Another interesting sparkler from the Loire Valley is the Moussamoussettes from Agnes & Rene Mosse. Like many wines in the Loire, this wine is handcrafted by non-interventionist winemakers. The wine is ‘petillant naturel,’ it is unfined and unfiltered. There is nothing added and nothing taken away from what the earth gave. What's in the bottle is a cloudy, burnt orange pink wine that tastes of sweet strawberry, earth, and sherry with lively bubbles. I found it to be a tad too sweet after it sat open for a while, and the sherry-oxidized note is interesting. I'm not crazy about it, but I like it for its originality compared to most modern wines.
I also picked up a bottle of Txakolina Rubentis from Ameztoi, a producer in the Gentari region in Spain's Basque country. The name, Txakolina, is a bit of tongue-twister, yes, but the wine has been the go-to summer beverage in the Basque for years and is has been catching on in the states in the past few years. The New York Times did a great piece on Txakolina-mania back in 2010. The Rubentis bottling is a rose bubbly, and it is like summer freshness in a bottle. Lively bubbles and acidity make for a truly refreshing wine for a hot summer night. Try some, you'll be hooked.