★★★Exceptional  ★★Excellent ★Very Good

Availability information is based on distributor records. Wines might not be in stock at every listed store and might be available at additional stores. Check to verify availability, or ask a favorite wine store to order through a distributor.

Sparkling wine is not just for holidays and weddings — though, to be honest, champagne’s price keeps it off the daily dinner table. Here are some current releases from Moet & Chandon and other choices to give your summer a little extra sparkle.— D.M.

Moet & Chandon Grand Vintage Brut 2004

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Champagne, France, $58

Chef de cave Benoit Gouez describes 2004 as a balanced vintage that emphasizes the subtlety and complexity of the wines. The Grand Vintage is rich and full, with delicious apricot and peach flavors and a hint of toast. The 2004 Grand Vintage Rosé ($68) has a vibrant red-fruit character and great “persistence,” or finish.

Washington Wholesale: Available in the District at Calvert Woodley, Paul’s of Chevy Chase, Pearson’s, Schneider’s of Capitol Hill.

Moet & Chandon Brut Imperial


Champagne, France, $41

Moet’s primary non-vintage champagne is a reliably good example of what champagne should be: It displays a fine bead of bubbles and offers flavors of stone fruits and a mineral structure from the region’s chalky soils.

Washington Wholesale: Available in the District at Calvert Woodley, Paul’s of Chevy Chase, Pearson’s, Schneider’s of Capitol Hill.

Chateau de L’Aulee Elegant

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Loire Valley, France, $18

This delightful sparkling wine made with chenin blanc is impressively rich and fruity, with great focus and clarity of flavor. 

Bacchus: Available in the District at Ace Beverage, Cork Market; on the list at Matisse, Medium Rare. Available in Maryland at Greenbrier Wine & Spirits in Bel Air, Vlamis’ Cut-Rate Liquors in Elkton.

Ferret Celler del Mingo Brut Cava


Spain, $14

The fruitiest cava I’ve ever tasted, this gushes with mango and other tropical flavors and made from organic grapes. Don’t look for a champagne knock-off here; it’s just pure fun, an ideal patio wine for summer.

Dionysus: Available in the District at De Vinos, D’Vines, Rodman’s, Wagshal’s Deli; on the list at Komi. Available in Maryland at Balducci’s and Bradley Food & Beverage in Bethesda, Iron Bridge Wine Co. in Columbia, MOM’s Organic Market (Rockville), Roots in Olney. Available in Virginia at Balducci’s (Alexandria, McLean), MOM’s Organic Market (Alexandria, Herndon, Merrifield), Unwined (Alexandria, Belleview).

Great Shoals Winery Bosc & Bartlett Hard Pear

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Maryland, $16

Great Shoals Winery recently opened a tasting room at the Heyser Farms market in the Colesville area of Silver Spring to feature its sparkling wines and ciders. Several of them — including this delightful pear cider — are made from Montgomery County fruit grown by Heyser. How local can you get? (I also love Great Shoals’ sparkling peach wine, made from South Carolina fruit; it reminded me of a fine Manzanilla sherry, with bubbles.)

Siema in the District and Virginia, distributed by the winery in Maryland: Available in the District at Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits, Glen’s Garden Market, Wagshal’s Deli. Available in Maryland at Adega Wine Cellars, Fenwick Beer & Wine and Heyser’s Farm in Silver Spring, Mills Fine Wine and Spirits in Annapolis, MOM’s Organic Market (Rockville), Nick’s of Calvert in Prince Frederick, Olney Beer & Fine Wine. Available in Virginia at Foods of All Nations in Charlottesville, Home Farm Store in Middleburg, Little Washington Winery in Washington, MOM’s Organic Market (Alexandria), Whole Foods Market (Alexandria).