Often known as the drink of celebrations, you will likely pop open a bottle of champagne or prosecco around the holidays. However, with flavors ranging from fruity and sweet to dry with undertones of toffee, these sparkling wines are quickly becoming the more popular drink of choice throughout the year — namely, during the summertime.
Although there are countless brands and varieties of sparkling wine to choose from, let’s take a look at the best of the best. Here is a list of the 10 best sparkling wines and proseccos:
Originating from the renowned house Laurent Perrier, this rosé is fresh and deeply complex, featuring aromas of fresh-picked red berries and an unmistakable salmon pink color. Cuvee Rosé is best served chilled and matched with various foods, such as raw fishes, duck, lamb, red fruit desserts, and creamy cheeses.
This dry champagne boasts a generous range of flavors, beginning as a satisfying citrus and evolving to a peachy taste with hints of brioche. The Brut Reserve Champagne is a particular blend of pinot noir, pinot meunier, and chardonnay, all of which are meticulously blended before being bottled. This combination results in the champagne’s well-known straw color.
The House of Ruinart was founded in 1729 by Nicolas Ruinart, making it the oldest champagne house that still solely produces champagne. Now, one of the company’s best products is the Champagne Brut, which features a chardonnay-heavy base, white floral and fruit notes, as well as the unmistakable flavor of pastry and brioche. This combination makes Champagne Brut best suitable for a meal of light fish or meat.
This champagne house has a richer history than some, as it was spearheaded in 1805 by a person well ahead of their time: a woman. Madame Barbe-Nicole Cliquot Ponsardin took charge of her late husband’s business ventures shortly after his death, making her one of the first businesswomen in France.
Madame Cliquot turned the champagne-making industry on its head when she introduced riddling, a process in which bottles of ageing champagne are put on a rack and slowly turned upside-down, making it easy to collect and remove yeast sediment before packaging. This method produced a sweeter champagne, known as the Demi-Sec, which was adored by the Russian Court in the 19th Century.
Established in 1818 by Nicolas-Francois Billecart, this champagne house is one of the few that is still owned by the original family and is known for producing some of the most complex champagnes on the market. The Cuvee Brut ‘Sous Bois’ is no exception, as it is vinified entirely in oak — the original method of champenois. This rich champagne features a flavor of brioche and vanilla — and even a hint of toffee.
Produced by one of the UK’s most popular sparkling wine producers, the 2009 Blanc de Blancs is a premium chardonnay that features a complex nose of floral and lime aromas, as well as tones of pastry, brioche, and a touch of minerality. The 2009 Blanc de Blancs won ‘Best in Class’ at the Champagne and Sparkling Wine World Championships in 2015.
Hailing from a single vineyard in the Veneto called Torri di Credazzo, this prosecco is medium-bodied and filled with floral notes, hints of apple, and peach. An easy drink, DOCG Torri di Credazzo is best served with appetizers, pasta, or shellfish dishes.
Produced by Winston Churchill’s favorite champagne house, the Pol Roger Brut Reserve Champagne is medium-bodied and known for its fruity and youthful flavors that are known to be “full of zing.” Featuring equal parts pinot noir, pinot meunier, and chardonnay, this champagne is best served with fish and even spicy dishes.
Crafted by the renowned winemaker Pieter Ferreira, The Rhona Brut is chardonnay-based and features an enticing aroma of creme brulee and fresh lime, as well as a creamy brioche flavor. Seeing as its grapes are imported from South Africa, this champagne is described as unusually rich in character for a relatively small price.
Surprisingly enough, this sparkling wine, which features a citrusy flavor with hints of apple, is sold at the discount retailer Aldi. Due to its complex flavors and pleasant acidity, this wine has received a number of awards, including a Bronze medal from Decanter, a Silver medal at the International Wine Challenge 2015, and a Gold medal at the IWSC (International Wine & Spirits Challenge).