Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Best New Year's Bubbly Under $20

Champagne may be the most famous and most talked about sparkling wine in the world, but all that sparkles is not champagne.

As I explain in my new book The Bubbly Bar: Champagne and Sparkling Wine Cocktails for Every Occasion, (Clarkson Potter, August 2009) while true champagne only comes from the region northeast of Paris, oodles of delicious, satisfying and affordable sparkling wines are made all over the world using the same careful methods used in Champagne.

With people seeking ways to economize and still celebrate the start of the New Year, it makes a perfect opportunity to explore other sparkling wines. Some of the best stand-ins for champagne are the creamy French sparkling wines called Cremants which can come from Alsace, Burgundy and Limoux. Italy and Spain also produce some budget sparklers.

The other great place to find loads of good affordable sparkling wine is right here in the United States in diverse places like Northern California and New Mexico. Most of these are widely available at well-stocked liquor or grocery stores; follow the links below to learn where to order a 2009 supply of these great bargain bubbles.
Happy New Year!

10 Great Wines Under $20
Roederer Estate Brut NV ($19)
Taste: crisp green apple
Lucien Albrecht Cremant d’Alsace Brut Rose ($17)
Taste: rich and fresh
Gruet Brut ($15)
Taste: crisp and citrusy
Piper Sonoma Brut ($15)
Taste: citrusy, fresh and toasty
Domaine Chandon Brut Classic ($14)
Taste: elegant citrus and pear
J. Laurens Cremant de Limoux Brut ($12)
Taste: rich and toasty
Segura Viudas Brut Reserva ($11)
Taste: dried apple and minerals
Veuve Ambal Cremant de Bourgogne Brut Rose ($10)
Taste: red currant and plum
Rotari Brut Arte Italiana ($9)
Taste: peaches and toast
Blason de Bourgogne Cremant de Bourgogne Brut ($8 at Trader Joe’s)
Taste: pear and apple

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