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Wine

Best Sparkling Wine

Whether you're celebrating a special occasion or simply looking for an intriguing wine to go with a seafood dish, a sparkling wine is a great choice. Sparkling wines are made all over the world, including Australia, South Africa, the United States, Italy, Spain, and France. There are a number of different types of sparkling wine. Prosecco is an Italian wine made from Glera grapes. This wine is carbonated in large steel vats and designed to be enjoyed soon after bottling. Cava, a Spanish sparkling wine, is made from any number of classic Spanish grapes. This wine is bottle fermented and can be aged in the cellar for a number of years. Finally, there are Champagne-style sparkling wines. These commonly made around the world and make use of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier, the three grape varietals that grow in Champagne, France. These wines are also bottle fermented and most are aged for at least a few years before they're ready to enjoy.

The techniques of bottle fermenting were perfected in Champagne, France, which is why many people call any sparkling wine a "champagne." Technically, only wines that come from this region are allowed to use the name Champagne, though the vast majority of sparkling wines are made in the Champagne-style. Since there is live yeast in the bottle, these wines have a toasty aroma.

When shopping for a sparkling wine, you may notice that these wines are organized by the level of residual sugar. Dry, extra-dry, and brut are the three most common sugar levels, with dry being the sweetest, and Brut being the driest. Less commonly, you may find wines labeled extra brut and brut nature, which are extremely dry, and demi-sec and doux, which signify sweeter wines.

Finally, sparkling wines will be labeled with either the year harvested or the letters NV, which stands for Non-Vintage. Non-Vintage wines are blended from wines from a number of different harvests taken over a number of different years. They tend to be less expensive and more consistent than vintage wines though they are rarely as complex as a good vintage wine. When selecting a vintage wine, you'll want to make sure that the year was a good one for the grapes. Vintage wines are usually more expensive but are excellent when made in good years.

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Roederer Estate L'Ermitage

Crafted in California's Anderson Valley, Roederer Estate L'Ermitage is an incredible sparkling wine. In order to keep the quality high, Roederer Estate only produces sparkling wines in years when the harvest was exceptional. This wine is made from a near 50-50 blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, which are also the two most popular grapes in Champagne, France. It has notes of red apple and fresh flowers, and plenty of toasted bread on the nose. Though this wine was aged in oak casks for years before it underwent bottle fermentation, it's an incredibly fresh-tasking wine that's ready to enjoy right away.

Scharffenberger Brut Excellence

Scharffenberger Brut Excellence

A blend of the classic Champagne grapes Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, Scharffenberger Brut Excellence tops the list as our Best Budget Sparkling Wine. This California wine is full-bodied, with notes of vanilla, pastry, caramel, and fresh fruit. Since it's left on the lees for two years, this wine has a bold character that will hold up to many years in the cellar, though it's excellent right away. As a non-vintage wine, the Brut Excellence shows consistent character from year to year. Professional critics also consistently give this wine scores of over 90 points.

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Luisi Moscato d'Asti

A wine that shows off all the robust flavor of the Moscato grape, Luisi Moscato d'Asti is our favorite Moscato. This wine is made frizzante in the traditional Italian fashion. It's well balanced, with plenty of sweetness, floral notes, and soft bubbles. It's also low in alcohol so you don't have to think twice about pouring a second glass.

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Freixenet Cordon Negro Brut

A beautifully spicy Cava in a stylish black bottle, Freixenet Cordon Negro Brut is one of our favorite Cavas. This is a dry wine, with a crisp mouthfeel and a smooth finish that's not overly acidic or bitter. It has notes of fresh fruit, citrus, and spice, flavors that give it a nice complexity. It's been bottle conditioned for at least 18 months prior to release and is ready to drink right away, though it could certainly hold up to a couple of years in the cellar. Since this is a non-vintage wine, it's also remarkably consistent, a fact that makes it one of the world's most popular sparkling wines.

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Mionetto Prosecco Brut

Though most Prosecco wines have lots of tiny bubbles, traditionally, this wine can also be made frizzante style. This style is only slightly effervescent, making it easier to pick out the delicate flavors and aromas. Mionetto Prosecco di Valdobbiadene Frizzante Treviso Brut is an excellent representation of this style of wine and is one of our favorite Proseccos. The flavors show off melon and pear notes, and the finish is clean and incredibly dry. Mionetto is one of the best-known names in Venetian wines, and the winery has been around for over 125 years, perfecting the art of making excellent Prosecco.

Bestcovery Staff
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