Bubbly for Every Budget

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Let’s be honest. Even if you don’t regularly drink sparkling wine, New Year’s Eve is the one night of the year that you have to have at least one bottle of bubbly on hand. But how much are you willing to fork over for it?

Depending on your stash of cash, we have some suggestions for what to buy – based, of course, on our personal tastes. Let’s start with low-budget bubbly. Two cavas (the Spanish term for sparkling wine) come to mind: Segura Viudas and Jaume Serra Cristalino. Both weigh in at about $10. These cavas – made in the traditional Méthode Champenoise style, are a terrific alternative to French Champagne.

Don’t Confuse Cristalino with Cristal

Speaking of French Champagne, don’t confuse Cristalino with Cristal. Barbara once walked into a nearby wine store and asked for a case of Cristalino. While one clerk went to fetch it from the back, the other rang up a case of Cristal. Cristal…the one-time darling of the hip-hop set that sells for $200 a bottle – not $10!

In the pricier-but-still-affordable category, we recommend Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Noir at about $20. It’s made from mostly Pinot Noir grapes – so it has a pinkish hue to it. A few years ago, we were lucky enough to sample a variety of Gloria Ferrer wines right in their cellar in Sonoma. We liked them all, but the Blanc de Noir caught our attention.

In that same category but slightly higher in price is another favorite: Nicolas Feuillatte Blue Label Brut. Now this is a real Champagne. (And, by that, we mean that it comes from the Champagne region of France.) It’s worth all the $35 asking price.

A Bubbly Splurge!

And now for our splurge Champagne. No, not Dom Perignon or the aforementioned Cristal. Not that we would turn down a bottle of either one. But we want to splurge for less on our own dollar. Our pick is Billecart Salmon Brut Rosé.  We both fell in love with this stunner at first sip. It’ll set you back about $80.

Whatever your choice of sparkling or spirit for New Year’s, we hope your celebrations are safe and joyous!


Barbara and Beverly