Northern Michigan Wine: The singular music of cork popping from a bottle of bubbly stands alone in its ability to trigger our Pavlovian urge to party, and where better than right here in the North? Local vignerons have been perfecting the effervescent arts for over two decades, and our sparkling wine scene is diverse, dynamic and wholly delicious, harnessing a host of high acid varietals like riesling, pinot noir and vignoles. The bubbles in these wines are born from a second fermentation wherein yeast and sugar are added to still wine in tank (the cuve close or Charmat method) or in bottle (the méthode champenoise or traditional method), and the resultant CO2 stays trapped in the wine. Charmat wines tend to be primarily focused on the fruit, whereas the traditional method gives the wine more contact with yeast and lees allowing for complex flavor and texture along with finer bubble structure.
Blended from riesling, gewürztraminer, pinot gris and pinot noir grapes. Vinified in the Charmat method, Tire Swing spins off bright pear and golden apple flavors, finishing dry. biglittlewines.com.
Bel Lago brings together auxerrois and chardonnay for brightness and pinot noir for body and red fruit nuances. Pale pink with fresh strawberry overtones and persistent bubbles. bellago.com.
Fermented in the traditional Champagne method, this dry and heady vintage extra brut marries pinot meunier from Old Mission Peninsula with Leelanau County chardonnay. Mawby at his finest. lmawby.com.
Riesling brings bright, electric citrus and orchard fruit flavors to light up this sassy sparkler. A hint of residual sweetness begs for sushi or flan. shadylanecellars.com.
Honeycrisp apple, dried apricot and nuances of almond biscotti bound from the glass of this dry and racy bottle-fermented pinot grigio from Two Lads. 2lwinery.com.