Photograph by Getty Images/Altrendo
By Shivani Vora
June 30, 2015

Champagne may have the cachet when it comes to sparkling wine, but those that are not produced in the eponymous region of France can be just as enticing.

Paul Mekis, the Director of Wine for Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, says that although many sparkling wines made outside of France can be thin and delicate, there are a few that stand up to the best bubbly. “A handful have the complexity and character of good champagne,” he said.

And, it looks like they’re finally getting their due. Though champagne and sparkling wines represent only five percent of wine sales in U.S., according to data from the Chicago-based research firm Mintel, that segment saw the largest growth from 2009 to 2014, increasing nearly 25 percent. The reason for the jump? More reasonably priced domestic and imported sparkling wines were sought by consumers during the recession.

Mekis says that because domestic sparkling wine makers aren’t as well-known as champagne brands, some of the high-end ones still cost a lot less than champagne of the same ilk.

To his point, none of the five sparklers below run into the triple digits, but don’t let their affordability detract from their prestige— these sparking wines are among the most coveted in the category. Each has a unique profile, but they’re all fresh and light—perfect for summer drinking.


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