The One with the Best Bubbly - $15, $20, & $35
It’s been a bit of a hot minute since my last blog, but you know how it goes during holiday season…those gifts won’t wrap themselves!
While Christmas may be over, New Year’s Eve is coming in HOT this year after the "dumpster fire" that was 2020. That being said, I think it’s safe to assume that I will be celebrating with extra zeal as the clock strikes the dawn of a fresh start, and all of that enthusiasm translates into one thing….a spectacular lineup of sparkling wines that won’t break the 2020-depleted bank!
That’s where this blog comes in; I’m here to bring you my Top 5 Best Value Sparkling Wines. What does “best value” mean? It means you’re going to get an outstanding product for the price you pay for it. All of the sparkling wines in my top picks are less than $35, and 3 of them are under $20. I’ll share with you what makes these wines so special and why you should stock up on these sensational sparklers for your New Year’s festivities. Without further ado, let’s get our glasses a-clinkin’ and get to the drinkin’!
5. $12.49 - Levert Freres Cremant de Bourgogne Brut (On Sale NOW at Total Wine!) – Cremant is a group of sparkling wines found mostly in France and produced using the Traditional Method, but often specializing in a regional variety. This Cremant de Bourgogne is issued form Chardonnay (42%), Pinot Noir (38%), and Gamay (20%). It ages for over 24 months on the lees (lees are yeast particles that support a creamy texture and mouthfeel) and features brilliant notes of citrus fruit, white peach, blooming orchids, and buttered biscuit. Maison Levert Freres is one of the oldest wine makers in Burgundy, with archives dating back to the 16th century. One sip of this beautiful bubbly and you’ll be transported to the heart of the Bourguignon vineyard. Cheers!
4. $14.99 Insito Brut Cava Reserva: Cava is the sparkling wine of Spain and while tantalizingly tasty, it won’t break the bank! Cava uses a 4-tier quality ranking system (you will find the seal indicating tier on the top of the bottle). While Cava is your introductory level, this one is a Cava Reserva – meaning it’s aged a minimum of 15 months on the lees and a step up from the rest. Don’t let the 1970’s-esque label throw you off; this one’s a winner! With more than 24 months of aging, it far surpasses the requirement of a Reserva, plus, it’s a grower, meaning it’s produced from hand-harvest grapes grown on their own estate in Barcelona. Expect notes of green apple, fennel, anise, and a delicious brioche finish, thanks to the bottle aging. Everything you’d want in a Cava (and more!) at price point that you seriously can’t beat.
3. $17.99 Jacqueline Leonne Methode Champenoise Rose NV : Did you really think I would put together a list of my top sparklers and not include a Rose!? “Method Champenoise” is just a fancy way of saying “Traditional Method” meaning the wine goes through its second fermentation inside the bottle. As the story goes, Jacqueline grew up in Champagne, intently watching her father use the traditional method to make Champagne year after year. Eventually, she brought his techniques to the United States where she now produces this lovely sparkling wine in New Mexico. Expect notes of fresh red berries, tart fig, lavender, lemon curd, melon, and a touch of oak on the finish.
2. $20.99 Famille Bougrier Pure Loire Vouvray Brut NV: The Loire valley produces many sparkling wines, including Vouvray, like this one. Sparkling production occurs primarily in the Middle Loire and the wines generally feature tart fruit notes. Because most sparkling wines include added sugar (usually in the form of concentrated grape must), they will often have an indicator on the label as to the amount of sugar that was added during the winemaking process. This one is a Brut, meaning 0-12 grams per Liter was added (brut is akin to describing a wine as dry.) Maison Bougrier uses the highest quality Chenin Blanc grapes to create this outstanding cuvee. Grapes are harvested at optimum ripeness and aged for a minimum of 24 months. Expect notes of green apple, pear, citrus fruits, and a bit of marzipan on the finish.
1. $34.99 De Margerie Brut Champagne Grand Cru ‘Bouzy’ -(On Sale NOW at Total Wine!) – There are 17 Grand Cru villages of Champagne, which are held in the highest regard. One of them is Bouzy, which is perhaps the most revered grand cru village in the Montage de Reims. This Champagne is produced within the Georges Vesselle Estate; the winery is equipped with state of the art facilities to produce its own Champagnes-from harvesting, to bottling, and marketing, a true testament to this family House which promotes quality and innovation. All of this for $35 is an outstanding value; plus, it is recommended to drink now so…stock up and pop multiple bottles this NYE….at this price point, ”wine” not?!
All of these sparklers are available at Total Wine and all 5 are under $35. You can't go wrong with any of these selections; they are all truly delicious and worthy of an epic celebration to say good-bye to 2020 (even if that celebration is socially distanced!)
May your champagne flow bountifully, your family stay healthy, and your toilet paper stay stocked in 2021. Cheers, Corkers and thanks for stopping by! Don't forget to drop a comment to let me know about your favorite best-value bubbly, click here to sign up for my email list, and officially join the Corker Community by following me on Instagram @thecandidcork.
Until next time!