Planning a party but don’t want Prosecco? Here are 10 sparkling alternatives

Now that National Prosecco Day has passed, we felt it was a good time to bring you 10 brilliant Prosecco alternatives – featuring keenly-priced sparkling wines from Alsace, Cava and the Dolomites, among other fizz-producing places.

All the wines featured below have scored a Silver medal or higher in The Global Wine Masters, and hail from two recent competitions in 2020: The Global Sparkling Wine Masters and The Global Organic Wine Masters.

This means each wine has been assessed for its style and quality by an independent panel of experienced judges, and, importantly, ‘blind’, which means that the taster had no prior knowledge of the wine’s source.

Should you want to feature in a future selection like the top 10 below, then call +44 (0)20 7803 2420 or email Sophie Raichura at: sophie@thedrinksbusiness.com

Meanwhile, if you would rather stick with Prosecco, please click here to see our top 10 Proseccos of 2020.

10. Righi, Pignoletto DOC, Vino Frizzante, Secco Biologico

If you’re ever on the look-out for something light, fresh, aromatic, gently fizzy, with masses of peach and pear fruit flavours, and you’re suffering from a touch of Prosecco fatigue, then Pignoletto is an ideal alternative. Taking its name from a variety and a DOC region in Emilia Romagna, Pignoletto is a both grape and a place, and source of a lovely style of easy-drinking fruity fizz that is generally less bubbly than Prosecco – like this lovely organic version from Rigni, made in the semi-sparkling frizzante style.

  • Producer: Righi Soc. Coop. Agr.
  • Region: Emilia Romagna
  • Country: Italy
  • Grape variety: Pignoletto
  • Abv: 12%
  • Vintage: NV
  • Residual sugar: 10g/l (Brut)
  • Sparkling winemaking method: Charmat / tank method
  • Approx. retail price: Under £10
  • Medal: Silver – Organic Wine Masters 2020

9. Schloss Wachenheim Gold, Sekt, NV

If you’re on the hunt for great value fizz, then don’t forget the sparkling Rieslings of Germany, called Sekt. And this is a brilliant value version, loaded with peaches and cream, and a whiff of smoke like a freshly struck match, and plenty of fine persistent bubbles.

  • Producer: Schloss Wachenheim
  • Grape Variety: Riesling
  • Region: Pfalz
  • Country: Germany
  • Vintage: NV
  • Residual sugar: 5g/l, Extra Brut
  • Sparkling winemaking method: Traditional method / bottle fermented
  • Approximate retail price: Under £10
  • Medal: Silver – Global Sparkling Wine Masters 2020

8. Pata Negra, Organic Cava, Brut

It’s a perennial question for any wine professional, and that is, I’m looking for inexpensive sparkling wine for a party, what should I serve? Well, Cava Pata Negra comes with the three-part benefit of being delicious, inexpensive and organic, making it a brilliant option as a crowd-pleasing sparkling for large gatherings, or indeed, just a fantastic value fizz for any occasion.

In terms of style, this is a traditional method sparkling wine – so it’s made like Champagne – and that means it comes with fine bubbles, and bread-like flavours. But, unlike Champagne, and typical to Cava, it’s quite fruity, with ripe pineapple characters, and a touch of earthiness. It’s also quite a fresh style – with just 6g/l residual sugar (which actually puts it on the border of Brut and Extra Brut). In short, for under £10, it’s a fantastic, creamy-fresh fizz.

  • Producer: Jaume Serra
  • Region: D.O Cava
  • Country: Spain
  • Grape variety: Macabeo
  • Abv: 12%
  • Vintage: NV
  • Residual sugar: 6g/l (Brut)
  • Sparkling winemaking method: Traditional method / bottle fermented
  • Approx. retail price: Under £10
  • Medal: Gold – Organic Wine Masters 2020

7. Borga, Pinot Grigio delle Venezie DOC, Brut Millesimato, 2018

So you love Prosecco, but you want to try something different, but not too different. Then why not opt for a sparkling Pinot Grigio from the home of Prosecco, which is the Veneto? This version from Cantina Borga will please the Prosecco enthusiast with its ripe peach and pear aromatics, delicate fizz, and fresh citrus finish.

  • Producer: Cantina Borga
  • Grape Variety: Pinot Grigio
  • Region: Veneto
  • Country: Italy
  • Vintage: 2018
  • Residual sugar: 8g/l, Brut
  • Sparkling winemaking method: Charmat / Tank method
  • Approximate retail price: £10-15
  • Medal: Silver – Global Sparkling Wine Masters 2020

6. Bouvet, Saumur Brut, NV 

A consistently fine source of good value fresh fine fizz can be found in the Loire valley, specifically Saumur, and especially from the region’s most famous and largest producer: Bouvet Ladubay. All its output excels for its quality-to-price ratio and especially this inexpensive Saumur Brut with loads of lemon and pineapple fruit, a touch of toast and brown bread, along with a creamy richness that’s offset by a cleansing freshness on the finish.

  • Producer: Bouvet Ladubay
  • Grape Variety: Chenin Blanc (80%), Chardonnay (20%)
  • Region: Loire, Saumur
  • Country: France
  • Vintage: NV
  • Residual sugar: 12g/l, Brut
  • Sparkling winemaking method: Traditional method / bottle fermented
  • Approximate retail price: £10-15
  • Medal: Silver – Global Sparkling Wine Masters 2020

5. Perle Rare, Crémant de Bourgogne, 2016

It’s oft-forgotten that one of Champagne’s competitors is in fact located only a few hours away by car – and that is Burgundy, where Crémant de Bourgogne is crafted alongside the famous still wines of this region. Predominantly made with the same grapes as Champagne – Chardonnay and Pinot Noir – and handled in the same manner, there are many similarities between the fizz from Bourgogne and Champagne, even if the former can’t reach the latter’s fine heights.

And Louis Bouillot is a first-rate, major producer of Cremant de Bourgogne, creating sparkling wines of depth, interest, and value, such as this Perle Rare from 2016. In terms of taste, expect something quite rich, with some beeswax, brown bread, and a creamy-textured fizz, while a touch of fresh apple on the finish ensures this wine will refresh.

  • Producer: Louis Bouillot
  • Grape Variety: Chardonnay (45%), Aligoté (6%), Gamay (9%), Pinot Noir (40%)
  • Region: Bourgogne
  • Country: France
  • Vintage: 2016
  • Residual sugar: Brut
  • Sparkling winemaking method: Traditional method / bottle fermented
  • Approximate retail price: £10-15
  • Medal: Silver – Global Sparkling Wine Masters 2020

4. Cave de Ribeauvillé, Crémant Chardonnay

While it’s tempting to think of the world’s major sparkling wine styles as a three-strong selection, with Champagne, Cava and Prosecco as the triumvirate, one should remember that the crémants of France are also a major, longstanding and serious player in the world of fizz. That explains the presence of crémants from Bourgogne and the Loire in this selection of Prosecco alternatives, and here’s another: this time from Alsace. What does it taste like? Expect a mix of flavours from a touch of honey, to roasted nuts and zesty citrus and fresh apple fruit.

  • Producer: Cave de Ribeauvillé
  • Grape Variety: Chardonnay
  • Region: Alsace
  • Country: France
  • Vintage: NV
  • Residual sugar: 6g/l, Brut
  • Sparkling winemaking method: Traditional method / bottle fermented
  • Approximate retail price: £10-15
  • Medal: Silver – Global Sparkling Wine Masters 2020

3. Cuvée Lapiaz, Crémant du Jura, Brut, NV

Our final French crémant recommendation hails from the Jura, a region becoming increasingly fashionable among fine wine lovers for its native grapes, but also Pinot Noir reds and Chardonnay whites, because they offer something distinctive and delicious, and generally more affordable than wines based around the same grapes in nearby Burgundy. As for its sparklings, the Jura also uses Pinot and Chardonnay to produce delicious and affordable white fizz, such as this from from Tissot Maire. Expect something fresh in style, with a mix of fruit flavours from peach to apple, and a dry finish.

  • Producer: Tissot Maire
  • Grape Variety: Chardonnay (50%), Pinot Noir (50%)
  • Region: Jura
  • Country: France
  • Vintage: NV
  • Residual sugar: Brut
  • Sparkling winemaking method: Traditional method / bottle fermented
  • Approximate retail price: £10-15
  • Medal: Silver – Global Sparkling Wine Masters 2020

2. Altemasi, Millesimato, Trentodoc, 2016

As we’ve said before on this website, when considering good value Italian fizz, don’t forget Trentodoc – a sparkling wine from a beautiful area of hillside vineyards in the foothills of the Dolomites, where crisp fruity Chardonnay – and to a lesser extent Pinot Noir and Blanc – is widely grown just for making traditional method fizz. Altemasi – from the Cavit cooperative in the region – is one of the biggest producers, and this vintage version is a delicious option for lovers of fruity, creamy-fresh fizz, with layers of pineapple and citrus, bread and a touch of beeswax.

  • Producer: Cavit
  • Grape Variety: Chardonnay
  • Region: Trentino
  • Country: Italy
  • Vintage: 2016
  • Residual sugar: 7g/l, Brut
  • Sparkling winemaking method: Traditional method / bottle fermented
  • Approximate retail price: £15
  • Medal: Silver – Global Sparkling Wine Masters 2020

1. Vilarnau, Limited Edition, Cava

Our final fizz in this list hails from the respected producer Vilarnau, which is in fact own by Gonzalez Byass – the sherry producers behind Tio Pepe, who now have a range of top estates around Spain, many of which are organic. With that in mind you won’t be surprised to learn that this is a great Cava, with lemon zest, toast, along with ripe pineapple, and a touch of earthiness, as well as an appealing note of roasted nuts. Delicious, and affordable.

  • Producer: Vilarnau
  • Region: D.O Cava
  • Country: Spain
  • Grape variety: Macabeo (50%), Parellada (30%), Subirat Parent (20%)
  • Abv: 11.5%
  • Vintage: NV
  • Residual sugar: 15g/l (Extra Dry)
  • Sparkling winemaking method: Traditional method / bottle fermented
  • Approx. retail price: £10-15
  • Medal: Gold – Organic Wine Masters 2020

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