It’s easy to default to tried-and-true Champagne when shopping for bubbly, but what if you’re looking for something new? Something different? Something a little unexpected?
Champagne is still revered, and for good reason. But superb sparkling wine is now made the world over, using a range of grape varieties and production techniques to create a splendorous array of styles.
From Old World to New, traditional wine regions to burgeoning ones, winemag.com dove into the bubbly bin to create a must-have cheat sheet for all your sparkling wine needs.
Rare as these bubbles may seem stateside, they’re certainly worth seeking out. Often floral and fruity on the nose, traditional-method German sekt is remarkably complex in its flavor profile, with bristling acidity and a delicate, dancing mouthfeel. It’s made from an array of grapes, such as Riesling, Pinot Gris (Grauburgunder), Pinot Blanc (Weissburgunder) or Pinot Noir (Spätburgunder), and offers a unique alternative to Champagne, frequently at a lower price.
Von Buhl 2015 Riesling Brut Sekt (Pfalz); $45, 94 points.
Delicate biscuit and brioche accent concentrated yellow apple and pear in this dazzling Riesling sekt. Made in the traditional method, its petillance is fine and persistent, filling the palate with a rich but yielding mousse. Racy lime and lemon acidity guides a piercing finish. The finish is exceptionally long, lingering with a silken honeyed cling. Rudi Wiest Selections.
Raumland 2008 Cuvée Marie-Luise Brut Blanc de Noirs (Germany); $50, 93 points.
Vibrant raspberry and currant are shaded by hints of blossom, smoked nut and brioche in this dazzling Pinot Noir sparkling. Made in the traditional method, it’s nervy and spry with tiny mouth-filling bubbles and a rich mouth-filling mousse that’s elegant yet expansive. Aged at least eight years on the lees, it’s a complex, seamlessly integrated sparkler.