The Best American Sparkling Wines to Try This Holiday Season
The 100 percent tariff threat on French Champagne shouldn’t be the only reason you seek out American sparkling wine—stateside producers have come into their own, as shown by this selection of bottlings
Schramsburg Blanc de Blanc
While Blanc de Noirs sparkling is made from Pinot Noir grapes, the Blanc de Blanc variety comes from Chardonnay. Schramsberg launched its iteration first among American winemakers in 1965 and it remains a classic expression of the stateside style: layered and complex, toasty with citrus midpalate, a great pairing partner for seafood dishes. For a splurge, opt for the 2000 late-disgorged J. Schramm bottling, one of the finest examples of American sparkling wine you’ll find.
Domaine Carneros Blanc de Noir
Backed by the Tattinger family of Champagne, the Carneros estate sits just west of central Napa, on the route to Sonoma. There, in a French-style chateau, this white sparkling is made from Pinot Noir grapes, lending black and red fruit flavors to the palate.
Frank Family Rouge
Situated in an historic stone building, the Frank family offers a Brut Rosé and Blanc de Blanc bottling, along with a reserve wine or two. But their rouge sparkling stands apart, ruby in color with notes of black cherry and baking spices. The secret? A helping of petite sirah, which joins the usual suspects Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in the blend.
Sokol Blosser Bluebird Cuvée
Originally planted in 1971, the first Sokol Blosser vineyards were part of a wave of pioneering viticulture in the Willamette Valley. As the first LEED-certified American winery and a certified B corporation, SB is a good buy for more than just the wine. At just under $30 per bottle, we like the Bluebird Cuvee, a blend of white varietals that offers apple blossom, lychee, and white peach on the palate.
Soter Vineyards Mineral Springs Brut Rosé
Tart berries and almond cake abound in this sustainably farmed wine out of the Yamhill/Carlton Valley AVA southwest of Portland. It spends four full years on the lees, or yeast, giving it extended complexity and depth.
Elk Cove La Boheme Brut Rosé
Another one of Oregon’s first wave families, Elk Cove offers a variety of standout Pinot Noirs and chardonnays—and this brut rosé, made from the La Boheme Pinot Noir wine. You’ll find honeydew melon on the nose with almonds and citrus on the palate in this methode traditionelle sparkler.
Argyle Extended Tirage Brut
The practice of tirage, or aging a wine on its yeast or lees, confers complexity to a sparkling wine as the yeast is “autolyzed,” or broken down. Traditional Champagne must be aged at least 3 years, and most producers extend the process to between five and eight years. That’s why this 10-year-Tirage bottle is worth seeking out for a splurge. You’ll get amplified brioche characteristics along with poached quince and currants.
Gruet Pinot Meunier Brut
A heavyweight sparkling house in an unexpected part of the country—New Mexico—Gruet makes some of the finest dollar-for-dollar sparkling wine on shelves. Seek out this 100 percent Pinot Meunier bottling, which lets the blending grape (often included, seldom heralded in Champagne) take a bow. You’ll notice the body and wild honey and fresh apricot.
Editor’s Note: For the purposes of this article we’re restricting these picks to conventional Champagne-style bottlings.