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Old 12-28-2008, 03:45 PM   #1
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Sparkling Wines w/o Breaking the Bank

The holidays, especially New Year's, seem to awaken most folks' interest in sparkling wine. Most of us think first of Champagne -- that light and sparkly wine from France. But the price for the "real" stuff starts around $30 per bottle. In these times of economic downturn, that can be out of most folks reach, especially if you want more than one bottle.

There are a bunch of mostly awful-tasting alternatives that advertise heavily this time of year, and if you like them well, then go for it. I don't, and I thought maybe a short list of some fairly widely available affordable AND tasty alternatives might be useful, so here goes!

Gruet Brut -- sparkling wine from (you're reading right) New Mexico -- $10.99
St. Hilaire -- French sparkling wine in the Champagne style from the Limoux region -- $10.99
Segura Viudas Aria Brut -- Cava from Spain, from local Spanish grapes -- $14.99

Less specifically, there are a number of French sparkling wines called "Crémant" -- either de Loire, d'Alsace, de Bourgogne, that are all pretty tasty and all (I've seen) under $20.

Prosecco's and Cava's abound. some are very good, others, less so, but all pretty affordable.

imho, the best of the California sparklings under $20 is Roederer Estate Anderson Valley, found around here between $17 and $20.99

Hope everyone has a fabulous, sparkly New Years....

(We won't be drinking Krug this year!)

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Old 12-28-2008, 03:48 PM   #2
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I have never enjoyed the pleasure of sipping on a fine flute of Krug but it is on my list of things to do.
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Old 12-28-2008, 05:00 PM   #3
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Hold on, I need to get pen and paper.... ;)

Thanks!
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Old 12-28-2008, 05:10 PM   #4
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I did a blog on my discovery of Prosecco. Good stuff and we'll be serving this instead of champagne.
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Old 12-28-2008, 05:22 PM   #5
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June - You touched on two of my favorites - Gruet and Aria!!! I love that granny smith apple note in the Gruet and the Aria is perfect for those brut lovers! My employer used to work in the Gruet vineyards in his college years.

Here are a few other favorite sparklers:

Zardetta Prosecco - Italy
Riondo Prosecco (has a light floral note to it) - Italy
Marques de Gelida Cava - Spain
Francois Montand - France, just not Champagne, France

All of the above should be between $10.99 and $17.99 in most places.

We did, however, celebrate Christmas with a bottle of Canard Charles VII...not too terribly expensive but the amazing taste was worth every penny!
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Old 12-28-2008, 06:18 PM   #6
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Prosecco with a little splash of Chambord is nice too!
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Old 12-28-2008, 06:27 PM   #7
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I so, so, so, SO miss "Paul Cheneau", which was a cava from either Spain or Portugal. Lovely sparkle, fabulous flavor (neither too sweet nor too dry), & priced more than right at around $8.99 bottle before it disappeared several years ago. I used to buy it year-round by the case. While I've heard that it's still being produced, unfortunately it's apparently no longer being exported to the U.S. So I'm stuck with Freixenet.
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Old 12-28-2008, 07:07 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elaine l View Post
Prosecco with a little splash of Chambord is nice too!
Now THAT sounds terrific. Just happent to have Chambord on hand and the family coming over for dinner. Thanks for the tip.
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Old 12-28-2008, 07:17 PM   #9
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Take halved or quartered strawberries and roll them in sugar...Put the sugared strawberries into the champagne flutes/glasses and fill with ANY, including CHEAP champagne. It's a knock out presentation and makes the champagne much more enjoyable for even the anti-champagne person... :)
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Old 12-28-2008, 07:59 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by ChefJune View Post
The holidays, especially New Year's, seem to awaken most folks' interest in sparkling wine. Most of us think first of Champagne -- that light and sparkly wine from France. But the price for the "real" stuff starts around $30 per bottle. In these times of economic downturn, that can be out of most folks reach, especially if you want more than one bottle.

There are a bunch of mostly awful-tasting alternatives that advertise heavily this time of year, and if you like them well, then go for it. I don't, and I thought maybe a short list of some fairly widely available affordable AND tasty alternatives might be useful, so here goes!

Gruet Brut -- sparkling wine from (you're reading right) New Mexico -- $10.99
St. Hilaire -- French sparkling wine in the Champagne style from the Limoux region -- $10.99
Segura Viudas Aria Brut -- Cava from Spain, from local Spanish grapes -- $14.99

Less specifically, there are a number of French sparkling wines called "Crémant" -- either de Loire, d'Alsace, de Bourgogne, that are all pretty tasty and all (I've seen) under $20.

Prosecco's and Cava's abound. some are very good, others, less so, but all pretty affordable.

imho, the best of the California sparklings under $20 is Roederer Estate Anderson Valley, found around here between $17 and $20.99

Hope everyone has a fabulous, sparkly New Years....

(We won't be drinking Krug this year!)
there is a brand here called "bare foot" everything of theirs i have tried is very good. champ. runs about 11 dollars , often is on special, the others korbel etc are not worth drinking. wouldn't even have in the house for cooking. i once had a $100 bottle of champ. it was wonderful but not sure that it was worth the price.
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