As you prepare to ring in the new year, why not splash some Texas bubbles into your glass? A growing number of Texas wineries are adding sparkling wines to their lineups in a variety of styles that will pair with any celebration. Of course, with most in the $20 to $30 price range, you don’t have to wait for a special occasion to enjoy them.
Several Texas producers are creating sparkling wine using the same traditional technique as winemakers in Champagne and Cava. The winery creates a fully fermented still wine, then takes the wine through a second fermentation in the bottle, creating the bubbles. These sparkling wines are more polished and elegant, but not so fussy that you can’t enjoy them every day.
2017 Dandy Bubbles: The inaugural sparkling wine from Austin winemaker Rae Wilson, this natural, unfiltered rosé is made of mourvèdre and carignan. $25
Lost Draw Cellars 2017 Pinot Meunier Sparkling: The first sparkling vintage for the Fredericksburg winemaker is made from Pinot Meunier, one of the three main grapes used in Champagne. $28
McPherson Cellars Sparkling Chenin Blanc: A brut sparkling chenin blanc that started as a side project between winemaker Kim McPherson and his brother. $28
Messina Hof Texas Sparkling Brut and Texas Sparkling Rosé: Messina Hof produced one of the first Texas sparkling wines from 100 percent Texas grapes, and they now offer a Brut made from chenin blanc and a Rosé from chenin blanc and pinot noir. $25
Other Texas winemakers are creating their sparkling wines using the oldest method for creating those cherished bubbles: a natural winemaking technique called the ancestrale method. Unlike in the traditional method, the winemaker bottles an unfermented wine. The result is a lightly carbonated wine called pétillant naturel, or pet nat.
The natural fermentation creates a sparkling wine that can be pleasantly unpredictable. One bottle might be very bubbly, while another is less so. Some bottles might be a little cloudy, while others are clear. None of the variables make the wine less tasty, and sometimes the unpredictability is the most fun.
Ron Yates Wines Sangiovese Pet Nat and Malvasia Pet Nat: In their second year of pet nat production, Ron Yates Winery outside of Johnson City is producing a rosé from sangiovese and a white from malvasia. $24.99
Saint Tryphon imPETous Sparkling White Wine: This Boerne farm and winery offers a natural sparkling made of Texas High Plains Malvasia. $30
Southold Farm and Cellar Shot Across the Bow: Originally from Long Island, this Texas transplant offers a sangiovese pétillant naturel made with grapes from the Texas High Plains. $20
William Chris 2017 Pétillant Naturel Rosé: The original Texas pet nat producers, William Chris is in their fourth release with their 2017 blend of merlot, mourvèdre and malbec. $25
Sparkling moscato is a light, bubbly style popular across Italy and Texas. Fruity and floral, the spumante-style wine, made predominantly from muscat canelli, is a crowd pleaser.
Messina Hof Texas Sparkling Moscato: In honor of the traditional Italian spumante style, this sparkling is slightly sweet and made from 100 percent muscat canelli. $18.99
Wedding Oak Winery 2016 Bridal Bliss: Perfect for a wedding or to welcome the new year, this San Saba sparkler is a blend of muscat canelli, gewürztraminer and riesling. $24
Cheers to a year full of Texas sparkling wine!
By Kristi Willis • Photography by Wine For the People and Alex Hall of Messina Hof