Sometimes we all need some Champagne to perk us up. But Champagne, the real stuff (even Grower Champagne), can be a bit pricey. If you want to keep your pocketbook under control, then I have two recommendations for you. I'd love to hear your own recommendations in the comments.
Barefoot Bubbly Brut Cuvée Chardonnay Champagne, NV, $6.99:
This is the perfect sparkling wine for a lot of things. In the past,
I've purchased this wine in bulk for wedding showers. At $7/bottle,
well, you can't beat it. And as far as cheap sparklers, it has a lot
more flavor than your average cheapie. It's not the best, mind you. And
on its own, it satisfies that sparkler craving, but it's missing those
wonderful pear aromas and that bread-y taste I like so much in the real
stuff. But, it's not too sweet and not bone-dry either. It's actually
What does this wine excel at? Mimosas. If I'm making a bourbon and
coke, I might use Old Crow or Dowling as my bourbon, because they're
decent but cheap. I won't be pouring Four Roses into my Coke. What a
waste! The same theory applies to a Mimosa. I'm not going to pour more
expensive Champagne into my orange juice. I'll lose all the flavor!
But I do want a decent sparkler. My rule of thumb with mixers: I need to be able to drink the mixer on its own, without the urge to dump it immediately.
Barefoot is the perfect, absolutely perfect, Mimosa sparkler. On holidays,
Kevin & I like to have Mimosa Days. All Mimosas, all day. That
takes at least 3 bottles of sparkling wine and 2 cartons of orange
juice. We found a deal on Barefoot last week at Party Town (Turfway).
As we were wandering through the sparkling aisle, we spied a coupon
hanging over the Barefoot section. The coupon gave us $18 off of 6
bottles – making each bottle around $4. I couldn't have been happier.
We plowed through 3 bottles on New Year's Day, mixed with some nice
pulp-free, low-fat Tropicana.
Sofia Minis, "California Carbonated White Wine" , 4-187ml cans, $12.99 – $15.99 for four:
Sofia is canned sparkling wine. The target market? Me (not my Mom). It's a hot pink can
with a pretty floral design and a pink bendy straw. In fact, Sofia was
one of my earliest blog posts, back in June 2004. Here's the thing about Sofia-in-a-can: Sometimes a girl just wants to kick back with some bubbly.
know I don't need to open an entire bottle, but the can is the
perfect serving on those nights when I want to relax with a sparkler.
No, it's not the best sparkling wine in the world, and the bottled
version does taste a bit better, but this isn't bad either. There's a
bit of green apple, with some pear finish. I prefer to pour it in a
glass, as I can taste (or imagine I taste) the tinniness from the can. I won't drink beer from a can either (I'm such a snob). It
gets a pretty decent rating from me, more for convenience than taste.
Oh, and for the bendy straw.
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