Best Sparkling Wines at Bargain Prices for the Holidays 2011

These are our favorite sparkling wines we have tasted in 2011, and the best part is that these bubbly wines are widely available. Don’t limit your consumption of sparkling wine to just the Holiday Season; keep some on hand to pop open for a special occasion or for any reason at all. We always enjoy a glass of sparkling wine as an aperitif throughout the year.

Top Six Picks

91 Points – Domaine Allimant Laugner Rosé – Cremant de Alsace

Crémant from Alsace

We just had a couple of neighbors over for a short visit and poured them a glass. Almost immediately we had to do a refill; it is that scrumptious. KL Wines usually carries this wine for $18.99, but I recently found it at Whole Foods in San Mateo for $18.00. It is also found at the Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant for $18.00

90 Points – Kirkland Signature Champagne
This is real Champagne with the proper authentication on the bottle. It is made by Champagne producer Manuel Janisson. We visited his Champagne House in Verzenay, France, in 2010. Manual told me in an email that it’s a wonder that Costco is able to sell this wine at $19.99 and make any profit. If you want good-tasting Champagne, this will do very nicely.

Manuel Janisson produces the Kirkland Signature Champagne

90 Points – Domain Chandon Riche
This is a big favorite of ours, especially when the Safeway in Burlingame offers this wine for less than a $11 a bottle a couple of times year if you buy a six pack. We always jump on this opportunity and buy several at a time. This wine is great as an aperitif or if you are having a meal that has any spice to it. We have a crab cake recipe from that we always pair this wine with. It is a perfect match.

Chandon Extra Dry Riche

89 Points – Mumm Napa Prestige Brut
This is always a favorite recommendation with wine writers at this time of the year. If you shop around, you can usually find this wine between $12 and $14. Most of the big supermarket stores will carry this wine.

89 Points – Domain Chandon Brut
This is very similar in style to the Mumm above and either one is a great choice.
You can find it on sale at Safeway or BevMo for $12-14.

88 Points – Gruet Brut
We discovered this sparkling wine from New Mexico this past year. Found at Weimax in Burlingame and several other stores for $12 to $14. Excellent and refreshing!

The Rest of the Best

88 Points – Domain Chandon Blanc de Noirs
At the moment the San Francisco area Costco stores are running a sale and the bottle price is $11.49

87 Points – Roederer Estate Brut
An old standby from the Anderson Valley. $17 to $19

87 Points – Segura Viudas Brut
Watch for this in the magnum size at Cost Plus World Market. This is a wonderful Cava from Spain

86 Points – Rotari Brut or Rose Talento
This Italian sparkling wine is found at BevMo stores for less than $10 a bottle. It is from the Alto Adige region in Italy.

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