The Wine Leaders' Board: Top Five Premium Sparkling Wines

A glass of sparkling wine is served on a table.A glass of sparkling wine is served on a table.Sure, sparkling wine is great for celebrating special occasions. But it's also a nice companion for a beautiful summer afternoon or a casual outdoor soiree. It can be dressed up or dressed down but a premium sparkling wine can look good with anyone.

The wine's flexibility is probably one of the reasons why it's so popular. In fact, this wine category has become a favorite in the Snooth People's Voice Wine Awards, which is in its 3rd week of voting. Voters are flocking to choose their favorite sparkling wine as the best of 2012.

You still have a chance to vote but we've already seen some interesting results. And the current top 5 in the premium sparkling wine category is a group of pretty incredible wines. Let's take a look:

1. Domaine Carneros Brut Cuvee
A combination of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, this Californian bubbly is a dry and crisp but also very complex selection priced around $23. Pair a glass of this with a dish of Roast Vegetable Medley or a Balsamic and Dijon Glazed Ham.

2. Sumarroca Cava Brut Reserva
A blend of Chardonnay and a few other grapes, this bubbly from Spain is another popular option which you can purchase for around $13 per bottle. It's a sprtizy selection with a dry flavor that hints of ripe apples. A good pairing dish would be seafood like Mussels with Parsley and Garlic.

3. Zardetto Prosecco Brut
This Prosecco (a popular Italian "sparkler") is typically priced around $13 and features floral aromas and tastes of wild strawberries and ripe apples. It's best when paired with something like a Rhubarb, Cherry and Golden Raisin Chutney.

4. Scharffenberger Brut
A combination of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir makes this sparkling wine a fruity option featuring vanilla flavors along with a bit of red fruit, such as cherry and plum. This affordable selection can be purchased for about $17 and it's great when paired with small bites like Fried Green Olives Stuffed with Blue Cheese.

5. Bisol Prosecco di Valdobbiadene Jeio
Another Italian Prosecco, this straw-colored sparkling wine is lemony and fresh. You can find a bottle for around $14 and you might consider pairing this wine with a fruity dessert such as a Homemade Créme Fraîche.