Food & Drinks

We Asked Sommeliers: What Are the Best American Sparkling Wines Under $55?

Sparkling wine is undeniably the most diverse category of wine out there. Bubbles get created in three different ways: the traditional method, ancestral method (pét-nat), or tank method. Winemakers can choose to use red or white grapes for sparkling wines, and the variety they bring is extraordinary — but it doesn’t stop there. Today’s American winemakers are branching out by using fruits like apples and guava in their sparklers, expanding this already broad category, and making wines that reflect our local terroir.

For me, American wines are more than an interest — they’re a deep passion. Our local winemakers aren’t bound to strict laws on what they can and can’t make, like many European makers are. The creativity coming out of our local wine industry is astounding, and sparkling wines are excellent reflections of that spirit and excitement. Sparkling wines are incredibly easy to pair with food as well, and make drinking wine just a little more fun.

If you’re a Prosecco lover, I’m sure you’re going to fall head over heels for Oyster River’s Morphos sparkler. Its crisp, bright, citrusy and zesty flavors are the perfect aperitif for a sunny day, a dinner party, or a day at the park. I love this wine, homegrown in Maine, and for $20, it’s a steal.

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Here are 11 American sparkling wines that some of our favorite wine professionals are enjoying today:

NV Gruet Winery Blanc de Noirs, $17

“Gruet’s Blanc de Noirs from New Mexico is one of my favorite bottles right now. It has been an awesome longstanding value option for a great sparkling wine. So crisp, versatile and delicious. I also think New Mexico is a cool domestic growing region!” —Samantha Knopf, owner at Smalls, Portland, Maine

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NV Roots Wine Co. Sauvignon Blanc, $22

The NV Roots Wine Co. Sauvignon Blanc iis one of the best sparkling wines under $55 according to sommeliers.

“Winemaker Chris Berg’s Roots Wine Co. Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc is one of my favorite American sparkling wines under $30! The fruit comes from practicing organic vineyards in Eola-Amity Hills, native yeast fermented, no additions to the wine, and is vegan. Bright and refreshing on the palate with tons of citrus fruits, fresh cut grass, and subtle minerality.” —Richard Trinidad Garcia, owner at Big Mood Natural Wines, Kansas City, Mo.

2021 ButtonWood Grove Cabernet Franc Pét-Nat, $25

The 2021 ButtonWood Grove Cabernet Franc Pet-Nat is one of the best sparkling wines under $55 according to sommeliers.

“My favorite American sparkling wine right now is ButtonWood Grove’s Cab Franc Pét-Nat. You get a wine that’s alive, unpolished, easy-drinking and fun. It has beautiful floral and strawberry notes, lighter bodied and fizzy. As we transition from spring into summer, I love having it this time of year!” Louis Anthony Chico, sommelier at STK Orlando, Orlando, Fla.

2020 Stella14 Wines ‘Birches’ Pét-Nat, $25

The 2020 Stella14 Wines 'Birches' Pet-Nat is one of the best sparkling wines under $55 according to sommeliers.

“David Keck makes truly awesome sparkling wine, and on his first frickin’ vintage up here! His 2020 ‘Birches’ Pét Nat in particular (70 percent Frontenac and 30 percent Marquette) is genuinely delicious, fun, but also food-friendly and well structured. It has a gorgeously deep purple hue with the brambly forest fruit notes to match. It finishes so bright and light on the palate with pleasantly energetic, consistent bubbles. To be consumed with friends, salty treats, and pizza immediately!” Lauren Hayes, Director of Operations for Adventure Dinner, Burlington, Vt.

2021 Field Recordings Rosé Pét-Nat, $25

The 2021 Field Recordings Rosé-Pet-Nat is one of the best sparkling wines under $55 according to sommeliers.

“One of the things I love about Cabernet Franc is its versatility, and Cabernet Franc can make some pretty fab fizz. From blanc de noir or rosé, pét-nat or traditional method — Cab Franc can do it all. This example from Field Recordings made by winemaker Andrew Jones is 100 percent Cabernet Franc sourced from vineyards in the Central Coast of California. Made using the ancestral method, this is a cheerful, low-ABV sparkling with loads of Cabernet Franc character like wild strawberries, rhubarb, and fresh soft herbs like dill and mint. Whether you’re on a boat or the beach, patio or picnic blanket, this has day-drinking written all over it.” —Allison Slute, Creator of Cab Franc Chronicles

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NV Chateau Deluxe ‘Method Rural’ Brut, $27

The NV Chateau Deluxe 'Method Rural Brut' is one of the best sparkling wines under $55 according to sommeliers.

“Two Truths: Great winemakers do not need to live in a chateau and great sparkling wine does not need to come from Champagne. Chateau Deluxe “Method Rural” Brut is our most recommended sparkling wine from our catalog because of its versatility. It holds a pale pink and cloudy appearance that will appease the most natty window shopper, while the juice inside is serious enough to catch even the most snobby Champagne drinkers’ attention” —Jake Raymond, co-founder of US Natural Wine, Austin, Texas

2021 Ashanta Wines ‘Sankofa Feijoa,’ $35

The 2021 Ashanta Wines 'Sankofa Feijoa' is one of the best sparkling wines under $55 according to sommeliers.

“From just the name of this sparkling wine, Sankofa, coming from the Akan people meaning, ‘It is not taboo to fetch what is at risk of being left behind,’ I knew this 0/0 wine was going to be special. Feijoa is a species of guava, and these wild foraged babies made their way into a barrel of fermenting apple juice! The guava fruit was found growing in a park in Oakland known for being a rallying site for the Black Panther Party, a movement instrumental in winemaker Chenoa Ashton Lewis’s identity. With all of this intention, soul, heritage, and flavor, it’s everything I want in a sparkling wine.” Jahdé Marley, NY-based beverage consultant

2020 Caleb Leisure ‘Caesura,’ $37

The 2020 Caleb Leisure 'Caesura' is one of the best sparkling wines under $55 according to sommeliers.
“All of Caleb’s wines are made in Georgian qvevri, and — unlike many American sparkling wines — are aged on lees for about 18 months, giving this wine particular finesse and breadth. Light, fresh florals, bright acid, delicate bubbles and pleasing weight from that long lees aging. The wine is disgorged so you don’t lose half the bottle, this is my go-to for something interesting, but still pretty and elegant.” —Natalia MacAdams, owner at Heaven’s Market, Los Angeles

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2017 Hermann J Weimer Blanc de Blanc, $45

The 2017 Hermann J Weimer 'Blanc de Blanc' is one of the best sparkling wines under $55 according to sommeliers.

“My favorite Domestic sparkling wine right now is Hermann J. Wiemer’s Blanc de Blanc 2017. This sparkling beauty is made in the traditional method, with incredible fruit, acidity, and focus. This wine is the perfect brunch sipper — I’m definitely pairing it with a bacon, egg, and cheese!” Travis Lee Padilla, sommelier at Terroir, New York

2018 Cruse ‘Tradition,’ $45

The Cruse 'Tradition' is one of the best sparkling wines under $55 according to sommeliers.

“When there started to be a lot of buzz around winemaker Michael Cruse and his Ultramarine sparkling wine, I sought out every available bottle in NYC and spent huge chunks of my paycheck to consume them. So when he began to make traditional-method sparkling wine under his more affordable label Cruse Wine Company, I was hooked.” Laura Staley, Wine Director at Row 34, Boston

2020 La Garagista Farm & Winery ‘House Music’ Pétillant-Naturel, $51

The 2020 La Garagista Farm & Winery 'House of Music' Petillant-Naturel is one of the best sparkling wines under $55 according to sommeliers.

“This has been one of my favorite wines from La Garagista. She’s a producer I equally love for her ability to challenge norms within the industry. My first impression was to call it electric blueberry juice, but it becomes so much more with lots of alpine herbal and floral notes.” —Henry Glucroft, owner at Henry’s Wine & Spirits, Brooklyn


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