Keen on learning more about sparkling red wines and adding them to your wine collection?
Sparkling red wines had a reputation as a frivolous, extra-sweet drink in the 70s and 80s.
But, no longer! Today (apart from the conventional sparkling wine options like Lambrusco) you’ll find many exquisite and complex ones - some of which are definitely worth storing in your cellar for the long term.
In this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know about sparkling red wines, including some of the best ones to buy in 2020.
This Article Contains:
(Click on the links below to go to a specific section)
- What is Sparkling Red Wine
- Types of Sparkling Red Wine
- How to Serve Sparkling Red Wine
- Best Sparkling Red Wines to Buy in 2020 (Includes Taste and Prices)
- How to Buy Sparkling Red Wines
- Buy the Best Sparkling Red Wines and Other Investment Wines Through Vinovest
What is Sparkling Red Wine?
Sparkling red wine is a type of sparkling wine that has a reddish hue. The process of making sparkling red wine is the same as making sparkling white wines (like an Asti Spumante.)
The base wine goes through primary fermentation similarly to still wines. This is followed by a secondary fermentation, and that’s when the bubbles start forming.
Sparkling red wines get their color when the grape juice comes into contact with the grape skins of the red grape varieties.
You can say that sparkling red wine is a more festive and flavorful alternative of fizzy white wines. The best part is that you can pair them with almost any food, from aperitif snacks to heavier meals and desserts.
Sparkling red wines vary in style from very dry to semi-sweet in taste and from deep rose color to inky-red depending on the type.
So, what types of sparkling red wines are out there?
Types of Sparkling Red Wine
There are four main types of sparkling red wines.
1. Blanc de Noirs
Blanc de Noirs (white of blacks) are sparkling red wines made with 100% Pinot Noir or Pinot Meunier red grape varietals. Interestingly, these are the most expensive ones that are worth investing in!
The grape juice is in contact with the grape skins for a limited time, as a result of which, these sparklers get a pale pink hue. That’s how many Champagne rosés are made.
- Acidity: Medium - High
- Tannin: Low
- Body: Medium
- ABV (Alcohol by volume): 12-13%
- Sweetness: dry - semi-sweet
Taste: Blanc de Noirs might vary in taste, but many have red fruit flavors and a hint of sweet spice and brioche.
Lambrusco is one of the most famous bubbly red types made with Lambrusco grapes, and it comes in different styles from sweet (dulce) to dry (secco) and from light to deep red.
Lambrusco wines are produced primarily in four zones of the Emilia Romagna wine region and one in Lombardy:
- Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro
- Lambrusco Salamino di Santa Croce
- Lambrusco Reggiano
- Lambrusco di Sorbara
- Lambrusco Mantovano
The four main types of Lambrusco are:
- Sweet Lambrusco. If you’re a fan of sweeter wines, look for a Lambrusco labeled “Dulce” or “Semi-secco.” This kind of Lambrusco goes well with different desserts, cakes, and pies.
- Dry Lambrusco. If you’re searching for a sparkling red wine to compliment your dinner, search for Lambrusco labeled “Secco.” It pairs well with heavier meals like pizza, burgers, and meat dishes.
- Light Lambrusco. Lambrusco Rosato (rosé) and Lambrusco di Sorbara are two of the lighter Lambrusco sparklers. They have low tannin levels and a fruity taste of strawberries and raspberries.
- Bold Lambrusco. Lambrusco Grasparossa and Lambrusco Salamino di Santa Croce are darker versions of Lambrusco with medium tannin levels. They taste like red fruits, blackberries, bright cherries, and hibiscus.
- Acidity: Medium - High
- Tannin: Low - Medium
- Body: Light - Medium
- ABV: 10.5 - 11.5%
- Sweetness: sweet - dry
Taste: Lambrusco wines are typically fruity (like Apothic Wines) with a light berry taste.
3. Brachetto d’Acqui
Brachetto d’Acqui is a sparkling red wine produced in Piedmont (near Acqui) in Italy. All wines certified as Brachetto d’Acqui are produced with 100% Brachetto grape varietal, which gives the wine its red color.
This light and sweet sparkler pairs great with chocolate and other desserts, and it won’t give you a hangover since it has a very low alcohol percentage.
- Acidity: Medium - High
- Tannin: Low
- Body: Light
- ABV: 5.5 - 6%
- Sweetness: sweet
Taste: The typical Brachetto d’Acqui flavors are rose, raspberry, blackberry, cotton candy, and cherry.
Shiraz, also known as Syrah, is both a grape and type of red wine found in Rhone Valley in France, and in many other parts of the world.
However, Sparkling Shiraz is a sparkling red wine made in South Australia from Shiraz grapes.
This sparkling wine pairs well with meats and tangy dishes. Also, the different Shiraz styles vary in sweetness from semi-dry to sweet.
- Acidity: Medium
- Tannin: Medium
- Body: Medium
- ABV: 12 - 12.5%
- Sweetness: sweet - off-dry
Taste: Shiraz has playful flavor notes of cherry, spice, licorice, and brown sugar.
5. Other Rare Sparkling Red Wines
Some sparkling red wines are rare and hard to find. That’s because wine producers make more sparkling white wine, and along with it, they produce a few red ones but in much smaller quantities.
Most of these unique sparklers come from Italy.
Some of them are:
- Aglianico Spumante Rosso: This semi sweet wine with light floral and raspberry flavors is made of 100% Aglianico grapes in the Italian regions of Campania and Basilicata.
- Barbera Frizzante: This Italian sparkling red wine tastes like raspberry, and is made with 100% Barbera grapes.
- Bonarda dell’ Oltrepò Pavese Frizzante: Produced in Lombardy, Italy, this sparkling red wine is dry and tastes like red fruits, plums, and pepper.
- Sangue di Giuda dell’ Oltrepo Pavese. This wine from Lombardy is a mix of Pinot Noir, Barbera, and Croatina grape varietals, among others, and has a sweet grape flavor.
- Freisa di Chieri. This sparkler is made with Freisa grapes in Piedmont, Italy and has a rich flavor of raspberries and violets.
- Zweigelt Sekt. This Austrian sparkling wine has a complex mix of flavors - red fruits, plum, coffee, and dark chocolate.
So far, so good. But how is sparkling red wine best served?
How to Serve Sparkling Red Wine
Different factors like the temperature, for example, can enhance the flavor intensity, so you get the most out of every sip.
Ideal Serving Temperature for Sparkling Red Wines
To enjoy your sparkling red wine to the fullest, you have to chill it properly. Cooler temperatures maximize the wine’s bubbly content and crispness.
To cool down your sparkling red wine, put it in the fridge for about 30 minutes until it cools to about 10-12 degrees Celsius. This way, the wine will be crisp, but at the same time, it won’t be too cold to lose its flavors.
Avoid putting bubblies in the freezer, even if you’re in a hurry. If you forget that you put the sparkling wine there, the bottle might explode.
Another way to cool down your sparkling wine is to put it in a bucket filled with water and ice. Again, you can leave the wine to cool down for about 30 minutes before you pour it.
Glasses to serve Sparkling Red Wine
And speaking of pouring it, what kind of wine glass should you serve the sparkling red wine?
Sparkling wine is best served in Champagne flute type of glasses. This way, you preserve the bubbliness for longer, and you can observe all the fizz inside the glass!
Best Sparkling Red Wines to buy in 2020 (Includes Taste and Prices)
If you’re still confused about which sparkling red wines are worth trying, here are some of the best ones categorized by country:
A. Krug Clos d’Ambonnay Blanc de Noirs 2002
This French sparkling wine from the Ambonnay province in the Champagne region in France is made with 100% Pinot Noir grapes.
The 2002 vintage is made only with grapes from the same year. This results in a delicate but yet intense fullness, followed by a long finish that completes this exceptional Blanc de Noirs.
Taste: A mix of honey, vanilla, and caramel notes, with a hint of citruses at the end.
Average price of Krug Clos d’ambonnay Blanc de Noirs 2002: $2,824
B. Bollinger Vieilles Vignes Françaises Blanc de Noirs 2010
This Blanc de Noir wine is made of hand-picked Pinot Noir grapes in the village of Aÿ, Champagne.
This sparkling wine is made in small batches allowing the grapes to reach high maturity - a sign of high-quality wine that is smooth and rich in flavor.
Taste: On the nose, the wine has toasty and nutty aromas with a hint of honey and caramelized apples. On the palate, it’s fruity with hints of peach, apple, and pear.
Average price of Bollinger Vieilles Vignes Françaises Blanc de Noirs 2010: $920
Read all about French wine regions and the best French wines to buy in these articles:
A. 90+ Cellars Lot 172 Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro
This lightly sparkling red wine with deep-red color is made with the Lambrusco grape varietal in Emilia-Romagna.
Taste: Rich flavor of raspberries, plums, and wild berries mixed with the floral aroma of violets.
Average price of 90+ Cellars Lot 172 Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro: $12
B. Contero Brachetto d'Acqui 2015
This light sparkling red wine has a very low alcohol content of 5.5%, a light cherry color, and rich floral and fruity aroma. It makes the perfect light drink for hot summer nights!
Taste: An interesting mix of rose and violet flavors with chocolate, cherry cola, and red fruits.
Average price of Contero Brachetto d'Acqui 2015: $25
C. Cantina Della Volta Lambrusco Di Modena Spumante Rosso 2010
Try this dry version of the Lambrusco sparkling red wine made with Sorbara grapes. After fermenting for six months, the wine goes through secondary fermentation directly in the bottles.
Taste: A wild strawberry flavor mixed with sour cherry and fruity plum notes.
Average price of Cantina Della Volta Lambrusco Di Modena Spumante Rosso 2010: $39
D. Rinaldi 2009 Bricco Rioglio (Brachetto d'Acqui)
This sparkling red wine is made with Brachetto grapes and is a perfect match for any dessert. The light sparkles and sweetness make it soft and easy to drink.
Taste: This opens up with the aroma of toast and coconut, followed by a mix of strawberry, raspberry, and cherry flavors with a hint of chocolate.
Average price of Rinaldi 2009 Bricco Rioglio (Brachetto d'Acqui): $30
E. Balbiano 'Vigna Villa della Regina' Freisa di Chieri 2014
This Italian sparkling red wine is made with 100% Freisa grapes. The wine is dry but, at the same time, very soft with medium tannin levels.
Taste: A flavorful combination of blueberry, cherry, and toffee.
Average price of Balbiano 'Vigna Villa della Regina' Freisa di Chieri 2014: $57
A. Monte da Ravasqueira Grande Reserva 2012 Sparkling Wine
This Portuguese sparkling red wine is made with 100% hand-harvested Alfrocheiro grapes. It goes through secondary fermentation directly in the bottle for 36 months.
Taste: A crisp flavor of red fruits with a hint of biscuits and brioche.
Average price of Monte da Ravasqueira Grande Reserva 2012 Sparkling Wine: $74
B. Terras do Demo Brut Red Sparkling Wine 2015
This sparkling wine from Portugal has an intense red color, a rich aroma, high acidity levels and a dry profile.
Taste: A fresh flavor of red fruits with notes of yeast and toasted bread.
Average price of Terras do Demo Brut Red Sparkling Wine 2015: $9
A. Rockford Sparkling Black Shiraz 2016
A refreshing sparkling red wine produced in the Barossa Valley, Southern Australia. This light wine has complex spicy notes with lasting fruity flavors.
Taste: This bubbly has a rich taste of plum, blackberry, and blueberry with a hint of chocolate, vanilla, and soft earthy notes at the end.
Average price of Rockford Sparkling Black Shiraz 2016: $85
B. Riddoch Cuvée Coonawarra Sparkling Shiraz
This Shiraz wine is produced in Coonawarra, South Australia. The wine is full-bodied and rich and pairs well with meaty dishes.
Taste: A complex mix of plum, cassis, and cherry syrup with an aroma of white pepper and leather.
Average price of Riddoch Cuvée Coonawarra Sparkling Shiraz: $18
A. Williamson Wines Sparkling Malbec 2008
This elegant sparkling red wine is made with Malbec grapes from the Sonoma Valley in California. You can taste a rich variety of flavors in every sip of this dry bubbly wine.
Taste: Intense plum and blueberry flavors with leather and toffee undertones.
Average price of Williamson Wines Sparkling Malbec 2008: $95
B. Mumm Napa Cuvée M Red
This ruby red bubbly is produced in Napa Valley and pairs well with cheese platters.
This sparkling red wine is one of the best sellers of the Mumm Napa Winery since it has deep, robust flavors and a long-lasting finish.
Taste: Dynamic flavors of black cherry, raspberry, and cranberry with a hint of overripe blackberry.
Average price of Mumm Napa Cuvée M Red: $33
A. Weingut Steininger Zweigelt Sekt 2013
This Austrian wine is made with the Zweigelt grape varietal. The secondary fermentation is completed directly in the bottles, and the result is a charming sparkling red wine.
Taste: A rich flavor of plum, cherry, and herbs with a hint of chocolate notes.
Average price of Weingut Steininger Zweigelt Sekt 2013: $30
How to Buy Sparkling Red Wines
You can always go to a specialized wine store or look up sparkling red wines online, but most likely, you’ll find the more mainstream options but nothing too special.
You also have to be careful enough to buy an authentic bottle besides having the perfect wine storage set up in your home.
Here’s an easier way out:
Buy the Best Sparkling Red Wines and Other Investment Wines Through Vinovest
Vinovest is an online platform through which you can buy the rarest and most investment worthy sparkling red wines, and other wines including a Cabernet Sauvignon or a Zinfandel. You can also have your wines stored for the long term, sell them, and even get them delivered to your home.
However, remember that most sparkling red wines are not worth investing in. The only red sparklers that are worth investing in are the Champagne wines made with 100% Pinot Noir (Blanc de Noirs.)
How to get started on Vinovest
It’s simple. You just have to follow these steps:
- Sign up on the Vinovest platform.
- Fill out a short questionnaire about your risk tolerance and investment interests.
- Add a minimum of $1,000 to your account.
- Start growing your fine wine portfolio online.
Benefits of Buying Sparkling Wines through Vinovest
Using the Vinovest platform comes with lots of benefits that make wine investing easier than ever before.
Easy Buying and Selling
Vinovest is an AI online platform that makes the buying and selling of wine possible with just a few mouse clicks.
With Vinovest, you get the best prices since you can find wines directly sourced from wholesalers, winemakers, and global exchange markets.
Provenance and Authenticity
Vinovest gives you access to only the best quality wines since the provenance of each bottle is traced before you purchase it. So, worry no more about getting a counterfeit bottle!
A professional wine expert team of data scientists and Sommeliers curates your portfolio backed up by financial models and historical data.
Vinvoest ensures that your wines are stored at optimal conditions with the right temperature, light, humidity, and vibration levels at all times.
There are surveillance cameras in all warehouses 24/7, so your wines are safe all the time. In case of a power cut, the warehouses will maintain the proper conditions since they have installed power backups. Vinovest also offers a comprehensive insurance policy that guarantees your wines’ safety.
Access to a Global Network
The Vinovest global exchange network gives you exclusive access to private wineries, small vineyards, and rare wines you won’t find in any wine store.
The best part is that while everything is being taken care of for you, you still own every single bottle you buy, and you decide what to do with it - buy, sell, or drink!
And in case you want to pop a bottle of red bubbly to drink, whip up a cocktail, or make a vinaigrette with balsamic vinegar, it can be easily arranged. Vinovest can deliver it safely to your doorstep wherever you are - whether it’s a sparkler, or a Chardonnay like Montrachet wine, a Dolce, Moscato, Prosecco, or a fine Riesling.
With their elegant generosity of flavors, sparkling red wines make excellent additions to your wine collection. A few of them can even make you a fortune if you store them safely for the long run!
Vinovest offers you the easiest way to find these unique sparklers, store, and even sell them. So, sign up today and start adding these bubbles to your portfolio!