Supposedly, over two hundred bottles of champagne were ordered by Madame Pompadour (Jeanne Antoinette Poisson), per year, every year. It was also the official chief mistress of Louis XV, who once said that “Champagne is the only wine that makes a woman beautiful .“
I have already written several blogs about champagne and sparkling wines in previous years, and I would hate to repeat myself. Yet, here comes this time of the year again, when we, more than ever, consider what kind of bubbles should be on our table for the end of the year celebration. The New Year’s Eve and the sparkling wines are inevitably linked together for generations. The champagne means celebration, victory and joy. Unlike with any other wine – when there is any reason to celebrate, we usually reach for champagne.
So I decided to make a revision of my previous blogs – and that’s why I also visited the website of Total Wine & More. Just to get inspired about the bubbles that I may have tasted previously and forget all about it. Well, Total Wine is not exaggerating when they proclaim being the biggest wine store here in Florida. They had listed “just” 483 sparkling wines or champagne! Hard to imagine not be able to select at least one bottle that would meet your personal requirements.
At the same time, such selection could be quite overwhelming even for somebody who has tasted many of sparkling wines on regular bases. To be honest, I never was a big fan of sparkling wines. That was true at least until I was introduced to some truly great, great vintage champagne wines, and started to understand the huge difference between poorly made bubbles, and some pretty amazing sparkling wines.
Yet, my budget hardly allows indulging on premium choices. Therefore I was always on the look for inexpensive, yet exquisite alternatives. This time I ignored champagne altogether, with just one exception. Laurent Perrier Brut Non Vintage is not as well-known as perhaps Veuve Clicquot or Dom Perignon, yet it is a superb, fine Champagne with a reasonable price tag.
My intention this year is to stay within $20 budget (plus minus few bucks). And no, that doesn’t mean that I have tasted all the sparkling wines listed by Total wine & more website. That would have been a steep task to accomplish. I have selected those that I tasted, enjoyed and believed that they were great value for its price.
Here are my favorite choices for sparkling wines of the world in 2012:
(please note that the indicated prices can vary, depending on the retailer and/or state)
Spanish Cava (made in traditional method, just like Champagne, but from different grapes):
$ 8 Segura Viudas Brut Reserva N/V (non vintage)
$ 8 Freixenet Cordon Negro Brut
$ 12 Segura Viudas Aria Brut
$ 10 Segura Viudas Brut Rose N/V
$ 15 Marques de Gelida Brut
$ 20 Llopart Brut Rose N/V (aged 5 years)
$ 22 Segura Viudas Brut Reserva Heredad
$ 25 Llopart Leopardi Brut Reserva (aged 5 years)
Italian Prosecco (a classic, quality Italian sparkling wine):
$ 14 Adriana Adami “Garbel 13″ Prosecco N/V
$ 12 Mionetto Prosecco Brut N/V
$ 12 Zardetto prosecco
$ 16 Adriana Adami “Bosco Di Gica” Prosecco Brut N/V
$ 20 Adriana Adami “Vigneto Giardino” Prosecco
$ 25 Mionetto Sergio Rose
$ 30 Mionetto Sergio Extra Dry
French sparkling wines:
$ 9 Veuve de Vernay
$ 12 St Reine Blanc de Blancs Brut
$ 18 Louis Bouillot Blanc de Noirs
$ 36 Laurent Perrier Brut N/V (Champagne)
$ 20 Scharffenberger Brut (California – formerly known as Pacific Echo)
$ 20 Huber Grüner Hugo Rose Sparkling (Austria)
I hope that your New Year’s Eve celebration will be full of joy, laughter, dance, friends and, most importantly – that your glass will be full at all times!
Have a happy and healthy New Year everybody!