The 9 Best Sparkling Wines for the Summer heat
When the summer arrives, our taste in wine naturally shifts to those that are more refreshing. This is especially true for those people who drink wine simply for the pleasure, not as an accompaniment to food.
And when it comes to refreshing wines, those with a sparkle tend to hit the spot the best. So we are going to take a look at some of the best sparkling wines to drink this summer.
Why Sparkling Wines?
Sparkling wines such as Champagne and Cava, have always been the traditional drink to start off a celebration. The sound of the cork popping on a bottle of sparkling wine, is often the signal to begin celebrating.
But sparkling wines are also great as an everyday drink in the hot summer months.
There is a reason why so many of us reach for a can of soda when we are thirsty. The fizz really makes it a very refreshing experience to drink. Sparkling wine is no different.
Whether you prefer white or red, sweet or dry, there are some excellent summer sparkling wines available to suit every taste and budget.
Dry sparkling wines are the most refreshing, clearing the palate with a slightly acidic finish. However, even the sweetest of sparkling wines can be a great drink on a summers afternoon.
Sparkling wines are also very easy to pair with food. Indeed, one could make the argument that you can drink a sparkling wine with anything.
This means that if you are spending a day relaxing in the garden, snacking on potato chips, enjoying a BBQ and summer salad, then your sparkling wine will fit fine with all these food types.
Of course, you can still mix and match your sparkling wines, sticking with a dryer wine for drinking with savoury food, and a sweeter wine for deserts or sweet snacks.
Overall, sparkling wines of any vintage make a great summer tipple. Almost everyone enjoys drinking both white and red sparkling wines, they are often the least challenging of all wines.
This means that you don’t run the risk of popping the cork, and people not enjoying the wine. Put simply, sparkling wines are pretty easy. Choose a colour, choose a level of sweetness, and that is about it.
We have split the selection of the 9 best sparkling wines for the summer, in to three categories.
The 3 Best Budget Sparkling Wines
In this section, we are going to take a look at three budget priced sparkling wines.
These are all less than 15 Euros a bottle. The thing with sparkling wines at this price point, is that they are all very easy to drink.
They tend to have a very low alcohol content, so they are perfect for sipping throughout a long summers day.
Prosécco is the Italian take on sparkling wine. In fact, many people probably don’t realise how much sparkling wine the Italians drink.
Prosecco is their snack wine; it is drunk with salty snacks such as potato chips.
This is a sparkling white wine, that has a very vibrant, straw coloured hue. The bouquet is quite simple, yet refreshing.
Taste wise, this is a very fruity wine, and quite delicate. As with most sparkling wines, it is not particularly full bodied.
€11.52 / £9.11 at TheDrinkShop
This is an interesting wine at the budget price point from TheDrinkShop.
It is a sparkling rosé, a Cava from Spain. Cava is most usually encountered as a white sparkling wine, so finding this rosé, with a little more character, in the budget price range is something exceptional.
The very vital, redcurrant colouring hints at the fruitiness of this wine. And indeed, when you raise the glass to your nose, you will be assaulted by the smell of wild berries, with a hint of alcohol. On the palate, it is very fresh and fruity, with a smooth finish that has a herbal essence.
€11.98 / £ 9.53 from TheDrinkShop
Here we have a French white sparkling wine from TheDrinkShop. This is a great wine in the budget section, and the very first true Champagne on our list.
A fantastic choice as an aperitif.
This is a dry, floral smelling wine, that screams French as you enjoy the bouquet. It has a surprisingly robust body, and a very full tasting finish, heavy on grape.
€17.73 / £14.77 from TheDrinkShop
As we promised, we have a very interesting magnum sized rosé sparkling wine from Cantina Zaccagnini.
If you are looking for a great summer party wine, then you really cannot go wrong with this wine.
The magnum size means you are getting great value.
The bouquet is extremely fruity, but you can smell and undertone of liquor, which hints at this wine having a much fuller body than its rosé tint would suggest.
And this is exactly the case, this full bodied wine would be a great compliment to BBQ meat.
€35.9 / £28.05 from Cantina Zaccagnini
From the Waitrose Cellar, this is out midrange Champagne selection. Indeed, at this price point, it is probably one of the best.
Champagne is timeless, but so many chapter products lack finesse. This one does not. It might not carry a fancy producers label, but it does give the full Champagne experience.
This is a golden coloured sparkling wine, that is very aromatic. Taste delivery exhibits the finesse of much more expensive wines.
Overall, this is a great budget Champagne, great for kicking off a celebration, or just enjoying in the summer sunshine.
€36.66 / £ from Waitrose Cellar
A sparkling wine from Bluebell Vineyard Estates, this crisp, dry white wine is simply refreshing.
Unlike many French sparkling wine producers, Bluebell Hindleap has not tried to emulate Champagne. They have come up with their own take on French sparkling wine.
Apples and peaches assault the nose, with just a hint of citrus fruits. As the taste comes in to play, that citrus comes to the fore, with a lemon and lime, smoothed by honey taste.
This is a perfect early evening sparkling wine. The citrus influences really help to clear the palate, in a very refreshing way.
€30.34 / £25.28 from Bluebell Vineyard Estates
A Spanish sparkling wine from Uberti. This is a very unique wine in its own right.
Don’t drink this expecting a generic Champagne copy, it is much more complex.
Indeed, if you are looking for something to surprise friends or family with, on a warm summers afternoon, a bottle of this would do the trick.
A very dry white wine, with a floral bouquet, but with heavy overtones of lemon and other citrus fruits.
The delivery has a slightly acidic, very citrus taste, and the finish is long and refreshing.
Coming from TheDrinkShop this is possibly the most unique sparkling wine on our list.
Everything from the packaging to the drinking experiences is entirely unique.
What we have here is a modern day revolution, that tries to use up to date branding to sell a great product.
Taste wise, things are equally complex for this unique Prosecco.
A very fruity bouquet, with undertones of citrus and summer flowers. A rich, fairly full body, with an exceptionally refreshing finish.
This wine is absolutely delightful to drink on a summers day, as a standalone drink. No need for it to accompany food, although it will work great with white meat or fish as well.
€115.18 / £95.99 from TheDrinkShop
A French sparkling wine from TheDrinkShop. Here we have a traditional French sparkling wine in every way. No real surprises with this one, and we wouldn’t want there to be.
This is a great wine, perfect as an aperitif.
A very complex bouquet is hinted at by the dark straw colouring, and indeed this is true. Honey, hazelnuts and summer blossoms hit the nose.
The body is light, delicate and extremely rewarding through the long, smooth finish. As a sparkling wine for special occasions, this is a great selection.
A Sparkling Selection
The summer really is sparkling wine season. That being said, sparkling wine is good all year round, in the right situation.
You may have noticed that we have not used the world Champagne very frequently during this article. The reason for this is simple, Champagne is simply the name of the region that a particular family of French sparkling wines come from.
Too much is often made over the name Champagne, and although many of the exceptional sparkling wines in the world are Champagne, it is a grave mistake to think that only Champagne is the best sparkling wine.
Our advice, is to try some of the summer sparkling wines we have talked about in this article. Get away from the “it must be Champagne” mind-set.
Try a great Prosecco or Cava instead, and we are entirely sure that you will not be disappointed at all.
Mac is an avid traveller, who spends many months of the year wandering the world with a laptop and a suitcase. He has been a wine lover for over 30 years, and has a fondness for Italian reds, although don’t ask his opinion on the Barolo Wars. On his travels he has tasted a great many wines. Some good, some bad, and some that should never have been sold for human consumption.