skinned fruit (generally pinot noir and/or pinot meunier) is used. This sustainably-produced expression from Schramsberg is vibrant, full-bodied, and loaded with flavors of red fruits, strawberries and minerals. The wine is produced using the méthode traditionelle at one of the oldest estates in California. Sip chilled with charcuterie boards or other happy hour snacks.

Best for Parties: Nautilus Estate Brut Cuvée

Nautilus Estate Brut Cuvée NV

 Courtesy of Vivino

  • Region: Marlborough, New Zealand
  • ABV: 12%
  • Tasting Notes: Apple Skin, Roasted Hazelnuts, Honey

Parties are all about the conversation, and this bubbly wine from New Zealand is certain to spark some chatter. Toasty flavors of apple skin, roasted hazelnuts, honey and lime dominate the wine’s mouth-coating palate.

This wine is produced from 70% pinot noir and 30% chardonnay via the méthode traditionelle and aged for three years on the lees. Sip with oysters, crab legs or vegetarian hors d’oeuvres. 

Best for Celebrating: Lanson Green Label Organic Brut

Champagne Lanson Green Label Brut NV

Courtesy of Vivino 

  • Region: Champagne, France
  • ABV: 12.5%
  • Tasting Notes: Tart Apples, Lemon Zest, Toasted Bread

Popping a delicious bottle of bubbly is a party in itself, and this crisp, acid-driven Champagne is no exception. Made with organic fruit, the wine is laden with flavors of juicy citrus, lemon zest, tart green apples and toasty bread. Sip with all things fried for an out-of-this-world pairing. 

However, we believe that truly great sparkling wines never need a ‘reason’ to be popped. “I don't find bubbles celebratory,” says Coney. “I find bubbles are meant to be drunk like a regular still wine. At the end of the day, it is still a wine. It just happens to have bubbles. I drink sparkling wine a few times a week.” 

Best Off-the-Beaten-Path: Nyetimber ‘Classic Cuvée’

Nyetimber ‘Classic Cuvée’

Courtesy of Nyetimber 

  • Region: Sussex, United Kingdom
  • ABV: 12%
  • Tasting Notes: Yellow Stone Fruit, Honey, Sweet Spice

If you love full-bodied bubbles from Champagne, then this English sparkling wine is for you. Produced in Sussex, this deliciously balanced wine oozes with creamy flavors of yellow stone fruit, brioche, honey and sweet spice.

This bubbly is chardonnay dominant (55%), rounded out with equal parts pinot noir and pinot meunier. Enjoy with wash-rind cheeses, fried potatoes or caviar. 

Best Splurge: Agrapart & Fils Minéral Extra Brut Grand Cru 'Avize'

Agrapart Minéral Extra Brut 2014

 Courtesy of Vivino

  • Region: Champagne, France
  • ABV: 12%
  • Tasting Notes: Pear, Baked Bread, Crushed Rocks

Sometimes the night calls for something extra special, and this vintage Champagne from Agrapart always promises a good time. Arguably the liveliest of their cuvées, this organic wine is produced from old vines in the heart of Avize, located in the Côte des Blancs. Chalky notes of pear, sweet spice, freshly baked bread and crushed rocks ooze from the wine’s textured palate. This bottle ain’t for the faint of heart. 

Read Next: The Best Sweet Wines

Best for Happy Hour: Masia Salat Organic Cava

Masia Salat Organic Cava

 Courtesy of Drizly.com

  • Region: Penedès, Spain
  • ABV: 11.5%
  • Tasting Notes: Citrus, Honey, Fresh Almonds

Aside from tasting great, happy hour bubbles should be affordable, delicious and responsibly made—enter Masia Salat Organic Cava. Produced from the region’s signature trio of grapes, this floral-tinged wine is laden with flavors of citrus, honey and fresh almonds. Pair with Spanish-inspired tapas or simple meat & cheese boards for a delicious happy hour at home. 

Best Organic: Leclerc Briant Brut Réserve

Leclerc Briant Brut Réserve

Courtesy of Leclerc Briant 

  • Region: Champagne, France
  • ABV: 12%
  • Tasting Notes: Honeysuckle, Butter, Chalk

Although the majority of the wines featured here are organic, we’re giving this honor to one of the OG pioneers of organic farming in Champagne. Originally based in Cumieres, Bertrand Leclerc moved the estate to Epernay when he married Jacqueline Briant back in 1955. Jacqueline, a fervent supporter of organic farming, shifted practices at the winery back in the 1960s (and pioneered the bottling of single-vineyard cuvées at the domaine, too). Additionally, the estate has been certified biodynamic (DEMETER) since 2003.

On the palate, this leesy Champagne jumps with flavors of ripe peach, chalk, dried citrus, honeysuckle, butter and cream. Light dosage, bright acid, and a rather medium body make this balanced bottle extremely easy to drink. This is an accessible luxury in one of its finest forms.

Best for Gifting: A.R. Lenoble ‘Cuvée Intense Mag’ Brut

A.R. Lenoble ‘Cuvée Intense MAG’ Brut

Courtesy of The Whisky Exchange

  • Region: Champagne, France
  • ABV: 12.5%
  • Tasting Notes: Yellow Fruit, Honey, Baking Spice

Nothing shows you care like a delicious bottle of bubbles, and this Brut Champagne from A.R. Lenoble is the perfect go-to choice. Produced from one of the few consistently family-owned Champagne houses in the region, this luxurious bottle of bubbles jumps with fleshy flavors of yellow fruit, apple skin, brioche, honey and baking spice. Produced from organically-farmed chardonnay in the Grand Cru of Chouilly. 

Best for New Year’s Eve: Pol Roger Brut Réserve

Pol Roger White Label NV

 Courtesy of Wine.com

  • Region: Champagne, France
  • ABV: 12%
  • Tasting Notes: Lemon Cream, Biscuit, White Flowers

New Year’s Eve is all about the bubbles, and popping something celebratory goes without question. Pol Roger’s ‘White Foil’ is produced from pinot noir, pinot meunier, and chardonnay sourced from various growing sites across the region.

Notes of lemon cream, biscuit, white flowers, and a whisper of truffle harmoniously collide on the palate and lead to a lasting full-bodied finish. (Fun fact: this bottle was the sparkling wine of choice at the two most recent Royal Weddings.)

Read Next: The Best Champagnes

Best Pét-Nat: Les Capriades 'Piège à Filles' Pet Nat

Les Capriades ‘Piege a Filles’

 Courtesy of Verve Wine

  • Region: Loire Valley, France
  • ABV: 11%
  • Tasting Notes: Ripe Peach, Lychee, White Flowers

Pét-nats are finally getting the love they deserve, and it’s no surprise that bubble enthusiasts everywhere can’t get enough. These fresh, fizzy wines are produced via the méthod ancestrale, meaning that the wine is bottled prior to the completion of fermentation.

This chardonnay-dominant wine from the Loire Valley is fresh, lively and seriously easy to drink. Notes of juicy peaches, lychee and white flowers burst from the wine’s energetic palate. Serve with brunch favorites or French-inspired cheese boards.

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Vicki Denig is a wine and travel journalist based between New York and Paris. She is a Certified Specialist of Wine through the Society of Wine Educators. Her work regularly appears on Wine-Searcher, VinePair and more. Denig is also the Content Manager for Verve Wine, a bi-coastal retail operation (New York & San Francisco).

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