December 22, 2023


Texas is establishing a name for itself with a growing abundance of Texas Sparkling wines. Celebrate your Christmas or ring in the New Year with one or several out of a herd of sixty-plus Texas Sparkling Wines. Sparkling wines are made all over the world, with the Champagne region of France having the largest concentration of wineries making Champagne Sparkling Wines. That’s probably because that is where it originated. A French Benedictine monk by the name of Dom Perignon established the labor-intensive process in the late 1600’s. Champagne is the only area where their sparkling wines can be legally called “CHAMPAGNE.” Trade laws now prohibit calling sparkling wines made in Texas “Champagne.” The Benedictine Monks have various monasteries so this “Method Champenoise” created by Dom Perignon was passed from Monastery to Monastery. This method of making sparkling wine requires a secondary fermentation that is trapped in the wine bottle to create CO2 gas which “explodes” into bubbles of gas rising up from the bottom of the container. As a result, these sparkling wines are under pressure from the bubbly gases in the wine which necessitates a thicker bottle wall and a wire cage to hold the cork into the bottle to withstand the high pressures within that bottle. Be very careful when uncapping these sparkling wines. The pressure can blow the cork out of the bottle which is why the corks are held firmly to the bottle with a wire cage enclosure. Flying corks from these sparkling wine bottles have been clocked by radar “popping out” of the bottle at over 55 MPH! We call these bubbly wines in Texas, California, and Australia “sparkling wines.” Sparkling wines in Spain are called Cava while Italy labels their sparkling wines as either Prosecco or Asti Spumante. Only the French wine region of Champagne northeast of Paris is allowed to legally call their sparkling wines Champagne!
“Sparkling wines come in both white and rosé styles with a wide array of flavors and aromas depending on the grapes used and winemaking practices employed,” said Michael Cook, AgriLife Extension viticulturist, Denton. “Grapes commonly being used to produce sparkling wines in Texas include Roussanne, Marsanne, Chenin Blanc, Viognier, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Trebbiano Tuscano, Blanc du Bois and other locally grown varieties.”
Several wineries in the greater Houston area make sparkling wines which are available for purchase at the winery. Whistling Duck Winery near Weimar produces a sparkling wine with the simple name of Texas Sparkler and is made of Rousanne and Viognier grapes finished to off dry. This light bubbly will run you $32.00 per bottle at the winery.
Messina Hof Winery in Bryan has released three Texas Sparklers. Their sparkling wines include Sparkling Rose’, Sparkling Almond, and Texas Sparkling Brut which are available at Messina Hof Winery in Bryan for $30 a bottle. The Sparkling Almond Wine is a demi-sec sparkling wine (33-50 grams of sugar per liter of wine) with a delicate smoked almond flavor layered over impressions of carmel-covered green apples. This Sparkling Almond Wine earned a Double Gold Medal several years ago in the Houston Rodeo Uncorked International Wine Competition. The Rose Sparkling is a crisp refreshing sparkling wine with strawberry, pomegranate, and cranberry. Their Texas Sparkling Brut is a crisp sparkling wine with nuances of apricot and baked apple. Second generation Paul Bonarrigo would also be happy to autograph your bottles of wine.
McPherson Cellars Sparkling Wine consists of 100% Texas grown Chenin Blanc which give this Sparkling wine a bright acidity with nuances of white flowers green apples and citrus. With a delicate sweetness that finishes dry. The winery and vineyards are located on the Texas High Plains. This wine retails for around $36 a bottle at a few HEB Grocery Stores.
William Chris winery in Hye in the Texas Hill Country has a unique rose’ sparkler called Pinot Meunier. This sparkling wine has bing cherry and flint layered with brioche and dough notes with a lengthy thyme and berry finish. This wine retails at $38 per bottle.
Heath Sparkling Wines associated with Grape Creek vineyards near Fredericksburg has four sparkling wines retailing between $54-57 per bottle. Euphoria Sparkling is a translucent, pale straw/yellow with complex, pronounced aromas of honeysuckle, vanilla, butterscotch, and salted caramel. Adoration has red fruit aromas of candied cherry, strawberry, and pomegranate. Blanc du Bois has a bouquet of green apple, fresh-cut grass, lemon zest, and white carnation. Ebullience features yeasty aromas of fresh-baked sourdough bread with subtle hints of pear, cantaloupe, and pineapple. These wines are available at the winery or can be shipped to your home in Texas.
Whatever your pleasure of beverage for Christmas or New Year’s Eve, please drink responsibly or have a designated driver. May you have a Blessed New Year filled with friends, love, joy, peace, health, and wealth.
Next week we will look into predictions for the Texas Winer Industry in 2024.

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