The Best Bubbles: A Guide to Affordable Holiday Sparklers
On Fridays, Deb Harkness of Good Wine Under $20 drops by with Serious Grape. This week, the best in bubbles.
I can't seem to get my fill of bubbles this time of year.
The holidays seem a bit more special with some sparkle in them.
Just in time for pre-dinner sipping, post-shopping relaxing, holiday brunch mixing—and of course toasting the New Year—I've got my buying guide for the very best, affordable bubbles in the market. None of these sparklers should be hard to find, and they will add a festive note to whatever you're doing, even if it's just wrapping gifts.
NV Soligo Prosecco Brut (find this wine for $11-$18) Really well made with a superb balance between toast and citrus notes. No harsh or bitter elements, and lots of creamy froth with a medium size bubble. Many steps up from most prosecco, and a bargain at around $15.
NV Roederer Estate Brut Anderson Valley (find this wine for $15-$30). Amazing value for the price. Pale straw in color, abundant froth, small bubbles. Aromas of brioche and Meyer lemon, and flavors of apples and toast with a firm, nutty edge. Just terrific.
NV Mumm Napa Brut Prestige (find this wine for $11-$27) Nicely biscuity, with fresh yeast and citrus notes. Medium to large size bubbles give it a rough feeling in the mouth. Certainly a widely available and good value domestic bubbly.
NV Gruet Blanc de Noirs (find this wine for $11-$20) Pale copper in color, with small bubbles and lots of froth. There are nutty and apple aromas, with hazelnut, apple, and a touch of berry in the flavors. Not harsh, and more complexity than many at this price point.
NV Blason de Bourgogne Crémant de Bourgogne Cuvée Brut (available at Trader Joe's, usually for under $10) A Veuve Clicquot knock-off, this is straw colored, with fine froth and tiny bubbles. Aromas of pears, toast, and apples, with apple and nut flavors. Aftertaste has a slight, pithy bitterness to it.
NV Freixenet Cava Cordon Negro Brut (find this wine for $7-$24) Excellent value on this nutty, frothy, and citrusy sparkler. Not a harsh, unpleasant note to be found. Definitely a bargain.
NV Tarantas Cava (available at many Whole Foods stores for $10-$14) Good, citrusy Cava that is refreshing and well-balanced.