Here is a representative sampling of regions, other than Champagne, well known for their sparkling wine production.
Iron Horse Wedding Cuvée 2006, Russian River Valley, CA ($35)
This Blanc de Noirs, aged for three years on the lees, is a beautiful bottle of wine. Bright, light yellow, with salmon tinges and very fine bubbles, it has a pleasant nose of cooked red fruit. On the palate its flavors are complex and integrated, with fresh and cooked red fruit, fresh apples and a focused acidity.
Bisol Crede Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Brut D.O.C.G., Trevisio, Italy ($21)
Pale straw in color with generous, medium-sized bubbles, this wine has a fresh, fruity nose of sweet apples tempered with a pleasing minerality. It is slightly off-dry, with flavors of apples, citrus and minerals, all kept in balance with good acidity and a nice, slightly bitter finish. Prosecco is the name of the wine, as well as the grape it’s made from.
Avinyó Cava Reserva Brut, Penedès, Spain ($17)
Made by the traditional method, like all Cavas, this wine is the color of straw and has a nose of fresh apples. On the palate it is clean, with crisp acidity, old world minerality and flavors of baked apples. It is slightly less dry than some of the other wines on this list.
François Labet Crémant de Bourgogne Brut, Côte d’Or, France ($16)
This traditional method wine is a great value for a very pleasant bottle of bubbly. It has a slight raspberry tinge, with fine bubbles and great minerality on the nose. On the palate it is full bodied and smooth, with flavors of ripe apples and a long, raspberry finish.
Henkell Trocken Sekt, Germany ($12)
This wine is light yellow in color, with aggressive bubbles and a cotton candy nose. It is slightly sweet, smooth and has flavors of candied apricots.
Lucien Albrecht Crémant d’Alsace Brut, Blanc de Blancs, Alsace, France ($16)
This traditional method wine is bright, straw-colored with green highlights and has very fine bubbles. It has a nose of candied melon. On the palate, it is smooth and full, with toasted hazelnuts balanced by a welcome acidity. It has a long finish of ripe pears.
Chateau Moncontour Brut, Vouvray, France ($15)
Chateau Moncontour is one of France’s oldest estates, with some of its vineyards producing wine since the 4th century. The wine is made using the traditional method, and is straw in color with fine bubbles. The nose is waxy and floral, with honeyed ripe melon. The honeyed melon continues on the palate, focused with a bracing acidity. This is a very pleasant bottle of wine.