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Barefoot Bubbly

I’ve reviewed a number of different Barefoot wines on this site and it’s one bargain brand that seems to do OK.  I’ve never been totally blown away by any of their wines, but they’ve all been quite drinkable and great values.  That continues to be the case with their line-up of sparkling wine… none of it was exceptional, but it was all good.

So, what does that mean?  Should you buy it?  I would say that depends on how you’re serving it and who you’re serving it to.  If you’re buying for a party or wedding and your guests won’t know the difference between this and a $50 bottle of French champagne, then by all means buy this stuff.  If you’re making champagne cocktails and will be mixing it with other stuff then this is a good choice — there’s no sense in buying an expensive champagne just to bury the flavor in mixers.  Or if you just want to try something different, there are a couple unique sparklers in the Barefoot line-up that are worth a try.

You may notice that Barefoot Bubbly is labeled as “Champagne,” and you may wonder, “Can they do that, I thought Champagne could only come from France?”  Yes, it’s true that the term “Champagne” is legally reserved for wines from the Champagne region of France.  But, many US-made sparkling wines were using the term before the decision was made to no longer use it on US-made wines.  Those wines labeled as “Champagne” before 2006 were “grandfathered” in to allow them to continue using that descriptor as long as the region of production is also on the label (e.g. California).

Here are my thoughts on the Barefoot Bubbly collection.

Barefoot Bubbly Brut Cuvée

The Brut Cuvée is what most people expect when they have champagne or sparkling wine.  In fact, most sparkling wine that’s produced is in the Brut style.  Technically, Brut refers to the amount of sugar added after secondary fermentation and is an indicator of sweetness.  Brut is relatively dry.

The nose is rather lifeless on this one, aside from a slight mineral aroma.  The palate is better, where good apple and pear flavors come out to play.  The acidity is good and the finish is tangy.  The bubbles are lacking, it’s almost frizzante (and I don’t think it’s supposed to be that way).  This one is OK, but nothing special.

Wine: Barefoot Bubbly Brut Cuvée
Variety: Sparkling Chardonnay
Vintage: N/V
Alcohol: 11.5%
Rating: 83
Price: $9.99

Barefoot Bubbly Extra Dry

Extra Dry Champagne isn’t dramatically different from Brut in terms of sweetness.  Technically, Extra Dry can be slightly sweeter, but the difference is small and if you’re not a major Champagne aficionado I doubt you would notice.  However, in terns of Barefoot Bubbly, I found this one more enjoyable than the Brut.

It shows floral and mineral notes on the nose.  There are not many bubbles in the glass, but it bubbles up in your mouth quite a bit.  The palate doesn’t offer much complexity, but it’s still enjoyable with tasty apple flavors and decent acidity.  It’s slightly yeasty on the finish.

Wine: Barefoot Bubbly Extra Dry
Variety: Sparkling Chardonnay
Vintage: N/V
Alcohol: 11.5%
Rating: 86
Price: $9.99

Barefoot Bubbly Pinot Grigio Champagne

This is where we start to get into the unique stuff from Barefoot Bubbly.  It’s not every day that I come across a bubbly Pinot Grigio, so I was really curious to taste this one.

It’s slightly yeasty, with some floral, citrus and pear notes.  Yellow delicious apple flavors on the palate, along with a little bit of lime make this a tasty wine. The lime flavor carries into the finish where I also picked up a touch of mineral.  The acidity is great in this one too.  Overall, it’s a nice sparkler.

Wine: Barefoot Bubbly Pinot Grigio Champagne
Variety: Sparkling Pinot Grigio
Vintage: N/V
Alcohol: 13%
Rating: 85
Price: $10.99

Barefoot Bubbly Rosé Cuvée

I tried and tried to pull something out of this, but the nose is virtually non-existent in this wine, except for a very, very slight peach aroma.  The palate is also light.  It’s mildly sweet, with soft peach and strawberry flavors.  The finish is crisp, tangy and enjoyable, although rather short. If you like sweet, light sparklers, it’s an enjoyable wine, but as I said, the intensity is subtle.  There’s nothing extraordinary about it, but it’s good.

Wine: Barefoot Bubbly Rosé Cuvée
Variety: Sparkling Blend
Vintage: N/V
Alcohol: 11.5%
Rating: 84
Price: $10.99

Barefoot Bubbly Moscato Spumante

This is another one that had me really curious… what would Barefoot do with a Sparkling Moscato, I wondered.  And then, when I saw that the alcohol level is only 8.5%, I was scared that it was going to be overwhelmingly sweet.  But I was pleasantly surprised.

Yes, it is a sweet sparkler, but only moderately so.  And it has the acidity needed to keep the sweetness from becoming overpowering.  The nose is slight, but shows a touch of honeysuckle and and a slice of pear.  The palate is full of ripe pear and ripe red delicious apple.  The sweetness lingers into the finish, where it becomes a touch syrupy.  It’s a fun wine, if you like sweet sparklers.

Wine: Barefoot Bubbly Moscato Spumante
Variety: Sparkling Moscato
Vintage: N/V
Alcohol: 8.5%
Rating: 85
Price: $10.99

Disclosure: These wines were received as samples.

12 replies to this post
  1. @Tim. I may be mistaken, but there is a Chardonnay Barefoot Bubbly out there, too. I had a chance to taste it at my local “regional” wine store chain and ended purchasing a half case of it. On your scale, I would rate it an 87. Yeasty and vibrant. Cheers!

  2. Danny – I think it might be a naming change. The Brut and Extra Dry are both Chardonnay-based bubbly. I don’t see the Chardonnay Bubbly on their website at this point in time. What you had is probably equivalent to one of those two.

    Joeshico – Thanks, as always, for the comment.

  3. Tim–You may be right on the name change. However, all the bottles from my half case were labeled “Chardonnay Champagne” and the formal vintage and name are NV Barefoot Bubbly Chardonnay Champagne. This is different from the BB Extra Dry and the BB Brut Cuvee, both of which I’ve tasted and found inferior to the BB Champagne Chardonnay. The branch store of the regional wine chain where I picked this up states in the wine’s description that it is a DOUBLE GOLD MEDAL, 2009 SAN FRANCISCO INT’L WINE COMP., for what it’s worth. Keep up the good work.

  4. The Barefoot Bubbly 100% Chardonnay Champagne is produced exclusively for the BEVMO chain stores and is usually available on their nickle sale. Normally , they sale this sparkler for $9.00/bottle. On the nicle sale it is $4.50/bottle. It is a gteat tasting wine and a steal on the nickle sale at under $50.00/case

  5. Why call it a “Champagne”? Aren’t some of California’s wines so much better than a lot of “Old-World” wines?

    I say we should be proud of our products and start marketing “Napa” or “Sonoma” wines instead.

  6. A lot of producers are promoting their sparkling wines as Napa or Sonoma. I guess Barefoot still uses the “Champagne” name due to many consumers not knowing the background of the word. It’s like Xerox being used to mean photocopy.

  7. I recently tried the non-sparkling Barefoot Moscato and thought it was pretty good. Not overly sweet.

    Great review of all the bubblies! I was wondering how they would compare.


  8. as for the Moscato, this stuff is sugar water….Barefoot is really a weak option to the wonderful Spanish Cavas, which are almost always bargain priced around $6-$8….they are drier, cleaner, more fun….of course, they benefit from a nice plate of tapas…Barefoot is another unfortunate example of americans view of cheap bubbly…too sweet!!

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