It should be no surprise that the great wine producing states in the U.S. also produce great sparkling wines. And while French Sparkling wine from the Champagne region still sets the standard, many U.S. sparkling wines are on-par with their French counterparts.
Sparkling wine has traditionally been associated with the holidays. And, indeed, 30%-40% of sparkling wine sales occur during the holidays. But, sales of sparkling wines are increasing year-round in the U.S. People are finding just how well sparking wine goes with so many foods and how wonderfully refreshing it is as a summertime drink.
California, Oregon and Washington are producing great sparkling wines. These sparkling wines are being produced with the same grapes used in Champagne and yielding comparable results at much more approachable prices. But, did you know that New Mexico is also producing sparkling wines that score highly? These are great tasting sparkling wines at a great value and should not be overlooked.
The U.S. sparkling wine producers are taking direct aim at the young consumers of beverages by producing and marketing unique, handcrafted, small batch offerings that range from the fruity styles (like Prosecco) to more complex offerings. And look for great rosé sparkling wines being produced in the U.S. While some are sweeter than others, there are many great rosé sparkling wines that are dry (no residual sugar).
In the U.S., you will find many excellent 90+ sparkling wines in the $40 to $100 range and an even greater assortment of top value sparkling wines in the $15 to $25 range.
Remember, sparkling wines go well with a variety of foods and should be part of a meal, and not just reserved for special occasions. And don't be ashamed to enjoy a sparking wine with salty snacks. You'd be surprised how well they pair. Serve all sparkling wines in a traditional white wine glass to experience the full-body and flavors they have to give.
Excuse me while I go pop the cork on a nicely chilled bottle. Cheers!