Popping a Cork on a Summer of Bubbles

Warm weather brings out the best in U.S. sparkling wines
May 13, 2015

Sparkling wine has always been about summer for me. It's just more fun to drink when the weather is warm, plus there are all those weddings and graduation parties. Bubbly is also one of the most versatile wines with the lighter foods of summer like chicken and seafood.

It's a boom time for sparkling wine right now. Domestic sparkling wine consumption should be up 7 percent to 8 percent in 2014, according to Impact Databank, a sister publication of Wine Spectator. The holiday season still accounts for up to 40 percent of sales, but business is increasingly year-round.

For the full scoop plus reviews of nearly 125 sparkling wines from California, Oregon, Washington and New Mexico, check out our annual report, "Bubbling Up," in the June 15 issue.

Here's a handful of my favorite new wines that sell for $50 or less. WineSpectator.com subscribers can read more detailed reviews by clicking on the links.

Domaine Chandon Rosé Sonoma-Napa Counties Étoile NV (91 points, $50)
Sleek but richly structured with dusty rose, raspberry notes.

Gloria Ferrer Brut Sonoma County Sonoma NV (90, $22)
A festive sparkler and one of my go-to values.

Iron Horse Wedding Cuvée Green Valley of Russian River Valley 2010 (91, $42)
A serious bubbly but fun to drink with lively and floral raspberry flavors.

Korbel Brut California NV (84, $14)
Good quaff that's ideal for big summer celebrations.

Roederer Estate Brut Rosé Anderson Valley NV (90, $29)
Floral and vibrant with raspberry and spicy red apple notes.

What are your go-to summer sparkling wines?

United States California Sparkling Wines

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