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New Year's Bubbly That Won't Break the Bank

31 December 2018
by Lish Steiling
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The most delicious bottles to pop when the clock strikes midnight

I am a firm believer that sparkling wine is a year-round, any-day-of-the-week wine. Why limit those delightful bubbles to just a few special occasions when you can enjoy them with your Sunday brunch, aperitivo hour, or even a weeknight dinner? That said, when a holiday does roll around, it's an absolute guarantee that I'll be pouring bubbly all night long. 

While Champagne does command a heftier price than most everyday wines, thanks to the strict regulations that permit only the wines made in the Champagne region in France to claim the name, there are so many other delicious, affordable sparkling wine options available from around the world - and even from other parts of France - that price is no barrier to good bubbly anymore. This New Year's, here are the go-to bottles I'll be popping:


German Gilabert Cava Brut Nature Reserva, $15

Like prosecco in Italy, cava is Spain's most popular entry in the sparkling wine arena. Made in the northern region of Catalonia from native grapes macabeo, xarello, and parellada, as well as well-known chardonnay, it's a reliably light, crisp wine with lots of fine bubbles that give it a delicious tingle. It's hard to find a bad cava out there, and there are tons of great ones that can be found for less than $20. This particular bottle is also my go-to bubbly for brunches, so stock up and serve this on New Year's Day for a hair-of-the-dog get-together.


Faccoli Franciacorta Extra Brut, $44

The Champagne of Italy, franciacorta is made not like prosecco but using the more time-consuming, complex method developed for the famous French sparkler. The result is a wine with loads of nutty, delicious character and finer bubbles than the fruit-forward prosecco. I fell in love with this underappreciated gem when we were in Italy, and now I can't help but order it every time I see it on a menu.


Domaine Andre et Mireille Tissot Cremant de Jura Extra Brut, $26

I'm a sucker for pretty much any white or sparkling wine from the Jura region of eastern France - I've never had one that didn't have lots of complex layers of flavors, thanks to the unusual native grape varieties that are used there. Cremant is made in the same way as Champagne, and this bottle is loaded with fine, tingly bubbles, unexpected notes of chamomile and anise, and a toasty finish.


Veuve Clicquot Brut NV, $44

Since it is a holiday, there's something undeniably special about pulling out a bottle of proper Champagne. Veuve Clicquot is a timeless choice - like a Chanel bag, it never goes out of style. That bright orange label is instantly recognizable, and the bubbly inside is reliably delicious, with hints of apple, peach, and that signature biscuit-y Champagne bite. 


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