100 Award Winning Sparkling Wines that should be on your Wine Menu
20th May 2020
I have not tasted each and every sparkling wine around the world so of course, I can only base my recommendations from my own tasting experience which now stands at over 10,000 labels reviewed. From wonderful vintage Champagnes to red sparkling wines produced by farmers on the hills in Slovenia, I have done my fair share of travelling along with tasting and importantly worked on building up a very wide and varied knowledge when it comes to aromas / flavours and importantly, what makes up for a great sparkling wine that will please the buyer / consumer.
Wine menus, of course, are not always set in type neither style (they would be very boring if they were all repeated), they need to suit the theme of the venue and clients they are for from the price range to the regions suiting both wallets and cuisines yet maintaining an unforgettable experience from the first wine listed to the last. For many people, the wine menu probably holds more excitement than the food menu, the wonders of the world’s wine production coming together in a way expressed by the sommelier / wine buyer to deliver a selection, from a professional point of view, of the finest to suit every palate and indeed pair with every dish.
Wine menus can be very basic and one sheet of A4 paper photocopied with some usual suspect wines and prices might be all you are offered right up to those thick leather bound delights containing hundreds if not thousands of labels that intrigue you to wonder what their wine cellar actually looks like (how many times have you asked to see where the wine is stored at a restaurant? Or maybe that is just my interest…).
The quality of the wine or the value of a wine is usually the task to dismantle. Higher end venue wine menus would usually be able to worry merely about quality whereas lower end venues will be looking more towards value? I asked this question to Tatiana Mann M. Che. Dip WSET who shared with me:
“That is a great question! First of all, I look at the economic prospect of the business itself on institutions such as salary/wages and rent per month. This allows me to understand how much the load will be on the margin in the wine list.
Of course, it is very important to understand where the institution is based. If the place is crowded with notable people, then there you can safely place the most serious boutique options in the menu. In different countries, different regions, there are different models.
If it is a pro-wine project, then, of course, I want to take small winemakers with boutique sales as a specific advantage. This is a colossal work and can be done only by a wine specialist.
Wines at a good price are also very important, as the owner of the restaurant will be able to make more of a margin.
To date, I would classify wines from Portugal as such in the sparkling category holding huge production and affordable prices for those looking to construct a wine menu. Sparkling wines made by the traditional method with ageing on the lees of 20-30 months are also of amazing quality in East European countries as prices are much lower than in Champagne. On the shelf, they cost 12 pounds. This is a very affordable price and this wine is perfect for a wine bar.
Interestingly enough in our wine minded restaurant Grand Cru by Adrian Quetglas first time in history we will pour Russian sparkling wine by glass from Temelion, Lefkadia Winery.“
When it comes to sparkling wines I’m sure most who build wine menus will have to start at Champagne. The king of wines for many and so suited to fine food pairings with a great selection of styles to choose from including sweet to dry along with rosé to brut. Though a relatively small wine region (France holds approximately 750,000 hectares of vineyards of which just 35,000 are of Champagne) there is a wide choice of quality to discover from lesser known grower labels producing just a few thousand bottles annually to the household names producing millions and here is a great place to start things off.
“I’ve tried to collate a selection of sparkling wines that focus on quality and the tasting experience through a range of prices and styles with many having the versatility to pair with fine foods. I’ve gone for the not so usual suspects in my selection assuming that most in-depth wine menus will have their fair share and rightly so, of the Dom Pérignons, Krugs and Cristals!“
100 Award Winning Sparkling Wines that should be on your Wine Menu – With tasting notes and as / when possible, prices (direct purchase rather than at a restaurant) & links to the supplier website:
1: Champagne Roger-Constant Lemaire – Cuvée Trianon: “Always a punchy and expressive theme to the Champagne with this winemaker. Green apples, citrus, yeast and hints of white pepper on the nose. Alive with flavours of yellow stone fruits, citrus, lime zest, grapefruit with a pasty background.” £40 per bottle – Find out more about this wine here
2: Champagne Albert Beerens – Cuvée Signature: “Ripe peach, tropical, honey and citrus aromas. Initial dry crisp burst of flavours that showcases apricot, honeycomb, lemon zest and more that all relax into rich smoothness. Very lively in the palate.” £45 per bottle – Find out more about this wine here
3: Champagne Faniel et Fils – Oriane: “Light and refreshing nose expressing yellow apples, lemon zest and a tiny hint of honey. Taste is zesty and near ripe yellow stone fruits.” £31 per bottle – Find out more about this wine here
4: Champagne Jean-Pierre Launois – Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Composition: “Citrus led on the nose with pleasing vanilla and butter croissant offering sweetness. Crisp and dry flavours initially, good fruity length with yellow fruits including melon / apple / lemon zest and a touch of white pepper powdered over pastry.” £TBA – Find out more about this wine here
5: Champagne J. Charpentier – Cuvée Pierre Henri Brut: “A warm honey golden colour with plenty of tiny bubbles pushing a very pleasing aroma of ripe orchard fruits, pastry, honey, light toast and more – leave it in the glass for a few mins then you really get action with aromas. Crisp and zesty with hints of honey, lime zest, peach, pink grapefruits, minerals, white pepper, toast and more.” £52 per bottle – Find out more about this wine here
6: Champagne Frerejean Frères – Blanc de Blancs Premier Cru NV: “A warm golden yellow colour with aromas offering elegant dried apricots, buttered lightly toasted bread, yellow rose petals. Fine Champagne character in flavours with ripe yellow stone fruits, sweet citrus, honeycomb and croissant / shortbread. A memorable Champagne tasting experience.” £65 per bottle – Find out more about this wine here
7: Champagne Julien Prélat – Les Reines Brut Nature: “Soft citrus, croissant and golden fruit aromas. Delicate and welcoming flavours. Soft citrus, elegant green/yellow fruits, honey croissant with a gradual dry ending to leave refreshing citrus. A Gold Medal winner at The World’s Finest Glass of Bubbly Awards 2019 in the category of ‘Zesty & Zingy’.” £42 per bottle – Find out more about this wine here
8: Champagne Laurent Lequart – Millesime 2008: “A trophy winner back in 2017 with Glass of Bubbly for the title of ‘Classic & Elegant’. This wine offers a wonderful vintage Champagne aroma and tasting experience. Golden fruits, butter croissant on the nose. Flavours are rich, smooth and ever so elegant with rich yellow stone fruits, golden honey, apricot pastry, oaky and toastiness with a subtle yet welcoming hint of zestiness.” £52 per bottle – Find out more about this wine here
9: Champagne Autréau – Prestige les Perles de la Dhuy 2011: “Golden fruits, caramel, butter on the nose. Flavours are crisp and delicately fruity with yellow and green fruits, butter, toast and hints of vanilla.” £41.50 per bottle – Find out more about this wine here
10: Champagne Deutz – Brut Vintage 2012: “A pleasing creamy, brioche, floral, green apples, sweet citrus nose. Delicate and fine flavours of lemon zest, dried apricots, green apples, pastry with a touch of white pepper. The vintage Deutz are reliable to please no matter what the year.” £55 per bottle – Find out more about this wine here
11: Champagne Roger Brun – La Pelle 2013: “Another fine label from the magical Champagne producer, Philippe Brun. The nose is a blissful step inside a bakery with butter croissant, lightly toasted bread and Danish pastries tempting you. Also yellow stone fruits and honey. Ripe yellow and green fruits, honey on toast with a welcoming dry and elegant finish. This is a perfect Champagne for fine gastronomic pairings.” £58 per bottle – Find out more about this wine here
12: Champagne Roger Brun – Réserve Familiale Extra Brut 2004: “Nose is full of oak, butter croissant, apricot and many more rich pleasures. Though dry initially it oozes rich flavours. Yellow fruits, honeycomb, lightly toasted bread, creamy butter croissants and much more. This wine was voted the World’s Finest Glass of Bubbly in 2019 in London at the Glass of Bubbly Awards – Spoil yourself rotten with this wine and you will have a lasting memory. For me, this Champagne is like taking a ride in an Aston Martin – put your sunglasses on, open the window and sit back and enjoy the journey… ” £90 per bottle – Find out more about this wine here
13: Champagne Vollereaux – Marguerite Vintage 2008: “An aroma and tasting delight. On the nose you get almost peach purée with cream along with dark honey / caramel, salty butter and a touch of burnt oak. Rich flavours of fresh ripe yellow fruits, soft citrus, croissant and a rounded honey close. Great elegance to this Champagne and perfect for fine dining pairings.” £70 per bottle – Find out more about this wine here
14: Champagne de Venoge – Louis XV 1996: “Be amazed by the aromas from golden ripe fruits to rich honey. Delicate yet bold, wonderfully mastered gastronomic Champagne giving so many vintage iconic flavours to include toast, smooth butter, yellow stone fruits and vanilla. A bucket list Champagne.” £150 per bottle – Find out more about his wine here
15: Champagne Duval-Leroy – Rosé Prestige Premier Cru Brut: “Soft chalky red currant and raspberry aromas. Add a touch of pink grapefruit. Relaxing crisp red fruit flavours. Pink rose petals, raspberry pastry with a chalky rose blossom length.” £42 per bottle – Find out more about this wine here
16: Champagne Delavenne Pere & Fils – Grand Cru Brut Rosé: “Wonderful deep rosé colour. Nose offers notably raspberry, red berry fruits and a touch of candy floss. Great flavours expressed to keep any rosé Champagne lover happy with strawberry, red berries, brioche/pastry, honey, raspberry jam and much more… ” £39 per bottle – Find out more about this wine here
17: Champagne Colette Bonnet – Pinot Noir 2014: “Typical delightful Champagne aromas showing pastry, peach / apricot and yellow floral notes. Touch of honey too. Flavours are touch dry initially, it is an extra brut, then subtle yellow fruits and zesty in length. A wine to sit back, relax to and enjoy.” £40 per bottle – Find out more about this wine here
18: Champagne Château de Boursault – Rosé de Saignée: “Fresh red berry fruit aromas with a subtle hint of pastry. Light yet packed with fruits in the flavours with a smooth and not dry, great length tempting you to take another sip.” £36 per bottle – Find out more about this wine here
19: Champagne H. Blin – Rosé de Saignée: “Dark red berry fruits on the nose with freshly picked raspberry and strawberry. The deep red colour to the Champagne tempts you to take a sip where you will explore ripe red berry fruits, touch of strawberry pastry along with a hint of spice.” £47 per bottle – Find out more about this wine here
20: Champagne Lanson – Ivory Label Demi-Sec: “Aromas are distant peach, toast and marzipan. Flavours offer a semi sweet Champagne giving crisp lemon zest, cinnamon, peach and pastry.” £39 per bottle – Find out more about this wine here
France has expansive, magical wine growing regions beyond Champagne. Though many appellations of sparkling wine that France has, the focus usually falls on Crémant that sees eight major wine growing regions across the country with their own Crémant classification.
21: Domaine Roland Van Hecke – Crémant de Bourgogne Cuvée Chardonnay: “Aromas are amazing for a Crémant. Toasty, brioche, dried apricots on the nose. Flavours area welcoming dried yellow fruit, citrus, brioche flavour.” £18 per bottle – Find out more about this wine here
22: Celene – Crémant Jade Ballarin: “Fruity, citrus, smooth and pastry notes. Easy to drink, refreshing.” £16 per bottle – Find out more about this wine here
23: Les 12 De Versailles – Spicy Rose: “Nose is alive with rose petals, herbs and spices. Flavours are a sweet soft spices and yellow / pink rose petals led taste sensation with subtle hints of lavender, citrus, green apples and saffron. Hint of Spice.” £TBA – Find out more about this wine here
For me Prosecco deserves to be on any decent wine menu especially when we look at the superiore Prosecco region including the Asolo. Though somewhat tagged with a name for being a cheaper fizz solution, the flavours and quality of Prosecco for me is highly explorable and certainly many are suited to pair with quality cuisine.
24: Ruggeri – Argeo Prosecco Treviso DOC Brut: “Delicate soft white floral and ripe green pears in aromas and flavours. Fruity and elegant with creamy smooth flavours livened by fizz in the palate. A perfect DOC Prosecco.” £13 per bottle – Find out more about this wine here
25: Loredan Gasparini – Asolo Prosecco DOCG Superiore: “Ripe fruits on the nose, pears and red apples finely showcased. Very delicate, fine and wonderfully moreish flavours. Subtle hints of caramel, vanilla, floral, yellow apple and hints of tropical fruits. A real benchmark for quality Prosecco.” £14 per bottle – Find out more about this wine here
26: Villa Sandi – Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG Brut Millesimato: “Fresh yellow fruits, pear and peach on the nose. Satisfying fruit flavours, touch of crisp dryness showing yellow apples and green pears with a subtle citrus background.” £15 per bottle – Find out more about this wine
27: Giusti – Giusti Asolo Prosecco Superiore DOCG Extra Brut: “A sea breeze, cream pear nose. Easy to drink, touch dry, soft citrus, pear, green apple, peach and chalky flavours. You get the full enjoyment of wonderful fruity flavours without being overpowering and yet also show the unique chalky terroir character from the region.” £16 per bottle – Find out more about this wine here
28: Montelliana – Asolo Prosecco DOCG Extra Dry Millesimato: “Delicate green pears and red apples on the nose. Not overly sweet and showcasing drier yellow apples and peach flavours with hint of pink grapefruit.” £11 per bottle – Find out more about this wine here
29: Bisol – Crede Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG Brut 2018: “It shows an elegance and finesse as a Prosecco. Displaying its flavours delicately with subtle dryness though plenty of floral and creamy fruit.” £13 per bottle – Find out more about this wine here
30: Tenuta Amadio – Asolo Prosecco Superiore DOCG Extra Dry: “All the delights of a spring day in the garden. Aromas full of white blossom and white peach / touch of green grass. Very moreish in flavours with light fruits such as green pear and golden delicious apples with a pleasing length.” £11 per bottle – Find out more about this wine here
31: Foss Marai – Cartizze Dry: “Aromas are fairly calm with delicate creamy peach and yellow apple. Easy to drink and giving freshly squeezed yellow apple and light green pear flavours. A fine and clean wine with a smooth length and so ideal for delicate light food pairings. Cartizze, just so you know, is the finest area of Prosecco.” £17 per bottle – Find out more about this wine here
Italy of course produces a lot more amazing sparkling wine examples outside of the fame of Prosecco and here I gathered some amazing producers covering the best of other core Italian sparkling wine regions.
32: Ferrari Trento – Ferrari Perlé 2013: “Touch of oak, bread, golden fruits in aromas. Green fruits, touch of burnt toast, citrus in flavours. A wonderful sparkling wine for food pairings.” £22 per bottle – Find out more about this wine here
33: Ferrari Trento – Giulio Ferrari Riserva del Fondatore 2007: “Nose continues to improve the longer it rests in the glass. Oaky, smokey green fruits with burnt croissant and honeysuckle. Flavours are again towards smokey in character with green fruits, citrus / lime. A touch of burnt toast and grapefruit zest towards the close.” £85 per bottle – Find out more about this wine here
34: Lantieri – Franciacorta Satèn: “Soft floral, white fruits, chalk, vanilla on the nose. Flavours are initially dry with citrus then relaxes in to smooth near creamy white and overripe yellow fruit flavours.” £25 per bottle – Find out more about this wine here
35: Mirabella – Franciacorta Demetra 2011: “Pastry, dried apricot, tropical, toasty aromas. Mineral, oak, toasty dry notes initially in flavours followed quickly by exotic fruit flavours.” £34 per bottle – Find out more about this wine here
36: La Montina Srl – La Montina Millesimato Franciacorta 2011: “Rich in aromas and flavours. Holds tropical, nutty and chalky aromas to delight you with soft yellow fruit flavours mostly mango / pear / peach with a soft touch of citrus. Big and bold character.” £24 per bottle – Find out more about this wine here
37: Alberto Quacquarini – Vernaccia di Serrapetrona DOCG Dolce: “A dark red sparkling wine. Here you have some amazing dark berry fruit flavours on the nose with a touch of spice and pastry. The flavours are so very moreish with damson, dark cherry, blackberries, soft black pepper notes and much more.” £18 per bottle – Find out more about this wine here
38: Conte Leopardi – Spumante Dolce Le Marche: “Fresh sweet fruit aromas, ripe orchard fruits and pastry delight. Flavours are sweet fruits, orchard fruits, tropical and quince jelly.” £16 per bottle – Find out more about this wine here
39: Azienda Agricola Mencaroni – ‘Apollonia’ Brut Nature: “A toasty, bready nose – easily mistaken for a Champagne. Taste is dry, sharp, toasty / oaky, citrus. Ideal for fatty foods.” £20 per bottle – Find out more about this wine here
40: Arunda – Cuvèe Marianna Trento: “The nose pulls you in and wows you with toasty, butter, dried yellow fruits and honey. Though an extra brut it is relaxed, almost meditative in flavours with soft citrus, toast, oak and baked apple.” £32 per bottle – Find out more about this wine here
41: Bolllicine – Millesimato 2014: “An interesting aroma with a touch of marzipan, peach and green fruits on the nose. Yellow stone fruit including peach and zesty apricot flavours with a dry citrus background.” £28 per bottle – Find out more about this wine here
42: F.lli Pisoni – TrentoDoc Pisoni Brut Millesimato 2015: “Soft sweet and creamy citrus pastry on the nose with delicate yellow floral. Nicely balanced harmony between lemon zest and sweet yellow stone fruits with an edge towards lemon pastry. In there also as the wine develops in the glass is a creamy grass / hay character. Pair with roasted Poussin / chicken / turkey dishes which work well together.” £28 per bottle – Find out more about this wine here
43: Cantina Rotaliana – R Riserva 2011 Brut Trentodoc: “Caramel, toffee, hints of coffee / cocoa, ripe golden fruits on the nose. You are so very tempted to taste! Flavours are ever so pleasing. Golden fruits, a touch of tropical, butter croissant with soft citrus hints. Leave it to breathe in the glass, improves the longer you can resist it. A nice warm golden colour to the wine.” £34 per bottle – Find out more about this wine here
44: Maso Martis – Dosaggio Zero Riserva: “A touch oaky, distance green apples and pastry on the nose. In many ways it is a wine expressing the region in flavours, it is refreshing, crisp, touch dry with minerals and hints of lime zest and pine fresh.” £32 per bottle – Find out more about this wine here
45: Villa Sandi – Opere DOC Serenissima: “Dry citrus / fruity flavours both delicate and fine. Lively tiny bubbles with a shining sunshine gold colour lead to a dried floral nose with citrus spray. The flavours are crisp and livening, showing refreshing citrus, dried apple with a dry finish… ” £30 per bottle – Find out more about this wine here
46: Zonin – Bracchetto: “Sweet red berries on the nose welcoming you to taste. A magnificent sweet red berry, raspberry jam and strawberry cream flavours. Smooth, fresh and elegant. Perfect for dessert pairing.” £12 per bottle – Find out more about this wine here
47: Giannitessari – 60 Mesi Lessini Durello: “Aromas could be mistaken for a fine vintage Champagne. Plenty of tempting aromas including apricot pastry, honey, white blossom. Flavours are crisp initially then relax into golden fruits with dry / chalky / mineral notes.” £21 per bottle – Find out more about this wine here
48: Cantine Ceci Spa – Terre Verdiane Lambrusco Amabile: “This, though a sparkling wine, has a smooth fizziness to it. Plenty of dark berry fruits, not overly heavy and nor overpowering. The balance is great to offer a great Lambrusco with that hint of sweetness to allow it to pair with many dishes.” £12 per bottle – Find out more about this wine here
It is not a surprise that France and Italy take up nearly half of the wine menu between them. These countries for me produce the most amazing examples of sparkling wines thanks to their terroir and the history in wine making that they hold. From here I’d like to respect the exceptional progress over the last few years that wineries across England have made, I think it quite important that a wine menu should contain a few examples of English fizz. I’m a big fan of the quality of the rosé sparkling wines we are producing and this shows below:
49: Denbies Estate – Greenfields: “Combines most of the near ripe fruits from a typical English country garden in its taste. Not overly acidic, refreshing, sharp, meaty and a toasty / pastry edge.” £24 per bottle – Find out more about this wine here
50: Fox & Fox – Midnight Dark Dry Rosé Brut 2011: “A lazy maze of wonderful dark berry fruit aromas and flavours. It’s a typical English country gardens Summer delight of red berries, raspberry and blackberry with a subtle pinch of spice. Pairs with most dishes.” £39 per bottle – Find out more about this wine here
51: Fox & Fox – Inspiration Blanc de Blancs 2013: “This is a fine example of a vintage English sparkling wine. It offers golden fruits, honey and dry pastry aromas. A punchy flavour giving golden fruits, dry green fruits, a touch of lime zest with a hint of pastry in the background – You can easily lose yourself in this wine’s aromas and flavours.” £39 per bottle – Find out more about this wine here
52: Halfpenny Green – Brut 2014: “Aromas of yellow apples, spices, caramel, lemon zest and more. Flavours are well balanced with crisp and refreshing notes of orchard fruits, lemon meringue, baked apple pie and more.” £21 per bottle – Find out more about this wine here
53: Poulton Hill Estate – Bulari Sparkling White 2016: “If you are after a punchy sparkling wine then here is a great option. Crisp and full of English country garden fruits including gooseberry, green pear and dark green apple in both aromas and flavours. its acidic character will go nicely with greasy dishes and especially battered fish with chips.” £29 per bottle – Find out more about this wine here
54: Camel Valley Vineyard – 2016 Pinot Noir Rosé Brut: “For me the best example of a rosé sparkling wine from England. The nose offers white strawberry / strawberry yoghurt / chewy strawberry sweets, dried raspberry. Fine and elegant, a crisp and vibrant flavour with red berry fruits and pastry and a creamy edge.” £30 per bottle – Find out more about this wine here
55: Fitz Sparkling Wine – Fitz Pink: “Lively rounded red berry fruit flavours with a touch of yeast / spices. A very pleasing Charmat method English Fizz that will pair nicely with a selection of desserts.” £22 per bottle – Find out more about this wine here
56: Raimes – Vintage Rose: “Light and delicate aromas and flavours. Very much soft raspberry with chalky notes and white strawberry. Ideal to accompany light foods and bite sized canapés.” £40 per bottle – Find out more about this wine here
57: Bolney Wine Estate – Cuvée Rosé: “Appealing soft creamy red fruits on the nose. A refreshing red fruit flavour – clean and elegant. Red floral notes mid length with a zesty red fruit finish.” £30 per bottle – Find out more here about his wine here
58: Exton Park Vineyard – Blanc de Noirs NV: “Nose gives a treacle, sweet ripe fruits character. Taste offers an initial burst of refreshing sharpness that fades into ripe red apples, citrus and chalk. Ideal for food pairings such as spicy / oily options.” £32 per bottle – Find out more about this wine here
A wine menu for me should express the wine experiences and preferences of whom put it together. Showing a wider selection of wines that will appeal to a wide audience will show that the ‘wine menu creator’ has experienced the best from each region. As in most things in life, we have to experience the worst in things in order that the best shines through. For me, I wish to show a passion for the quality from Slovenia by giving them a rather large slice of the listings due to the great variation and quality the country’s winemakers offer that I believe worthy to be in this menu:
59: Radgonske Gorice – Pet-Nat Renina Brut 2018: “Here we have a pet nat so expect some cloudy sparkling wine in your glass, the more cloudy it will be the more unsettled the bottle has been. It’s almost a quality DOCG Prosecco on the nose initially with soft green pears and red apples. Flavours are nicely balanced with subtle dry yet fruity pear flavours. The wine will differ immensely the more cloudy / mixed with the yeast it becomes.” £22 per bottle – Find out more about this wine here
60: Medot – Extra Brut Cuvée: “Touch of caramel with orchard fruits and distant sea breeze aromas. Punchy dry fruit flavours, baking apples, apricot, sweet citrus and more.” £28 per bottle – Find out more about this wine here
61: Čarga | Since 1767 – Donna Regina Extra Brut 2009: “Touch of dry toast, herbal / spices and dry golden fruits on the nose. Flavours are crisp and dry, palate cleansing and offering dry lemon zest, toasty/biscuit and chalk. Great to pair with a variety of rich dishes.” £25 per bottle – Find out more about this wine here
62: House of Wine Doppler – Diona Brut Nature 2010: “Fine oaky and butter croissant aromas – I do suggest you give this wine a fine quality white wine glass and a few moments to showcase its true quality on the nose. Toasty, citrus and apricot flavours. A fine Slovenian vintage sparkling wine that could further improve with age – A wine to wind down with.” £20 per bottle – Find out more about this wine here
63: Medot – Brut Millesime 2011: “The Medot vintages are really ones to look out for as they contain, just like this 2011, great gastronomic pairing capabilities. Crisp, citrus, chalky flavours with hints of apricot pastry. Not too dry, but certainly offering a unique tasting sensation.” £35 per bottle – Find out more about this wine here
64: Tiefengraber – Evana Premium Sparkling Wine 2012: “Great dry golden fruits, honey, apricot pastry nose. A pleasant dryness initially that fades into sweeter golden fruit flavours with honey, spices, yellow rose petal and more to delight the palate. A real calming sparkling wine, elegant and memorable.” £TBA – Find out more about this wine here
65: Istenič – Prestige 2013 Extra Brut: “Amazing and lengthy aromas, welcoming spring / early summer fruit tree blossom along with delicate ripe green fruits. Very fine green fruits in flavours along with apple blossom and a touch of pastry. The aromas last so long so this wine deserves to be enjoyed when you have that moment to yourself and you can sit back and enjoy a fine glass of bubbly.” £27 per bottle – Find out more about this wine here
66: Kerin – Maria Brut 2015: “Great aromas and easily mistaken for a vintage Champagne / Trento. Honeycomb, apricot and lemon pastry on the nose. Touch dry and crisp initially then relaxed yellow fruit flavours in the length with honeycomb ending. A great gastronomic sparkling wine.” £TBA – Find out more about this wine here
67: Vinakoper – Capris Muskat 2017: “Aromas of yellow fruits, sweet citrus, pineapple and more. Sweetness in fizz form, not overly dosed, more a pleasurable tasting experience with tropical / golden fruits and zesty ripe lime / lemon peel.” £11 per bottle – Find out more about this wine here
68: Vinakoper – Capris Marine Sec: “Soft citrus, golden and green fruits, touch of petroleum in aromas. Freshly picked dark green and red apples, zesty yellow fruits, touch of raspberry and white / yellow blossom. A fine ‘SEC’ fizz, not overly sweet yet enough to be ever so mouthwatering.” £17 per bottle – Find out more about this wine here
69: Zlati Gric D.O.O – Konjiška Penina Rose: “Yeasty / red berry fruits on the nose. Taste is slightly dry with hints of red berry fruits, white pepper, yeast that makes it magnificent for light food pairings especially fresh fish dishes and sushi.” £19 per bottle – Find out more about this wine here
70: Bjana Winery – Brut Rosé 2015: “Soft pink blossom, white strawberry, raspberry on the nose. Very enjoyable pink fizz with delicate ripe raspberries, red rose petals, chalk, hints of pastry.” £25 per bottle – Find out more about this wine here
71: Silveri – Cuvée Brut Rosé: “Soft cherry blossom, croissant and white strawberry on the nose. Crisp and clean flavours. Fruity with red currant, raspberry and a dry strawberry pastry length. Quite an elegant bottle of Slovenian fizz.” £19 per bottle – Find out more about this wine here
72: Radgonske Gorice – Zlata Radgonska Penina Rose Extra Dry 2015: “Subtle red berry, distant orange peel and pastry on the nose. Inviting flavours, alive and refreshing and a fruity tasting experience with that added creaminess in the length.” £20 per bottle – Find out more about this wine here
73: Vina Kobal – Teranova Penina Tera: “Punchy almost spicy aromas. Taste well chilled and it gives a light yet full dark fruit body flavour with elegant spices to liven the palate. This wine won a Glass of Bubbly trophy in the category of ‘Fireworks’ and it does not surprise me at all! A fine wine for food pairings.” £20 per bottle – Find out more about this wine here
74: Vina Štoka – Prima Teran Sparkling: “Fresh blackberry and blackcurrant on the nose with a faint touch of black pepper. Full of flavours. Dry burst initially then delicate black berry fruits in length. An ideal gastronomic wine.” £22 per bottle – Find out more about this wine here
75: Jožef Jazbec – Črna Penina Chateau Intanto: “This red sparkling wine from Slovenia is a delight of aromas and dry flavours. Young red and black berry nose (despite 8/10 year on lees) with a crisp and dry red and black berry taste. Long length in flavours that do not fade – not too heavy as per many red sparklers. Serve very well chilled and it performs so much better.” £30 per bottle – Find out more about this wine here
From this point onward I wish to split the remaining wines in to Old World and New World. I do not wish to disrespect any wine region or country by them thinking I am lessening their importance, though it will be far easier in my opinion for the consumer to understand the remaining wines in only two sections. Above, I have been able to go in to depth with regards to the regions that appeal with the most examples for me, but from here of equal importance, the wines are mostly spread out across the world.
76: Austria – Steininger – Grüner Veltliner Reserve Sekt 2016: “Tempting aromas of honeydew, honeycomb, chalk, green pear juice. Soft citrus, yeasty, floral, green fruits. This wine offers so much and with some ageing it could improve more… ” £22.50 per bottle – Find out more about this wine here
77: Austria – Graf Hardegg – Brut Rosé 2014: “Salmon pink almost orange flavoured rosé. Creamy, candyfloss and strawberry nose, touch yeasty too. Initially dry then smooths into light pastry, raspberry, pink grapefruit flavours. Light and crisp and great to pair with salad themed dishes as well as fresh fish.” £TBA – Find out more about this wine here
78: Austria – Schlumberger – Sparkling Rosé Brut Klassik: “A light and enjoyable rosé. Easy to drink, light red berry fruit flavours with a moreish length. Ideal as an aperitif or to pair with fresh fruit dishes.” £23 per bottle – Find out more about this wine here
79: Belgium – Wijnkasteel – Zilveren Parel (Silver Pearl) 2011: “A smoky oak / prosciutto aroma. Flavours are savoury and dry though crisp and refreshing with zesty fruits, minerals and a touch of cured meat.” £TBA – Find out more about this wine here
80: Spain (Cava) – Pere Ventura – Tresor Cuvée Barrique Brut 2015: “Aromas open up the longer the wine is left in the glass. A toasty, honey, marzipan, apricot pastry nose – Almost vintage Champagne’esque. Complexity in abundance with the flavours giving an oak / toasty taste alongside yellow stone fruits, yellow floral, honey, pastry and a citrus touch that builds in the length.” £20 per bottle – Find out more about this wine here
81: Spain (Cava) – Cavas Naveran – Perles D’Or 2016: “Salty cream and yeast on the nose with a touch of white pepper. Flavours are yeasty, citrus, touch of dark honey, mineral and faintly butter croissant too. Complex and bold, give time to the wine in the glass as it improves as it reaches room temperature.” £20 per bottle – Find out more about this wine here
82: Spain (Cava) – Codorniu – Jaume Gran Reserva: “A creamy citrus, apple and almond nose. Complex and engaging flavours including ripe yellow stone fruits plus apricot patisserie, lightly buttered toast along with sweet lemon zest and tropical notes.” £TBA – Find out more about this wine here
83: Germany – Wein und Sektgut F.B.Schönleber – Brut Nature Riesling: “Aromas of petrol and green fruits. Taste is a pleasing refreshing array of yellow and green fruits with nectarine and zesty lime / grass.” £23 per bottle – Find out more about this wine here
84: Germany – Frank John Das Hirschhorner Weinkontor – 2014 Riesling Brut: “Parsnips on the nose along with green fruits and a touch of petroleum / tropical notes. Zesty flavours though not overpowering. More a classic and elegant taste sensation with orchard fruits and a touch of herbal / green grass.” £TBA – Find out more about this wine here
85: Germany – Stengel – 30 Cuvée Brut: “Tropical and faint citrus / honey on the nose. Touch of sweetness though not too much, easy to drink and enjoy anytime and fine for pairing with light dishes to include dry and creamy cheese. Yellow and greengage fruits with a honey undertone in flavours.” £25 per bottle – Find out more about this wine here
86: Germany – Oberhofer – Chardonnay Crémant Pfalz Brut Nature 2014: “A creamy green fruit, touch tropical, yellow floral aromas. Dry taste sensation initially that relaxes to show zesty green fruits, baked cooking apples, floral flavours. A punchy fizz. Serve well chilled. Great for food pairings thanks to its bold taste character enabling palate cleansing and to blend with food such as, for me, rich creamy dishes and strong cheeses.” £20 per bottle – Find out more about this wine here
87: Spain – Gozy – White Sparkling Sangria: “A white fruity flavour with zesty marmalade, ginger/light spices and yellow apple skin. Easy to drink and a great place to start your evening with family and friends – A fun sparkling wine over anything with great depth and complexity and an upgrade from Lambrusco / BabySham!” £12 per bottle – Find out more about this wine here
88: Portugal – Quinta do Ferro – Dom Ferro Velha Reserva Branco 2006: “Flavours are alive and tempting with crisp yellow pears and light green apples with a touch of dry biscuit / pastry, yellow blossom and a hint of honey. A nice balance between sweetness and dryness.” £15 per bottle – Find out more about this wine here
89: Georgia – Badagoni – Maestro Semi Dry: “A touch of Prosecco in its character. Green pear, tropical, white floral and red apple aromas. A delicate fruitiness in flavours with smooth yellow and green fruits along with hints of sweet citrus zestiness and honey.” £15 per bottle – Find out more about this wine here
90: USA – Breathless – Blanc de Noirs NV: “Apple pie, touch of minerals on the nose. Crisp fruit flavours, smooth and fine gooseberry, green apple skin, citrus, savoury butter and more.” £38 per bottle – Find out more about this wine here
91: Canada – Jackson-Triggs Niagara Estate Winery – Grand Reserve Entourage Sparkling Brut 2014: “Soft fruits on the nose from Honeydew melon to citrus. Flavours are once again fruity with red pear, apricot/peach, lemon zest, pastry and also a touch of sea breeze. A pleasing sparkling wine, relaxing to drink. Expresses delicately a complexity of flavours.” £34 per bottle – Find out more about this wine here
92: Japan – Lumiere – Delaware 2016: “A most engaging aroma to this Japanese sparkling wine. Soft white pears, yellow floral and banana candy to delight the nose. Flavours are soft and complex with green fruits, star fruit, white floral, tropical and a touch of dried lemon slices on pastry.” £TBA – Find out more about this wine here
93: Argentina – Familia Schroeder – Deseado Rosé: “A fizz with just 9% alcohol from Argentina. A Trophy winner in the category of ‘Dessert’ at the 2019 Glass of Bubbly Awards. Wonderful raspberry ripple and strawberry jam aromas. You are so tempted to taste! A sweet rosé nature with delicate and such elegant red fruit flavours. Ripe raspberry and strawberry pastry flavours with a great balance to not be overly cloying on the palate and yet take a starring role at being so very moreish. Excellent for pairing with many fine desserts.” £16 per bottle – Find out more about this wine here
94: New Zealand – No.1 Family Estate – No.1 Rosé: “A double Trophy winning sparkling wine at the Glass of Bubbly Awards for ‘Sea Breeze’. The aromas are a salty savoury with red berry experience, imagine yourself walking along the coastline… Flavours are initially dry with salty / savoury notes which are slowly replaced by dry red berry fruits. Amazing to pair with meats and most certainly lamb.” £25 per bottle – Find out more about this wine here
95: New Zealand – Tohu – Rewa Reserve Blanc de Blancs 2013: “Bruised red apples and meaty aromas. Crisp and bubbly, lively in the palate offering citrus/lime, minerals and pastry flavours.” £30 per bottle – Find out more about this wine here
96: South Africa – Paul Rene – Brut Rosé 2016: “Light red fruits, lime zest and pastry on the nose. Flavours are a touch dry with welcoming herbal, white floral, red berries, roasted almonds and green fruits making an appearance.” £20 per bottle – Find out more about this wine here
97: South Africa – Graham Beck – Pinot Noir Rosé 2014: “Soft creamy red berry fruits on the nose. Elegant rounded flavours in the palate showing ripe raspberry, white strawberry and a crisp moreish finish.” £24 per bottle – Find out more about this wine here
98: South Africa – Pongracz – Desiderius Vintage 2009: “Lively mousse and full of pleasing aromas to include sweet citrus, brioche and peach/watermelon. Crisp and dry flavours, citrus with yellow stone fruits and touch of forest floor. Paired nicely with homemade quiche and salad. A Gold Medal winner from 2017 The World’s Finest Glass of Bubbly Awards in the category ‘Classic & Elegant’.” £26 per bottle – Find out more about this wine here
99: Australia – Umamu Estate – 2012 Sparkling Chardonnay: “Fine delicate bubbles. Aromas offer yellow floral, apricot and subtle lemon zest Four years on the lees. Delicate floral, cooking apple and white fruits in flavours, a faint creaminess in there also. Dry style sparkling wine with a decent elegance in length. Ideal for food pairings.“ £TBA – Find out more about this wine here
100: Australia – Paulett Vineyards – Trillians Sparkling Red NV: “Nose is very welcoming giving a basket full of red fruits with hints of red apples and candy. Most pleasant flavours for red sparkling wine, not too heavy yet bursting with tempting flavours including soft dark berry fruits, soft spices and a wonderful soft creamy finish. A deserved Gold Medal winning wine in the category of ‘Gastronomic’ at The World’s Finest Glass of Bubbly Awards 2018.” £18 per bottle – Find out more about this wine here
For me, when I choose wines for any occasion and especially when sharing tasting experiences with others, I like to select wines that I have ‘fallen in love’ with. The focus will always be on the wine, but I also place great importance on where the wine is made and by whom – Sometimes only half the story is in the wine itself and I always like to share the other half with my guests.
For this article I have re-tasted each and every wine that I have included in this ‘100 Award Winning Sparkling Wines that should be on your Wine Menu‘. In many cases I have tasted a selection of the winery’s labels to make sure what I select is the best, for my liking, of their range and that includes tasting varied vintages. I have visited over half the wineries that I have included and met even more of the owners / winemakers who I have spoken to and learnt from. Some wineries have more than one wine on this list only because I have ‘fallen in love’ with more than one of their labels!
I suggest of course that a wine list should always be re-visited and improved and this probably goes in line with the person who put it together and their ongoing tasting experiences. It will be highly likely that you will remove and add wines all the time as you discover new, improved and better wines, gain feedback from your clients as well as when labels sell or phase out… I am sure that some wines now are probably out of stock due to popularity and rarity, if I had my own restaurant (and enough money to afford such a collection of quality wines) I would have stocked up on all these wines so that my clients would have experienced my amazing journey with me…
Co-founder of Glass of Bubbly. Journalist and author focused on Champagne & Sparkling Wines and pairing them with foods.