W ith high-quality sparkling wine available at every price point, there’s no need to limit consumption to special events. We’ve assembled our tasters’ favorite bubblies from $25 or less—bottles that are ideal for casual gatherings and meals—up to the ultra-splurges destined for milestone celebrations.
No matter the reason for indulging your fizzy bliss, with this many great choices, you can’t go wrong.
$25 and Under
Make any weeknight special by popping one of these bottles. Whether pairing with takeout or something whipped up quickly at home, these wines will refresh body and soul. While Champagne has priced itself out of this bracket, the world offers plenty of other choices, from classic Crémants and Cavas to the new wave of sparklers from Germany.
Château Moncontour 2014 Cuvée Prédilection Brut (Vouvray); $20, 12% abv, 92 points. Fruit imbued with hazelnuts and intense acidity. USA Wine West. Editors’ Choice.
Domaine Saint-Remy NV Brut Prestige (Crémant d’Alsace); $24, 12.5% abv, 92 points. Light and dry, restrained and subtle. Robert Kacher Selections.
G. D. Vajra 2015 Moscato d’Asti; $17, 5.5% abv, 92 points. Fresh, fragrant and sweet, balanced by acidity; $17, 92 points. Multiple U.S. Importers. Editors’ Choice.
Bailly-Lapierre NV Brut (Crémant de Bourgogne); $25, 12% abv, 91 points. Ripe and soft, impressively rich, with tight citrus minerality. Ruby Wines Inc.
Domaine Zinck NV Brut (Crémant d’Alsace); $22, 12.5% abv, 91 points. Rich notes of shortbread balanced by lemony freshness. HB Wine Merchants.
Gloria Ferrer NV Blanc de Blancs (Carneros); $22, 12.5% abv, 91 points. This 100% Chardonnay is nutty, with a touch of lemon zest.
Mumm Napa NV Brut Prestige (Napa County); $24, 12.5% abv, 91 points. Crisp and vibrant, becoming richer on the finish.
Domaines Paul Mas NV Côté Mas Méthode Ancestrale (Blanquette de Limoux); $18, 7.5% abv, 90 points. Remarkably light and easy to drink. Esprit du Vin. Editors’ Choice.
Parxet 2014 Brut Reserva (Cava); $22, 11.5% abv, 90 points. Crisp and citrusy, exuding elegance and freshness. Biagio Cru & Estate Wines, LLC.
Fritz Müller NV Perlwein Trocken Müller-Thurgau (Rheinhessen); $19, 11.5% abv, 90 points. Fun and refreshing, Germany’s answer to Prosecco. Rudi Wiest Selections.
Turn a casual weekend gathering into a celebration by starting off with one of these Proseccos. They’ll brighten and enliven the palate, priming your guests for the main event. The Lambrusco pairs wonderfully with pre-dinner noshes, while the rest of the wines are traditional method sparklers, made using the same exacting techniques as Champagne.
Zusslin 2013 Rosé Brut Zéro (Crémant d’Alsace); $35, 12.5% abv, 93 points. Immensely rich yet slender. Avant Garde Wine & Spirits. Editors’ Choice.
Nino Franco 2015 Vigneto della Riva di San Floriano Brut (Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore); $29, 12% abv, 92 points. Floral and generous, with an elegant mousse. Terlato Wines International.
McIntyre Vineyards NV L’Homme Qui Ris Methode Champenoise (Santa Lucia Highlands); $36, 12% abv, 92 points. Intriguingly complex, with a flavor base of buttered toast.
Loimer 2013 Extra Brut (Niederösterreich); $30, 12% abv, 91 points. Light bodied and dry, yet expresses almost honeyed richness. Craft + Estate–The Winebow Group.
Ridgeview Estate 2014 Bloomsbury (England); $35 points, 12% abv, 91 points. Frothy and lively, with refreshing, tart fruit flavors that takes you green pastures. Siema LLC.
Villa Sandi 2015 Cartizze Vigna La Rivetta (Valdobbiadene Superiore di Cartizze); $39, 11.5%, 91 points. Intensely fragrant, with fresh acidity that lifts the rich flavors. Folio Fine Wine Partners.
Paltrinieri 2013 Grosso Metodo Classico (Lambrusco di Modena); $30, 11.5% abv, 91 points. Enticingly floral and fruity alongside zesty acidity. Porto Vino Italiano.
Cesarini Sforza 2009 Tridentum Rosé Metodo Classico (Trento); $30, 12.5% abv, 91 points. Delicate notes of woodland berries and a soft, persistent perlage. Ethica Wines.
Barone Pizzini 2012 Naturae Metodo Classico (Franciacorta); $45, 12% abv, 91 points. Delicate, enticing mineral framed in fresh acidity. Leonardo LoCascio Selections–The Winebow Group.
Sparkling Pointe 2011 Blanc de Blancs (North Fork of Long Island); $42, 12.5% abv, 90 points. High-toned acidity and a fine, delicate mousse thrill the palate.
Colmant NV Cap Classique Brut Reserve (Western Cape); $44, 12.5% abv, 90 points. Notes of toasted apple, orange peel and baking spice lifted by ample acidity. Kysela Père et Fils.
Here, we finally reach the domaine of Champagne and its equivalents from other parts of the world: Italy’s Franciacorta, English fizz and upper-end efforts from California, Oregon and Tasmania. These are complex wines, capable of accompanying multiple dishes throughout a meal.
Taittinger 2008 Millésimé Brut (Champagne); $95, 13% abv, 97 points. Crisp and rich at the same time. Drink now or age until at least 2018.
Kobrand. Cellar Selection.
Billecart-Salmon NV Brut Sous Bois (Champagne); $80, 12% abv, 95 points. The structure of this wood-fermented and aged Champagne marks it for aging. Billecart Salmon USA. Cellar Selection.
Alfred Gratien 2004 Brut Millésimé (Champagne); $90, 12% abv, 94 points. Textured, mineral-driven and full of nervous energy. Mionetto USA. Editors’ Choice.
Pierre Gerbais NV L’Osmose Extra Brut (Champagne); $61, 12% abv, 94 points. Perfumed, crisp and ready to drink. Becky Wasserman Selections. Editors’ Choice.
Lombard et Cie NV Brut Nature Les Mesnil sur Oger Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru (Champagne); $80, 13%, 94 points. Zero dosage, balanced by ripe fruit. Fruit of the Vines, Inc.
Gusbourne Estate 2011 Brut Reserve (England); $60, 12% abv, 93 points. A serious, well-brought-up wine, with a straight, upright back. Broadbent Selections, Inc.
Frank Family 2012 Brut Rosé (Carneros); $55, 12% abv, 92 points. Inviting notes of peach and strawberry finish with a twist of candied orange peel.
Le Brun de Neuville NV Lady de N. Cuvée Clovis (Champagne); $67, 12% abv, 93 points. Aged for seven years before disgorging to delicious maturity. Holiday Beverage. Editors’ Choice.
King Estate 2008 Blanc de Noirs (Oregon); $55, 13.5% abv, 92 points. Finely detailed Pinot Noir, with a fine bead and impressive length. Editors’ Choice.
Apogee 2012 Deluxe Vintage Brut (Tasmania); $80, 12.5% abv, 92 points. Shows a rich, cashew character augmented by two years of aging on lees. American Estates Wines, Inc.
Ca’ del Bosco 2011 Vintage Collection Brut Metodo Classico (Franciacorta); $75, 12.5% abv, 92 points. Creamy and delicious, with a silky perlage. Banville Wine Merchants.
Charles Heidsieck NV Brut Réserve (Champagne); $65, 12% abv, 92 points. Deliciously balanced between ripe fruit and a crisp edge. Folio Fine Wine Partners. Editors’ Choice.
Once the exclusive realm of Champagne, these heights are now being reached by examples from California and Spain. These are the ultimate expressions of sparkling wine artistry, shining with clarity and complexity, bringing brilliance to the table. Sure, they’re expensive, but you can’t take it with you.
Krug 2002 Brut (Champagne); $259, 12% abv, 100 points. A fabulous wine from the greatest Champagne vintage so far this century. Moët Hennessy, USA. Cellar Selection.
Salon 2004 Le Mesnil Blanc de Blancs Brut (Champagne); $520, 12% abv, 98 points. Complex and concentrated, capturing the essence of Chardonnay in Champagne. Vineyard Brands. Cellar Selection.
Iron Horse 2003 Joy! (Green Valley); $250/1.5 L, 13.5% abv, 98 points. Equal parts Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, left on the yeast for 10 to 15 years.
Louis Roederer 2009 Cristal Brut (Champagne), $249, 12% abv, 97 points. The balance between ripe fruit and crisp texture makes it seem almost alive. Maisons Marques et Domaines Ltd. Cellar Selection.
Schramsberg 2008 J Schram Rosé (North Coast); $150, 13.1% abv, 96 points. A beautiful, complex and complete wine that’s just coming into its own. Cellar Selection.
Lanson 2006 Clos Lanson Blanc de Blancs Brut (Champagne); $195, 13% abv, 95 points. Shows maturity in its richness and hints of wood. Lanson -International Americas Ltd.
Mailly Grand Cru 2007 Les Echansons Brut (Champagne); $132, 12% abv, 95 points. As much about secondary flavors as fruit; ready to drink. Saranty Imports.
Pol Roger 2008 Rosé Brut (Champagne); $130, 13% abv, 94 points. Beautifully ready to drink, with crisp acidity to balance the soft richness. Frederick Wildman & Sons, Ltd.
Pommery 2004 Cuvée Louise Brut (Champagne); $120, 13% abv, 94 points. A rich, mature wine, with toast and almond flavors. Vranken Pommery America.
Drappier 2008 Grande Sendrée Rosé Brut (Champagne); $130, 12% abv, 94 points. A mature wine from a great vintage, rich in spices and nuts. Dreyfus, Ashby & Co.
Raventós I Blanc 2007 Manuel Raventós (Spain); $120, 12% abv, 93 points. As complex as Cava gets, with impeccable balance. Skurnik Wines, Inc. Editors’ Choice.
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