In the spirit of the coming holidays, I propose a toast: Here’s to drinking some bubbly to help keep you bubbly despite the insanity of it all!
And so what if you don’t have $70 to plunk down on a fine vintage Champagne? Great inexpensive sparkling wines are out there, you just have to know where to look. These bottles (and yes, cans) are guaranteed to make your Champagne wishes and caviar dreams a reality, all on an Andrew Jackson budget.
|1. NV Cristalino Brut Cava ($9)
With notes of green apple and bright citrus, this Spanish sparkling wine delivers the best bang for your buck — hands down.
|2. Zardetto Prosecco ($14)
Soft and delicate, this Italian prosecco is an excellent apertif, layering subtle nuances of lemon-lime and ripe pear.
|3. Lucien Albrecht Crémant d’Alsace Brut NV ($19)
If your snooty friends insists on French bubbly but are nowhere to be find when the collection plate is passed around, look outside of the Champagne region to save beacoup bucks. Produced in Alsace from the Pinot Blanc grape, this “crémant” is a consistent gold medal winner.
|4. Sofia Mini Blanc de Blanc ($20/4-pack 187mL cans)
Perfect for the party on the go, these small cans from Francis Ford Coppola Winery easily fit in any purse or pocket. You can sip the ripe flavors of pear, apple, and lemon through the included straws if chugging it feels a little too gauche.
|5. NV Gruet Rosé ($14)
Made in the heart of New Mexico wine country, this — wait, what? Yes, New Mexico. Bursting with a floral bouquet and hints of wild strawberries, this pink sparkling wine may taste (and look) fruity, but rest assured, it finishes with a pleasant, crisp, dryness.
|6. Anna Spinato Raboso Frizzante ($12)
Sparkling red wines pose a bit of a dilemma to most wine critics, but there are some producers in Australia, California, and Italy still churning them out. This Italian sparkling red is up front with a strong punch of raspberry jam and is left quite sweet, pairing exceptionally well with desserts and soft cheeses.