What's New Year's Eve without popping the cork on a bottle of bubbly? ￂﾠGotta have that "pop" to make it official, right? ￂﾠBut those bubbles are getting more and more pricey. ￂﾠWhen I decided to do a post on $15 bottles I thought I'd have a lot of choices, especially from the US, and mainly California. ￂﾠI was so surprised to find that most of the Cali sparkling wine is priced above my $15 limit. ￂﾠSo I had to go the international route, and I don't mean to Champagne.
To find a budget friendly bottle of bubbles made well, you really need to go to Italy and Spain. ￂﾠBut I did manage to find two wineries in the states that offer bubbly for $15 or less. ￂﾠAll selections are NV which means non-vintage, a blend of many vintages. ￂﾠTrue vintage sparklers are more expensive, and they aren't made every year.
Segura Viudas Brut Rosￃﾩ NV, $10. ￂﾠYou cannot beat the value on this rosy sparkler, especially since it is made in the traditional mￃﾩthode Champenoise. ￂﾠIn the Penedes region of Spain, outside of Barcelona, sparkling wines made this way are called Cava. ￂﾠI think Cavas are some of the wines for the money. ￂﾠSegura Viudas Brut Rosￃﾩ is made mostly from the Trepat grape, with a little Garnacha (aka Grenache) thrown on. It is lively with a delightful strawberry flavor and crisp acidity, making it perfect with your holiday meal.
Freixenet Cordon Rosado NV, $12. ￂﾠI love pink bubbles! ￂﾠTo me they are more festive and just make me happy. Anyway, you may know the name Freixenet from the black bottle of bubbles. ￂﾠThe Cordon Rosado is a much more sophisticated wine. ￂﾠIt's a Cava, made in the traditional method from Trepat and Garnacha grapes. ￂﾠThe resulting wine is a beautiful salmon pink, with red berry aromas and lots of fresh ripe fruit like strawberries and raspberries on the palate. ￂﾠA delicious way to ring in the new year.
Big White House Cellars Grand Cuvￃﾩe NV, California, $14. ￂﾠBig White House is a winery in Livermore Valley, east of the San Francisco Bay. ￂﾠLivermore produces world class wines and is one of the oldest wine growing regions in California. ￂﾠBig White House's bubbly is a cuvￃﾩe, or blend, made from Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc, which adds a sweeter floral and stone fruit aroma and flavor. ￂﾠI love the festive Art Nouveau label on this wine, created by winery artist Laura Marion [see label at top of post].
Mionetto Prosecco Brut NV, Treviso DOC, $14. ￂﾠIn Italy, sparkling wine that isn't made in the traditional method is called Prosecco. The Mionetto Brut is a perfect example of this lively, fresh style. ￂﾠGlera is the name of the grape, and the vineyards are in the Veneto region. ￂﾠThe secondary fermentation that produces the bubbles happens in a large tank (called the Charmat method) instead of in individual bottles. Prosecco is not aged very long, which is why it is a fresher style of sparkling wine.
Gruet Brut NV, New Mexico, $14.99.ￂﾠ Yes, this sparkler hails from New Mexico. Since the winery's first commercial release in 1989, Gruet's been making its mark on the wine world with wines made in the true French traditional method, with the second fermentation -- the one that produces the bubbles -- taking place in the bottle. ￂﾠThe wine is made from 75 percent Chardonnay and 25 percent Pinot Noir. ￂﾠThe Brut is crisp and dry, aged for 24 months on the yeast in bottle, which gives it that lovely yeasty, baked bread aroma. ￂﾠYou get tiny bubbles that keep on going. ￂﾠThis is my go to $15 sparkler.
Berlucchi Cuveￃﾩ 61 Brut NV, Franciacorta DOCG, $14.99. ￂﾠThis is a rich and lush sparkler, with crisp apple and zesty citrus notes. ￂﾠA real crowd pleaser. ￂﾠIt comes from the Franciacorta region of northern Italy, a sparkling wine region that's just gaining an audience in the US.