These sparkling wines may not hail from France, but they are just as delicious as the real thing.
There’s no better to way to celebrate the holidays than bursting out the bottle of bubbly. But very few of us have the cash to shell out for cases of the real deal.
Though many vineyards imitate, true Champagne comes from only one region in France. Any other sparkler is technically classified as a sparkling wine or prosecco.
But, really, who cares?
These festive choices are just as delicious and fizzy as the real thing, but won’t burn a hole in your pocket. For those generally new to sparkling wines, “Brut” is a term reserved for the driest varietals -- which will be a bit more complex and tannic on the tongue.
Look for an easier-drinking “Extra Dry” wine if you want a more refreshing experience. And if you’re throwing a holiday party, try one of each. Guests can sip some champs-like-wine all night long.
1. Great for sparkling cocktails
Nino Franco Prosecco “Rustico”: $15.99
An elegant, easy-drinking prosecco that's very dry and very crisp. This wine is great for sparkling cocktails or any other mixed drink combination. For a more intense prosecco, look for other cuvées from Nino Franco.
2. Bubbly with a very dry finish
Raventos i Blanc Cava de Nit rose 2009: $25
This sparkling rosé is ripe with toasty aromatics. A surprisingly refreshing wine, the Cava de Nit begins with a beautiful fruit on the palate, ending with a dry finish normally reserved for champagne.
3. Full-bodied bubbly that’s great with food
Lucien Albrecht Cremant d'Alsace Rose: $19.99
A champagne style rose with rich, lush, fruity taste that is sure to be a crowd pleaser. This wine has enough body and weight to enjoy with appetizers and seafood, but refreshing enough to enjoy on its own.
4. An easy drinking sparkling rosé
Iron Horse Wedding Cuvée 2009: $38
A bit on the pricey side, this Blanc de Noirs is surprisingly rich with notes of strawberries and vanilla. This is a top California sparkling wine that hails from a small, family owned operation.
5. Best for beer drinkers
Lini Lambrusco: $16 - $20
With luscious berry notes, Lambrusco is a popular grape for sparkling wines. Lini is a fun sparkler that comes in white, red, and rosé varieties. These inexpensive, lightly sparkling wines are meant to be enjoyed with appetizers and best served with a frothy pour in a large glass. As a heavier sparkler, this is one of best wines to serve your beer-drinking friends.
6. The other champagne…
Kirkland Signature Brut Champagne: $19.99
It might not have the fancy French name, but this bottle of bubbly from Costco Wholsesale is the real deal. Manufactured in the Champagne region by Manuel Janisson in the village of Verzenay, this sparkling brand is a great deal for those trying to stay as authentic as possible. It’s a fruity wine, but with just a hint of peachy-sweetness. The bottle lacks the complexity of a traditional champagne but it’s an easily drinkable sparkler that most guests will probably enjoy.
7. Best sparkling wine party favor
Sofia Blanc de Blancs: $14.99 for 4 cans
A favorite of bachelorette parties and other festive occasions, Sofia Coppola’s namesake sparkling wine cans are a perfect little favor. The wine itself is delicately sweet with crisp apple, pear and honeysuckle flavors. Guests will love sipping this wine through a mini straw while dancing the night away.
8. A sweet sparkling red
Black Chook Sparkling Shiraz: $18
For a surprisingly lush drink with effervescent flair, try a sparkling red wine. This Shiraz blend is fermented with Voignier skins and boasts a fruity, dark berry character that pairs well with a variety of meats.