The Best Bubbly Libations Under $90 for Any Occasion
Leah: Hey, girl, did you have a great week? Sorry to text you so late, but I need bubbly recommendations.
Me: I’m up. First off, what is your budget?
Leah: I need a few bottles to ring in the New Year, plus my 2020 goal is to keep my bar stocked 24/7 for impromptu happenings. So, nothing over $100.
Me: Cool on the price range. Very doable. What type of bubbly?
Leah: I have no idea what you mean. I walk inside my local wine shop and buy the least-expensive wine bottle in front of me.
Me: Girl, yes. Give me a minute, and I’ll send you some suggestions. For now, here are my picks for American sparkling wines and champagnes. I’ve included high and low choices.
Leah: Have you tried the bottles?
Me: Always! All six bottles have touched my lips. The first three recommendations are from the Champagne region of France. Everything else is a sparkling wine, but not technically champagne. Sparkling means any wine with carbonated bubbles -- Champagne is about where it’s from and how it was made. Next time we chat, we’ll go a bit deeper about methods. For now, all you need to remember is the price, denomination of origin, and taste.
Laurent-Perrier Blanc de Blancs Brut Nature
Only for the VIPs in your life: This champagne is fresh, light, and poppy. Click your heels and say it three times: celebrate, celebrate, celebrate. I was gifted this luxurious diamond libation and used it to toast our Best New Restaurants List 2019. Reserve every pour for your BFF or breakfast in bed with your boo.
Taittinger Brut La Francaise
When you need to raise a glass up solo and say cheers to yourself: #Selfcare is a year-round goal. Taittinger reminds me of the rare evening at home. Bingeing with stovetop popcorn, The Watchmen, and bubbly is the best break from all the madness. A nifty champagne stopper will preserve the bubbles for few days. Sip from one of the most beautiful wine houses in France and let your mind wander -- they say drinking Champagne slows the aging process.
Veuve Clicquot Brut
Hello Mrs. Show Off! The perfect gift for your old roommate. #glowup: I describe Veuve as the Lexus of Champagne, accessible luxury. Ignore the wine snobs that whisper that the marketing is better than the taste. The packaging is iconic, and the brut is classic. While you’re at it, buy some wine coupes for your celebrations. Ditch the tumblers and consider starting a bottle cork collection.
Domestic Sparkling Wines
Check out these dope domestic sparkler options that taste a lot more expensive than they are.
The bottle to drink when everyone is on a non-alcohol booze kick: Confession... For a long time, I thought Chandon was Champagne. The fact is, Napa, California is this wine's birthplace. My gateway to Chandon was a magnum-sized rosé. This wine could serve as the kickoff toast to a house party -- slightly dry, not too sweet.
Domaine Saint Vincent Brut
Albuquerque, New Mexico
For your platter of fatty dried meats and funky cheese wheel: The bottle label sings to me. Recently, I cracked opened this baby to accompany a lamb burger with sharp white cheddar and roasted ginger-tinged squash. No, this choice isn’t bone dry, but it’s sophisticated enough for a decadent end-of-year meal. Made in New Mexico and affordable enough to buy more than one bottle, so go for it!
Something Fun From Italy
Ca’ Furlan Prosecco
This is for your boozy all-day brunch gathering: It’s my go-to. I use this sparkler to top off batch cocktails or mimosas. The overall notes are dry, and the price leaves you plenty of room to splurge dried meats for the charcuterie board. Ca’ Furlan has been my prosecco of choice for nearly a decade. All I have to do is call up my local wine shop and describe the label, and they know exactly what I’m craving.