We, at Elixuer, couldn’t possibly list all the amazing sparkling wine options on the market. The list would never end! However, we’ve narrowed the choices down to a careful selection of some of the most promising. These wines have intriguing combinations of scents, flavours, and textures—and they’ve been crafted with care. Below are a handful of sparkling wines that strike us as worth a try.
Back 10 Cellars – Smitten Sparkling (Ontario) – $25
When it comes to wine, the grapes matter. Hand-picked Riesling grapes bring acidity to this sparkling white wine. Smitten then gets its sparkle from the Charmat method. What’s left is an exciting, off-dry blend of tart and mellow. Gentle pear and melon notes balance out tangy apple and citrus.
Fielding Wines – Brut NV (Ontario) – $40
“Brut” is the driest—or the least sweet—variety of wine on the market. Most wines are categorized by the type of grape used, but brut refers to a method where a limited amount of residual sugar is added into bottles after the aging process. Fielding’s sparkling Brut NV goes through the traditional method, being fermented in a barrel and naturally carbonated in the bottle with small amounts of yeast and sugar. The result is a citrusy, energetic mix of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir with notes of apple pie, brioche, and a creamy texture.
Inniskillin – Sparkling Cabernet Franc Icewine VQA (Ontario) – $120
Canada’s beloved icewine relies on grapes that have been left to freeze on the vine before being picked and pressed. The frozen grapes only secrete an extremely sweet juice of highly concentrated sugars when they’re crushed. It’s the sweetness that makes icewine so prized. Icewine is the sweetest wine available. Inniskillin’s Sparkling Cabernet Franc Ice Wine tastes and smells of berries, cherries, and rhubarb.
Benjamin Bridge – Pet Nat (Nova Scotia) – $23
Pet Nat refers to “Pétillant Natural,” a process of natural fermentation. The grapes are left to ferment in the wild. Then, when the process is almost complete, the wine is bottled—and the fermentation finishes inside the bottles with the help of naturally occurring sugars and yeast. Pet Nat’s signature is a cloudy look, a hallmark of the organic procedure it underwent. Benjamin Bridge delivers a golden Geisenheim wine of lemon, lime, grapefruit, floral, and mineral scents. Citrusy flavours strip back to reveal tropical tastes.
Colio Winery – Lily Sparkling VQA (Ontario) – $18
Lily Sparkling is described by its manufacturers as “clear and bright with persistent yet delicate bubbles.” This inexpensive wine is crafted using the Charmat method and ends up tasting of citrus, green apple, and apricot that concludes with “zesty mineral tones.” It’s a delicate wine, and pairs well with seafood and salty snacks.
Lakeview Wine – Fresh Horizons Sparkling Moscato (Ontario) – $20
Made from muscat grapes, which are renowned for their sweet peachy flavour and lower alcohol content, this wine comes in small 375ml bottles decorated with a sun goddess illustration and packed alongside an accompanying bottle of sparkling rosé. It’s a versatile wine, going with many foods or making for a pleasant summer treat. Off-dry, frothy, and characterized by flavours of candied peach, pineapple, and tangerine.
Rosehall Run – Indigo (Ontario) – $25
Indigo sparkling wine has been equated by one key reviewer with “walking through a field of flowers in late summer”—it’s gentle, aromatic, and fruity without being overwhelmingly sweet. It’s refreshing on the palate. Drink on its own or beside seafood. The wine was fermented with the Charmat method.
Lightning Rock – Elysia Blanc de Noir (British Columbia) – $40
An exciting Pinot Noir—dry, acidic, midweight, abundant in delicate bubbles. The flavour notes are complex, ranging from grapefruit to caramel, from ginger and lemon candy to brioche. This sparkling wine is aged for a quarter of a year in barrels of oak, contributing to the robust flavour profile, after an initial natural in-the-wild fermentation and prior to secondary fermentation in bottle.
Jacob Carmicheal | Staff Writer