Since 1969, restaurant, hotel, travel & other witty reviews by a handpicked, worldwide team of discerning professionals—and your views, too.

Sparkling Wines & Champagne

Domaine Chandon's Yountville Vineyard

Domaine Chandon (owned by Moët & Chandon) set up shop in Napa Valley about twenty-five years ago, and after its initial success, almost every French Champagne house has come to California to establish its foothold. The main reason for their interest in the New World is that Champagne is a geographically limited area, which is almost fully planted, and California was virgin territory for sparkling wine. While the legacy of Champagne seems to be tiny pinpoint bubbles that reveal delicate and subtle flavors, their California counterparts are more often bold, upfront and fruity with their flavors. The prevailing wisdom is that the delicate nuances of the wine (in particular, Champagne) get lost when paired up with hearty, complex or highly seasoned dishes. It's certainly the perfect apéritif wine. All California sparklers are of good quality so it seems to be a matter of house style as to what is preferred. Names to remember are Domaine Chandon, Domaine Carneros, Gloria Ferrer, Laetitia, Mumm Napa, Mirassou, Pacific Echo, Roederer Estates, Schramsberg, Iron Horse and J.

See our Top Sparkling Wine & Champagne reviews

Top Champagnes & Sparklers

GAYOT's Top 10 Champagne and sparkling wine lists have plenty of options at a variety of price points

GAYOT's Top 10 Champagne and sparkling wine lists cover a myriad of styles and types at a variety of price points to make sure everyone can find the perfect bottle of bubbly.

Top 10 Prestige Cuvées

Top 10 Rosé Champagnes

Top 10 Mid-Range Champagnes

Top 10 Value Champagnes

Top 10 Budget Champagnes

Top 10 Affordable Champagnes

Top 10 Demi-Sec Champagnes

Top Extra Brut Champagnes

Top 10 Sweet Sparkling

Top 10 Sparkling Wines

Top 10 American Sparkling

Top Champagnes

Top Sparklers

More About Champagnes & Sparkling Wines

GAYOT's Champagne and sparkling wine guides will keep you in the know about all things sparkling

Whether you've just had your first alluring sip of Champagne or are a seasoned aficionado, GAYOT's Champagne and sparkling wine guides provide something for everyone.

The Origin of Champagne

Champagne 101: The Basics

How Sparkling Wine Is Made

Guide to Prestige Cuvées

Celebs' Fave Champagnes

Wine Tastings & Events

Food & Wine Pairing

72 Hours in Reims, France

Learn about other varietals

(Updated: 11/19/12 JLD)

Sip on GAYOT's picks of the best small-production craft beers.

Sip straight or mix up a margarita with GAYOT's picks of the best tequilas under $100.