Right. I should be cleaning the house right about now. But a friend asked me for some inexpensive bubbly (sparkling wine, champagne, etc) recommendations via Twitter. I thought I’d post our favorite "cheap champagne" right here for all the world to see.
Our favorite inexpensive bubbly to buy in bulk is Barefoot Bubbly. It’s sparkling wine out of California that comes in two different varieties. For around $6/bottle, it’s a good deal.
On the little more expensive front, we love our Spanish cavas. Segura Viudas Cava, from Spain, comes in around $19.99/bottle. But you can impress your friends – the bottle is beautiful (see the image to the left), and it looks much more expensive than it is. It’s a dry cava, and thoroughly enjoyable. As usual with Spain, you’re getting a deal for the price point.
For around $15/bottle, we highly recommend Saint-Meyland Brut (image to the right). This sparkler is from France, but isn’t "champagne." It’s made in the traditional method, but it’s just not quite located in the Champagne region of France, and well, it can’t take the name. But it’s that nice dry taste with plenty of tiny bubbles. I can’t wait to pop this one open tonight. This wine is a real value and your friends might be impressed you showed up with such a tasty morsel from France. Depends on your friends I suppose.
We don’t have any in the house at the moment, but never discount Asti or Prosecco. Mondoro d’Asti is one of Kevin’s favorites, and I recently finished a rather yummy (and strawberry-ish) rosé Prosecco. Both are usually found for $20 or less and are just a little bit different, but still delivering the bubbles.
If you are just a red wine drinker at heart, you might want to try some Sparkling Shiraz. We’re not fans. We recently had the Mollydooker Goosebumps, which runs around $40-$50/bottle, and didn’t think it was worth the cost. You can find some lower priced versions, also out of Australia, that you might want to give a try.
If you’re going for the real stuff, it needs to come from the Champagne area of France and be created in the traditional method, including bottle fermentation. A lot of true Champagne has a fresh-baked bread nose and attack, do be prepared for that. It doesn’t mean your Champagne is bad. If you’re going for the real stuff, ask your wine store for a small grower. I find that these small growers create excellent, almost edgy Champagne for a smaller price point than the big houses like Taittinger and Dom Perignon. Check out our review of some "real" Champagne here.
If you want to stay state-side, you can still have sparkling wine created in the traditional method. In other words, it’s Champagne in all but region. Try Schramsburg, Domaine Carneros, and Gloria Ferrer, out of Napa and Sonoma respectively.
Most of all, stay safe on this night of celebrations. We’re ringing in an arbitrary calendar event, but here’s hoping it’s the start to an excellent 2008!
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