There are high-quality sparkling wines made around the world, at a variety of price points. No matter your budget this year, you’ll be able to celebrate the holidays in style. Here are three that will get your party started.
Albert Bichot Brut Réserve Crémant de Bourgogne
Burgundy, France, $22
I’m tempted to call Crémant de Bourgogne the “poor man’s champagne,” but I can already hear producers objecting. “It’s a burgundy,” they would say. And they would be correct, of course. But this example from Albert Bichot is top-notch fizz at a modest price compared to the much vaunted neighbor from the north. A blend of chardonnay and pinot noir, aged 18 to 20 months before disgorging, it shows complexity and nuance as ripe orchard fruit flavors dance with notes of toasty brioche. ABV: 12 percent.
Juvé & Camps Reserva de la Familia Gran Reserva Cava Brut Nature 2017
Penedes, Spain, $24
Key words to note on the label: Brut nature means no dosage of sweetness is added when the wine is finished, so we have a bone-dry bubbly meant to showcase the fruit. Gran reserva indicates this wine was aged on its lees for at least 30 months to develop complexity — Juvé & Camps ages its gran reserva more than 36 months. The vintage year indicates this is not a multi-vintage blend intended to showcase a house style; rather, it is meant to express the vintage. There is no disgorgement date — information I appreciate seeing on a label — to give us an indication of how long the wine aged, but we have enough to know this is a high-end cava with a very modest price tag. Impeccably balanced, the wine offers scintillating berry and currant flavors with a lush texture and vibrant acidity that will invigorate your palate with every sip. ABV: 12 percent.