There aren't many more perfect pairings than sparkling wine with sushi, fried chicken, or mac and cheese. Here are our 15 favorite non-Champagne sparklers under $25—perfect for a classy celebration.
'holiday wines' on Serious Eats
As the holiday season approaches its peak, I've put together a line-up (or a wine-up!) of my favorite affordable sips of the year. Red and white, still and sparkling, Old World and New. Take this list with you if you're stocking up for familiy visits and parties to come in the next few weeks.
If you want to get your holiday or New Year's party started bubbly style, we're here to help. These budget bottles are all less than $15 so you can stock up for the celebrations to come.
It's the perfect season to break out of that rut and explore some more unusual sparklers, especially if you want to bring a bottle to give your dinner party host. The wines I've chosen to highlight are particularly good dinner party companions, serious juice that will make food shine.
It can seem like the holiday season is full of potential wine-related pitfalls: what's the correct bottle to give to your boss? Which bottle would be nice for a dinner hostess gift, and what can you buy for a party? We polled a few of the country's top sommeliers for advice.
You never know what kinds of things you might find at Costco. I can't remember the last time I saw Champagne (the real stuff from France) on sale for less than $30. But Costco's Kirkland Signature Champagne runs just $20 for the white and $25 for the pink. That's the cheapest Champagne I've seen anywhere. But is it any good?
We tried 23 different bottles to figure out which nonvintage Champagnes tasted best. What's the best value in this region of fancy bubbly? Here's what we found.
I've been noticing a lot of fatigue around me this time of year. Work fatigue, shopping fatigue, tourist fatigue...Could it be that we all just need a little fun, affordable bubbly? At a time when our eyelids and bank accounts are looking rather droopy, a few bottles of fizz are welcome, and Prosecco can often be a good option—for half the cost of Champagne.
Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg are the authors of several acclaimed food and beverage books, including the recently-released Food Lover's Guide to Wine. We recently had the chance to use their mountains of expertise to help answer some of our most serious holiday beverage questions. Here's their guide to what to drink and when, what bottles to give and why.
I'd like to dispel the myth that those who think about what beverages will go best with their food are snobs, that thinking about pairing is only for people who hold their pinkies up when they drink tea. As food lovers, we think about pairing all the time.
This is one of the best values in sparkling wine I've come across. If I were planning a wedding or a big New Year's Eve bash, this bubbly from southern France would be high on my list; no one would ever guess that this delicious sparkler doesn't cost $25 or $30. This elegant wine is lively and tart, with a piercing green apple acidity and tons of super-fine bubbles.
When preparing for this tasting, some of us had to factor in the juice cleanse (no alcohol allowed, even if it's hiding in a juice) so we popped open a few bottles before embarking on that, and popped a few more after that ended (partly to celebrate the end of the cleanse!). Many of these cavas would actually taste pretty good in a glass of fresh-squeezed OJ or pineapple-mint juice as a brunch cocktail. Others, we preferred sipping on their own.
Sure, there's plenty of cruddy wine in boxes (hey, there's also plenty of cruddy wine in bottles.) But after tasting dozens of boxed wines, we turned up a few truly delicious reds, whites, and rosés. Give them a try, and you may find you're not so into bottles after all.
You can't ring in the New Year without bubbles. (Go ahead and toast with sparkling cider or a non-alcoholic punch dosed with club soda—it's the fizz that counts.) If you're not shelling out for real Champagne, there are a dizzying array of options. Luckily the Serious Eats team has sorted out the delicious from the drainpours and now present to you our top choices in bubbly for ringing in 2011.
If you're planning to cook prime rib for Christmas, our Food Lab master, Kenji, has you covered. But here are a few wine picks to complete your festive meal.