Toast the New Year With 10 Sparklers Under $20
On New Year's Eve, many celebrate by popping the cork on pricey bottles of Champagne. But there's no need to flatten your wallet just for a midnight toast. Here are 10 sparkling wines under $20 that are good enough to mark a special occasion.
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Roederer Estate Brut (California)Famed French producer Louis Roederer -- home of Cristal -- owns the California winery behind Roederer Estate Brut (starting at $19). This is a crisp and fairly complex sparkling wine that's aged for at least two years. It wins plaudits from experts, who consider it an especially good find for the price. The tasting notes mention flavors of pear, spice, and hazelnut.
Cupcake Vineyards Prosecco (Italy)White peach, honeydew melon, and grapefruit are the key flavors in Cupcake Vineyards Prosecco (starting at $14). The winery claims to use only the best Glera grapes, the official variety for Prosecco, from its vineyards in Italy. Prosecco traditionally undergoes a second fermentation in stainless steel tanks, rather than in the bottle like Champagne, which helps keep costs down.
Domaine J. Laurens Cremant de Limoux Brut (France)This light, lemon-lime bubbly surprises connoisseurs with notes of pineapple and citrus. For such an inexpensive sparkling wine, Domaine J. Laurens Cremant de Limoux Brut (starting at $14) has a body that could fool even a picky Champagne drinker. With full flavors and a hint of spice, it also goes quite well with food, according to Wine & Spirits.
Gloria Ferrer Sonoma Brut (California)The California winemaker Gloria Ferrer markets this affordable sparkler as its signature blend. Gloria Ferrer Sonoma Brut (starting at $14) starts with a mix of 20 base wines and goes through the same process used to make French Champagne. The flavor profile is complex for the price and features floral and almond notes.
Freixenet Cordon Negro Extra Dry (Spain)This style of Spanish sparkling wine, known as Cava, uses the traditional method of Champagne production that originated in France. Flavor notes include peach, melon, and candied citrus. With its sweet, fruity character, Freixenet Cordon Negro Extra Dry (starting at $10) is a versatile wine that can accompany a casual meal as well as a special occasion.
Jaume Serra Cristalino Brut (Spain)This Cava comes from a brand known for good value and is made according to the traditional method -- the second fermentation, when the bubbles are produced, occurs in the bottle. Featuring citrus and mineral notes and a clean finish, Jaume Serra Cristalino Brut is an irresistible steal at less than $10.
Mumm Napa Brut Prestige (California)This medium-bodied bubbly ranks among Wine Spectator's top 100 wines of the year, a list that cuts across varieties and price points. Mumm Napa Brut Prestige (starting at $18) receives high ratings from other experts, as well. It delivers layers of flavor, including citrus, strawberry, and spice, and a lingering finish.
Barefoot Bubbly Extra Dry (California)"Extra dry" is actually sweeter than brut, but the apple and other fruit flavors in this sparkling wine are pleasant, rather than cloying, and the finish is crisp, reviewers say. Barefoot Bubbly Extra Dry (starting at $9) has won a gold medal in an international wine competition and stands out among the offerings from this ubiquitous bargain brand.
Martini & Rossi Prosecco (Italy)This Prosecco from the Italian alcoholic beverage giant (starting at $15) boasts all the admired characteristics of its type -- light, fragrant, and not overly fizzy. A remarkable minerality and herbal finish help set this sparkling wine apart. Green apple and lemon notes give it a zest that pairs well with all kinds of foods.
Lucien Albrecht Cremant d'Alsace Brut Rose (France)Strawberry and wild cherry round out this brut rose (starting at $18), which is made entirely from Pinot noir grapes and has a characteristic coral color. Although this French sparkling wine does not come from Champagne, it's produced using the traditional method and makes a memorable choice for a celebration.