The Best American Sparkling Wines

Everyone loves the gift of bubbly—it’s festive, beautiful, and special and almost every state in the union makes a sparkling wine, making it very easy to support local winemakers and give the gift of American sparkling. The key to finding a quality expression is to look for sparkling that has been made using the time-honored Méthode Champenoise—the traditional method of making still wine and then fermenting it again in the bottle (the way they do in Champagne). Secondary bottle fermentation is the process that adds depth and character to the sparkling. The gift guide below features offerings from Texas, New Mexico, Colorado and New York as well as from Oregon and California—states where the density and quality of production is starting to rival Champagne. And, while not listed below it is worth mentioning the venerated producers such as Schramsburg, Roederer, Chandon, Gloria Ferrer and Mumm who have been making lovely bubblies for decades and will make anyone on your list happy.


Kramer Vineyards NV Brut: A classic blend of the traditional Champagne grape varieties: 52% Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier and made in the traditional style. One of Oregon’s best deals in bubbly, at $28 this crisp yet creamy-textured wine delivers on character and flavor. If you want to explore more of their sparkling line up consider trying their Celebrate Müller-Thurgau bubbly with fun notes of passionfruit and peach. $28

Stoller Estate Brut Sparkling: A marvelous non-vintage estate sparkling wine that offers notes of ripe stone fruit, some lemon-lime minerality and a nice mousse-texture. $40

Gran Moraine Blanc de Blancs, 2016: This single vintage expression is sourced from select chardonnay blocks from a single vineyard in Oregon’s Yamhill-Carlton appellation. It’s a wine of a moment and a place and it shows with a structure of polished purity and a palate of creamsicle, ripe apple, ginger and brioche. Aged for five years on the lees. This is a great option for a serious sparkling wine lover. $95

Texas/Bending Branch Winery Sparkling Picpoul Blanc, Texas High Plains: From the arid Texas High Plains comes this refreshing and zesty sparkling wine made from the Picpoul grape. It has a nice lemon cream core and a crisp apple finish. Not sweet, not simple, but very complex and intriguing. $45

New York/Sparkling Pointe Brut, 2019: This sustainable North Fork Long Island winery crafts pretty, beautifully balanced sparkling wines with chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier all in the traditional méthode champenoise style. Two years of aging on the lees develops complexity and toastiness. Ripe notes of pear, apricot and a creamy finish make it an ideal way to kick off the holiday party. $31

Colorado/Ordinary Fellow Blanc de Noirs of Pinot Noir, Colorado, 2022: Made from 100% pinot noir grown in Colorado’s western region at 6,800 feet of elevation—just below the rim of Montezuma Valley. The high-elevation and high UV sunlight lend the fruit a zesty, mouth-watering brightness. Notes of strawberry, bing cherry and citrus yield to a creaminess on the palate and a lovely fresh finish. $48

New Mexico/Gruet Sauvage Rosé NV: This zesty, bright sparkling one has zero dosage and took home the Gold Medal at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. Aged for 18 months on the lees, it delivers a balanced palate of freshness and richness. For the extremely civilized price of $22 a bottle, you should stock up


Paula Kornell Napa Valley Blanc de Noirs: Crafted using the traditional méthode champenoise and 70% pinot noir sourced from the cooler Carneros appellation. The palate is rich with lemon-cream and tropical notes and a bright, fresh minerality.$50

Inman Family Wines Extra Brut Luxe Cuvee, 2018: Winemaker Kathleen Inman wove a bit of pinot gris into this traditional méthode champenoise sparkling to give it a bit of plumpness. It brims with crisp pear and apple notes with a lovely mousse-like texture on the palate and a core of buttery richness thanks to four years of aging on the lees. Crafted from chardonnay, pinot noir, and pinot gris. Small production and very dry with a dosage of only 0.4%. $90

Domaine Carneros Cuvee de la Pompadour Brut Rosé: One of California’s classics, the Taittinger family founded Domaine Carneros in 1987 and have been perfecting their American expression of bubbly ever since, and this bottling is one of their finest. Balanced and elegant with notes of wild strawberry, stone fruit and buttered biscuit, I could drink it all day. The winery offers several gift sets with a selection of their sparklings if you need more ideas. $44 avg online

Robert Hall Cavern Select Sparkling Grenache Blanc, 2021: Made in the traditional method from grenache blanc fruit; this is a refreshing zippy sparkling with vibrant stone fruit notes and a thread of lemon zest. Made with select fruit from Paso Robles. $40

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