The Best Bubbly Wines For Any Occasion
Sparkles, fizzes, pet-nats, Champagnes, and everything in between.
Some would say there’s a time and place for bubbles. Typically, that instance is a bottle of Champagne opened for a celebratory occasion. But we’d argue there’s a bottle of bubbles to fit every mood. Hanging out on a hot day? Crack a pet-nat. Eating charcuterie? Nothing cuts through that prosciutto fat quite like bone-dry bubbles. Want a wine for a cold night? Red bubbles. Digging into a fried chicken sandwich on a patio? Bubbles. Got promoted? Bubbles. Got fired? Well, consolation bubbles.
No matter why you’re drinking, here are bubbles for every occasion:
For the Pre-Party: Agnes et René Mosse Moussamoussettes 2020
As you enter your late twenties and early thirties, you’ll likely hit a phase where your heart wants fun drinks, but your body objects for the multi-shot, neon-hued party drinks of yore. If that’s the case, may we suggest a zesty, fun, friendly bottle of coral-hued bubbles?
Made in the Anjou by Agnès and René Mosse and their sons Joseph and Sylvestre, it’s a budget-friendly bottle you dole out at parties and say, ‘I party, but I’ve got taste.’ Made with Pineau d’Aunis and Grolleau (two super traditional Anjou grapes) it’s tangy and mineral-driven, with underlying notes of citrus and nut. $27
For the First Date: Ori Marani Areva Pet-Nat, Georgia
This winemaker grew up in Champagne (re: he knows his bubbles) but now calls Georgia (not the state, the Caucasus) home. His version of bubble is a long cry from Champagne, but don’t underestimate its ability to spark something exciting. It’s ruby red, rich, and nutty, with persistent bubbles that don’t fall flat till the bottle’s well and gone.
The wine was born from confusion—the grape they thought they were growing was Aladasturi (a Georgian grape) but they ended up growing a standard red table grape. They fermented it anyway and now have a sparkling, buzzy, unique red. Use it as a conversation starter! $26
The Patio Crusher: Stirm Albarino, California
Typically, Albarino is reserved for crisp, refreshing whites from the coastal, sea-kissed shorts of Northern Spain and Portugal. But California Riesling god Ryan Stirm has a small plot of Albarino growing in the heart of the sunshine coast’s Santa Ynez Valley specifically reserved for making his first-ever sparkling wine.
His bubbly Albarino drinks like salty sparkling lemonade; clean, slightly cloudy (it’s unfiltered and unfined), and highly refreshing. Crack this if you’ve got beer drinkers in your midst. $26
The Classic: Champagne Tarlant 2002
The thing with Champagne is it’s supposed to be special; popped to signify a special moment in time or celebrate a milestone. This bottle embodies that; made by winemakers Micheline and Melanie in Champagne with 54% pinot noir, 29% Chardonnay and 14% Pinot Meunier.
It spends an impressive 15 years on the lees and is spontaneously fermented on native yeasts in Burgundy barrels. With zero dosage, it drinks with wild mandarin, stony flint, chalk, and heavy brioche. Complex, glimmering, refined, and utterly unique. $200
The Canned Option: Nomadica Sparkling White
Ever cracked a canned wine? Most assume the category is inherently bad—laden with metallic-tasting reds and cloying whites. But sommelier Kristin Olszewski has managed to make canned wine a cult thing; crafting a line of industry-loved, artisanally-crafted canned wine.
Case in point, a sparkling white; primarily Albarino (we talked about that earlier, remember? Salty, refreshing, crisp white the Spanish love) balanced out by some California Chardonnay. Electric and citrus-forward, with nectarine, salinity, and a hint of melon. $7.25
For Cocktails: Fiol Prosecco
The spritz has a home in any season. From breezy elderflower options in the hot sun to an Aperol spritz on a cool summer day. Whatever type of spritz you’re crafting, the key to the spritz is having excellent bubbles. Fiol prosecco hits the sweet spot of affordable and quaffable, with a light golden color, a balanced bouquet of acidity and floral flavors. $17
The Clout Bottle: Veuve Clicquot x Yayoi Kusama
The iconoclastic Champagne house joined forces with the pop artist to craft a series of limited bubbles, with cuvees inspired by Madame Clicquot and packaging pulled from Kusama’s iconic canon.
It’s mostly pinot noir from Grand Cru parcels, which should give it more texture but it drinks young; vibrant, with chalky minerality, fresh lemon present on the palette, and bitterness that pulls a long, balanced finish. Sip it in a larger glass for more textured notes of orchard fruit. $240
The Oddball: Ashanta Wines Pet-Nat
When the winemakers behind Ashanta spotted elderberry bushes high up on the San Gabriel mountains above Los Angeles, they picked as much as they could. They made them into wine, leaving the berries to co-ferment with French Colombard grapes.
Days after the wines were bottled, the fires hit, ripping across the elderberry trees and destroying them (the name, Brutal, is apt). It’s a limited run to say the least, but the bubbles they produced are intensely fruit-driven, herbal and deeply briny with a bitter finish. $40
Best Organic: Champagne De Sousa Caudalies Grand Cru Extra Brut NV
Want Champagne bubbles but have grown weary of the Moets of the world? Champagne de Sousa’s extra brut is racy, rich, and complex, with green apple, toasted brioche, and a delicate frothiness to the mouthfeel. For the sake of your conscience, it’s entirely organic and biodynamic. Sip it with fried chicken. $90