I’ve been pondering what kind of sparkling wine I want to be drinking and toasting with when the FIRST FEMALE POTUS is elected next week. I still haven’t decided. But I thought a guide might be useful for those who don’t know much about bubbly. I’ve organized it by price point so there will be something to fit everyone’s budget. It’s not an exhaustive list so please feel free to contribute other ideas or ask questions in the comments.
- In the < $10-15 range I generally recommend Spanish Cava. Cava is Spain’s answer to champagne in that it is made in a very similar style. But far less expensive (usually under $10). Brands such as Freixenet and Segura Viudas are both good choices. I’ve yet to meet a Cava at this price point that I hated. I can’t say the same for other bubblies (like Korbel or Cook’s) commonly found in the supermarket.
- Most Cava is Brut or dry. Which means not sweet. If you prefer sweeter wines, then I recommend Italian Prosecco which can also be commonly found in supermarkets and convenience stores in the $10-15 range. I’m not personally a fan, but many people love it. And even I can admit it’s good for Bellinis.
- If you want to spend ~$20, the field thins considerably. I like Graham Beck (South Africa) but it’s not always easy to find. Argyle, from Oregon is more readily available – on the West Coast anyway. Roederer (California) may be the easiest to find at this price point. Also, there are some “higher end” Spanish Cavas in this price point that will not let you down.
- Around $30 the field opens up, particularly if you are feeling patriotic and want American bubbles. You can never go wrong with Schramsberg, J, or Gloria Ferrer – all good. There are even some proper French champagnes like Bollinger available.
- If you want the real stuff, the French Champagne, it’s generally going to cost you > $40. Bollinger, Pol Roger, Taittinger, Veuve Clicquot, and Laurent Perrier all have tasty options starting around $40. And they go up from there.
If you’re looking to spend more than $50 on a bottle but aren’t sure what you like, I recommend heading to your local wine store and asking. Not everyone has the same tastes. I’ve listed here what I prefer, and they are all good options, but you may like different styles. And that’s OK. Even Julia Child liked to eat McDonald’s sometimes. 😉
And if bubbles are not your thing [
you’re a communist], I suggest a Nasty Woman cocktail. I tried it and it’s pretty delicious.