About Sparkling Wines

Sparkling wine has effervescence - bubbles- that are the result of a secondary fermentation. This fermentation can take place in the bottle itself or in a tank, after which it is then bottled.

Sparkling wines are produced in many countries around the world; the most famous examples are from Champagne. The method used to create Champagne is known as the classic method outside this region and is used to produce bubblies such as Cava in Spain, Franciacorta and Alta Langa in Italy as well as the finest sparkling wines in countries such as the USA, New Zealand and Australia.

Sparkling wines with their bubbles are celebratory wines to be sure, but they are also among the finest food wines produced, as they can accompany a wide variety of foods. Sparkling wines range from extremely dry to very sweet and are produced in several versions from Blanc de Blancs (only white grapes) to Rosé, which have a copper, salmon or pink color.
Top Picks for Sparkling
217245
Bouché Père et Fils
2004 Champagne
Light gold color. Toasty, fruity aromas and flavors of spiced apples and lemons, fresh brioche, and almond cookie with a supple, lively, finely carbonated, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a smooth, amusing, very long Meyer lemon, sweet cream, delicately spiced nougat, and chalk finish. A rich, vibrant vintage Champagne with truly mouth-filling flavor that drinks like a Tete de Cuvée – impressive!
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
213484
Roland Champion
NV Cuvee Aramis Brut Champagne
Brilliant pale yellow straw color. Lively, complex aromas of honeyed biscuit, buttery praline, and poached Asian pear with a supple, lively, effervescent, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and an elegant, long creme brulee, white balsamic reduced lemon, spiced nuts and tangerines, and grassy earth and minerals finish with well-integrated, fine tannins. A layered and vibrant champagne with cascading waves of fresh and mature flavors.
95 points $49.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
214915
Illinois Sparkling Co.
2013 Extra Brut Illinois
Bright medium golden straw color. Bright, fruity aromas and flavors of pineapple soufflé, baklava, and delicate fresh herbs with a glycerous, tangy, finely carbonated, dry-yet-fruity medium-full body and a warming, complex, medium-length kiwi and lemon, tart green apple, and praline finish with crunchy, fine, fruit tannins and no oak. A lovely, crisp, and invigorating Cava-like sparkler.
94 points $24.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
213487
Wolfberger
NV Brut Cremant d'Alsace
Straw color. Bright, fruity, creamy aromas of green apple pastry, peaches in cream, and lemon chiffon with a supple, tangy, finely carbonated, dry-yet-fruity medium body and an effortless, amusing, medium-long white nuts, lime-pineapple sorbet, and minerals finish with no oak. A refreshing, tangy sparkling wine that will shine at the table.
94 points $21.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217825
Ruggeri
2014 Giustino B Prosecco DOCG
Bright yellow straw color. Earthy, fruity aromas and flavors of waxy honeycomb, spiced apple and pear, and nougat with a satiny, tangy, effervescent, fruity medium-to-full body and a smooth, clementine and lime, delicate spices, meringue, and minerals finish with fine, fruit tannins and no oak. A lush, full-bodied Prosecco with many layers of flavor and pinpoint acidity.
93 points $29.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217422
Primanatura
NV Prosecco DOC
Bright yellow straw color. Aromas and flavors of kiwi, citrus, melon rind, and straw and bread crust with a silky, vibrant, effervescent, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a sleek, interesting, medium-length nectarine skin and lime finish with crunchy, fruit tannins. A crisp, flavorful Prosecco for casual revelries.
93 points $7.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
215131
Ricossa
2015 Moscato d'Asti DOCG
Bright pale light straw green color. Aromas and flavors of spiced green pears, peach skin, white flowers, and hint of lemon pith with an lively, effervescent, fruity sweet medium body and a silky, elegant, medium-length finish with soft tannins and no oak.
93 points $16.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
214916
Illinois Sparkling Co.
2012 "Franken's" French Hybrid Brut Illinois
Bright light pink coral color. Bright, fresh, fruity aromas and flavors of peaches in cream, strawberries shortcake, and lemon chiffon with a soft, lively, finely carbonated, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, complex, medium-length cranberry sauce on crepes, citrus marmalade, and custard finish with fine, crunchy tannins and no oak. A very pretty, flavorful and refreshing rosé sparkler.
93 points $19.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
214575
Saracco
2015 Moscato d'Asti DOP
Silvery straw color. Bright, floral, fruity earthy aromas and flavors of honeysuckle, orange custard, and lanolin lotion with a silky, tangy, fruity sweet light-to-medium body and a sleek, interesting, long honeyed apricots and lemon sorbet finish with no oak. A delicious fruity, floral and vibrant Moscato d’Asti.
93 points $16.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
213540
Schlumberger
NV White Secco Austria
Bright medium gold color. Lively, fruity, tropical toasty aromas and flavors of pineapple-mango pastry, parsley, coconut, and smoky minerality with an even, lively, finely carbonated, dry-yet-fruity medium-full body and a tingling, complex, medium-length tangerine, nut brittle, molasses cookie, and diesel finish with fruit tannins and no oak. A nicely nuanced sparkler with a nice sense of place.
93 points $20 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab