Toast the Season with the Best Bubblies for $25 or Less
The holidays are high time for raising a glass of Champagne … and often. From office parties and family get-togethers to ringing in the new year with your best girlfriends, the champs runneth over. But, all that toasting can get expensive.
“Champagne is like the perfect apartment in the West Village in Manhattan, the Gold Coast in Chicago, or the Pacific Heights in San Francisco,” says Belinda Chang, James Beard Award-winning Wine Director of Maple & Ash in Chicago. “Because Champagne can only be made in the Champagne region of France and the real estate there is truly blue chip, the resulting delicious wines ain’t cheap!”
But if Champagne stands as an integral part of your holiday lifestyle (and it should!) there are plenty of options made in other parts of the world.
“These wineries often use the same grapes and many use the same methode champenoise and so the results make it possible for us all to have a full wardrobe of sparkling wine options,” says Chang.
Keep reading for her favorite five bubblies for $25 or less to pop bottles all season long.
Szigeti Gruner Veltliner Sekt
"Edgy and awesome things can happen when two brothers in Austria decide to buck centuries of tradition and make the workhorse grape of their country into a sparkling wine! Buying this one will freak out all of your friends until they have the first sip—and then you will establish that you are the biggest, most badass wine geek of your posse."
Schramsberg Mirabelle Brut
"The Davies family has been stewarding this beautiful winery in California for two generations and their methode champenoise is my daily quaff. California sunshine in every glass along with the toasty flavors of a true methode champenoise."
Raventos i Blanc - De Nit L'Hereu Cava
"Raventos Cava always hits the spot for me! Drinking Spanish Cava always transports me to the sultry streets of Barcelona and this dry, crisp sparkling wine will transport you as well."
Illinois Sparkling Wine Co. Brut
"You can find crazy little indie producers like Illinois Sparkling Wine Co. all over wine-dom and I love their spunky wines made from grapes grown in Illinois and put through the “back breaking” traditional method."
Iron Horse Classic Vintage Brut
"This Sonoma classic is served for foreign dignitaries and will also suit an evening with friends. This one is built to age and a 5+ year old bottle will have lovely notes of brioche and brown spices, and the lovely aromas and flavors that can only be found in a great vintage sparkling wine."