Bargain Sparkling Wine for New Year’s

You don’t need to spend a fortune on sparkling wines or Champagne to ring in the New Year. There are plenty of sparkling wines that are beautiful tasting wines for $20 or less. We drink sparkling wines and Champagne frequently and have tasted many this past year. We like to have a flute of the bubbly as our aperitif and sometimes a bottle with dinner, depending upon the meal. Here we list our favorite ones that we have tasted this past year, all for $20 or less. Only one of our recommendations is a Champagne wine. Most good Champagne costs above the $30 mark. Remember only the sparkling wines that come from the Champagne region of France can have the term “Champagne” on their label. This law was passed 50 years ago. Korbel can put Champagne on the label even though the grapes are from California, because they were doing this long before the law went into effect.

You can find these wines easily in the San Francisco Bay Area. Check your local wine shop or Costco, Cost Plus, BevMo, and your local supermarket to get these wines at sale prices.


Domaine Chandon Riche – our favorite of the bunch. Don’t pay more that $15 for entry-level wines of Domaine Chandon or Mumm Napa. The suggested retail is $21.95 but most places have them for $14.99 or less.

Domain Chandon Rosé – A favorite among many of the wine critics and a favorite of ours.

Mumm Napa Prestige – Number 40 on Wine Spectator Top 100 wines

Mumm Napa Curvee M – Dry but just a tad sweeter than Prestige

Segura Viudas Brut Reserva – $8 to $10 for this wonderful Spanish Cava

Cristalino Brut or Extra Day – You can find these two Spanish Cava wines for as low as $5.99. They are not spectacular wines but if you are on a tight budget you get a lot of bang for the buck for these two wines, and they won’t give you a headache.

Rotari Talento Brut – Beautiful yeasty aroma and delicious-tasting sparkling wine from Italy. The Rosé we have not tasted but it is also getting lots of accolades. $10 to $12. KL Wines has it for $10. A Wine Enthusiast “Best Buy.”

Roederer Estate Brut – From the Anderson Valley, this is an excellent wine but you will have to pay closer to $20 to get this one. 90 pts – Wine Spectator.

Kirkland Champagne – Yes, this is Champagne. This one costs $20 but is equal to many Champagne wines over $30. It comes from a mid-sized producer in Champagne. It does not have any Grand Cru or Premier grapes but this Champagne is excellent. In a future article, I will give you more dope on this wine from the producer himself, Manuel Janisson.

Comments

  1. Great review for affordable champagnes. I agree with your assessment of the Chandon Riche. Don’t forget the Italian Proseccos — they’re usually under $20 and may be more approachable to the person just beginning to experience the wonders of the bubbly.

  2. Ray,
    Thanks for the comments and the suggestion for Italian Proseccos. I must admit that I have tried only a few over the years. Can you suggest a couple?

  3. Trader Joe’s has great Prosecco for like 7 bucks.
    Can’t remember the name but it has a little string around the top and you have to cork it yourself.

  4. Champagne is my drink of choice, has been for years, and Mumm’s is my favorite. Few reviewers, including you, ever give it much mention and I never understand why. Mumm Napa is on your list but in my book, it falls way short of Mumm’s Classique. What gives?

    • Thanks for the tip on the Mumm’s Classique. My focus was on sparklers under the $20 range. I always prefer Champagne myself over all other bubblies.

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